Many locals and wildlife conservation institutions I talked to didn’t even know about the existence of the ivory black market in Okahandja.

It was a quiet evening in Zambezi, until a herdsman heard a gunshot in the wilderness. By the time the police arrived, they found an elephant carcass—and the tusks had been taken.

“It could be a good trophy animal. Poachers never take small ones,” said chief control warden Morgan Saisai at the Katima Mulilo office of Namibia’s Ministry of Tourism and Environment (MET).


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