The murder of Cecil the Lion sparked international outrage.
But the illegal ivory trade Has endangered African elephants at a tipping point, And the blood money is funding militias and terrorists.
Bryan Christy will discuss with Ric the importance of saving the majestic elephant and what you can do to help from the safety & comfort of your own home.
National Geographic Channel, in partnership with National Geographic magazine, is bringing back its acclaimed documentary series, Explorer, after a five year hiatus, with Explorer: Warlords of Ivory, taking an in-depth look at the devastating effects of the global illegal ivory trade. Veteran wildlife reporter Bryan Christy used a smuggled artificial tusk with a hidden GPS tracker to follow ivory’s bloody trail. It’s used to track the people who kill elephants and to learn what roads, ports, cities and countries their ivory plunder follows.
EXPLORER: WARLOADS OF IVORY premieres Sunday August 30 at 8/7c on National Geographic Channel. TRACKING IVORY is the cover story in the September issue of National Geographic and is now on newsstands.
The broad strokes of the ivory poaching tragedy are well documented: Some 30,000 African elephants are slaughtered every year for their tusks; thousands of people are attacked, raped and murdered in the path of destruction paid for in part by the trade. Until now, no one has been able to show how the pieces of this deadly puzzle connect — how the ivory is stripped from the corpses of elephants systematically killed by increasingly militarized poachers; how the ivory crosses the African continent to be traded for money to purchase weapons and ammunition; and how the ivory and weapons are stockpiled to sustain a campaign of crime and terrorism.
Christy’s artificial tusk leads him to the doorsteps of Africa’s most notorious militias and terrorist groups, all of them known for looting communities, raping and enslaving villagers and killing park rangers who stand in their way. His reporting, though dangerous, is vitally important to help world authorities identify and follow the sources of illegal ivory and to stop the trade in its tracks. Christy’s investigation is featured on the cover of the September issue of National Geographic magazine.
To further highlight the importance of Christy’s efforts, Nat Geo WILD will premiere on the same night the one-hour special Elephant Queen, an intimate look inside a majestic herd of African elephants.
Bryan Christy is director of special investigations for National Geographic magazine and was named National Geographic Explorer of the Year in 2014. His work on international wildlife trafficking has been cited as one of 10 ways National Geographic has changed the world. He’s an author and frequent public speaker on international crime, the wildlife trade and the power of storytelling.