Chinese turn to mammoth ivory after elephant tusks become taboo 

China has long been the world’s biggest ivory market, with consumption peaking about five years ago as the country’s emerging rich and free-spending officials came to view it as a symbol of wealth and prestige.

Intricately crafted elephant tusks were exchanged as gifts by Communist Party cadres and within high-level business circles as a means of expressing status and appreciation of an ancient Chinese art form.

But with a domestic trading ban looming on Jan. 1, attitudes towards ivory in China have shifted dramatically.

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Demand has plummeted in recent years as huge publicity campaigns – backed by Prince William and David Beckham – raised awareness of the devastating consequences of the poaching…

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