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Zimbabwe

Africa land grabs endanger elephants

Political and military elites are seizing protected areas in one of Africa's last bastions for elephants, putting broad swaths of Zimbabwe at risk of becoming fronts for ivory poaching, according to a nonprofit research group's report that examines government collusion in wildlife trafficking.Zimbabwe has maintained robust elephant populations compared with other countries on the continent. But economic penalties imposed by the United States and Europe have led Zimbabweans with ties to President Robert Mugabe's ruling party to find new methods of making money. The report, set for release Monday, says they may be turning to elephants' highly valued ivory tusks.Zimbabwe's embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.Born Free USA, an animal advocacy group, commissioned the report from Washington-based C4ADS to better understand the role organized crime and corrupt government officials play in ivory trafficking across Africa, said Adam Roberts, Born Free USA's chief exec...

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