Elephants are being slaughtered in increasing numbers for their ivory. Poachers using military helicopters round up the elephants and shoot them from the air, destroying whole herds at once.
Today, September 4, 2012, The New York Times carried a lead article entitled, "Africa's Elephants Are Being Slaughtered In Poaching Frenzy".
Quoting from the article: "Africa is in the midst of an epic elephant slaughter. Conservation groups say poachers are wiping out tens of thousands of elephants a year, more than at any time in the previous two decades, with the underground ivory trade becoming increasingly militarized."
“China is the epicenter of demand,” said Robert Hormats, a senior State Department official. “Without the demand from China, this would all but dry up.” He said that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who condemned conflict minerals from Congo a few years ago, was pushing the ivory issue with the Chinese “at the highest levels” and that she was “going to spend a considerable amount of time and effort to address this, in a very bold way.”
In addition, the outlaw Lord's Resistance Army is participating, quote: "Several recent escapees from the L.R.A. said that Mr. Kony had ordered his fighters to kill as many elephants as possible and send him the tusks."
Since China is the biggest source of demand for ivory, and Apple Corp. has a substantial interest in China utilizing manufacturing facilities there, Apple is in a position to exert substantial pressure on the Chinese to stop the illegal ivory trade. Without the ivory demand from China, the slaughtering will subside, and local officials will be able to better control it.
Here is the link to the New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/04/world/africa/africas-elephants-are-being-slaughtered-in-poaching-frenzy.html