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Report: Elephant Poaching on the Rise in Mozambique

FILE - Mozambican elephants feed amongst the floodwaters of the central districts of Chipanga, Feb. 2001.
An expert with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) says Mozambique has emerged as one of the main locations for elephant slaughters and the illegal transportation of ivory in Africa.

Wildlife Trade Policy Expert Colman O'Criodain commented on a Thursday report that says as many as 900 elephants died in northern Mozambique during a three-year period that ended in 2013.

The wildlife conservation group says many are the deaths are likely a result of illegal hunting.

The WWF says urgent international action is needed to stop the slaughter of elephants.

The group says in a survey of Mozambique's Quirimbas National Park last year, almost half of the elephants sighted by air were carcasses.

A demand for ivory has spurred an increase in elephant poaching and smuggling across Africa. Demand is particularly strong in some Asian countries, where ivory is used to make ornaments and jewelry.

A report released by the leadership of CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) last Friday said over 20,000 elephants were poached across Africa in 2013.

The group's secretariat said poaching levels "far exceed" the natural growth rates of elephants.