Reading Comprehension - Elephhant Ivory Trade

Develop your reading skills. Read the following text about elephant ivory trade and answer the comprehension questions

Ivory 1880s

Elephants ivory trade poses a threat to the very existence of elephants. Ivory hunters were responsible for wiping out elephants in North Africa perhaps about 1,000 years ago, in much of South Africa in the 19th century and most of West Africa by the end of the 20th century. At the peak of the ivory trade, pre 20th century, during the colonization of Africa, around 800 to 1,000 tonnes of ivory was sent to Europe alone.

Elephant ivory has been exported from Africa and Asia for centuries with records going back to the 14th century BC. Throughout the colonization of Africa ivory was removed, often using slaves to carry the tusks, to be used for piano keys, billiard balls and other expressions of exotic wealth.

Although many ivory traders repeatedly claimed that the problem was habitat loss, it became glaringly clear that the threat was primarily the international ivory trade.

Should there be a legal trade in elephant ivory? This debate has been going on since at least 1989, when the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) voted to "ban" the international trade in ivory after a ferocious wave of poaching in Africa that left hundreds of thousands of elephants butchered.

While some conservationists say that a limited legal ivory trade is needed to satiate demand, especially in China, in a controlled manner, environmental activists ask whether elephants can survive a legal ivory trade. They argue that the 1989 ban must be kept in place to protect elephants, especially now that poaching has once again risen to catastrophic levels.

Source: Wikipedia


  1. The peak of the ivory trade was in the 20th century.
    a. True
    b. False
  2. Elephants are mainly endangered by habitat loss.
    a. True.
    b. False.
  3. Poaching of elephants is still taking place in spite of the 1989 ban.
    a. True
    b. False

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A fascinating journey with the herd, the Elephant Whisperer is a heartwarming, exciting, funny, and sometimes sad memoir of Anthony's experiences with these huge yet sympathetic creatures.

The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

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