In the past 10 years, tens of thousands of elephants have been slaughtered across Africa to feed China’s insatiable appetite for ivory. Entire herds from Gabon to Tanzania have disappeared. Even baby elephants have been killed for their tiny stubs of ivory. Scientists have said that the very survival of the species is in China’s hands.

On Friday, after years of denying that China was part of the problem, the Chinese government made a stunning announcement: It would shut down the country’s ivory market, the world’s largest.

Will this save the elephants? This is what experts on the plight of elephants say: (

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