Threat to Asian elephants 非法交易威脅大象生存
媒體英語會帶大家一起學習 BBC 撰稿人在報道世界大事時常用到的單詞和短語。
日前一項報告說，由於大象走私販正在企圖恢復他們在泰國旅遊營地周圍的賺錢行當，緬甸的亞洲野生像被置於惡劣的環境中。國際瀕臨絕種野生動植物貿易調查委員會（TRAFFIC）在他們發表的這篇報告裏稱，走私犯利用殘酷手段野蠻地對待幼象。以下是Matt McGrath為BBC 所做的報道：
Elephants are used to entertain foreign and domestic tourists at trekking camps all over Thailand. As visitors prefer younger animals, the value of elephant calves has soared to around $33,000 for a healthy specimen.
To meet this demand, smugglers in Myanmar capture and tame wild elephants from the country's shrinking herds. The young elephants are caught in pit-traps, cruelly beaten to break their spirits and then smuggled across the border. The Thai authorities have cracked down on this trade with some success over the past two years, but campaigners believe that criminals are now stocking up, ready to transport the animals once again, when restrictions end.
Traffic and other campaigners want to see a toughening up of the laws in Thailand. Elephants don't have to be registered there until they are eight years old, creating an opportunity for smuggled calves to be 'laundered' into the domestic population.
Asian elephants already face threats from habitat loss, agriculture and ivory poachers. According to researchers, the extra strain put on by the smuggling of live young elephants could threaten the long-term survival of the species in Myanmar.