DNA fingerprints crack African ivory-smuggling cases

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DNA fingerprinting has helped conservationists and law enforcement teams identify three major cartels that dominate the elephant ivory-smuggling market, researchers said Wednesday.

Samples taken from seized elephant tusks link multiple shipments to cartels operating out of Africa, the team reported. The information they have gathered is already being used to solidify cases against smuggling kingpins, a Homeland Security official said.

Tusks from an ivory seizure in 2015 in Singapore after they have been sorted into pairs by the process developed by Samuel Wasser and his team.Center for Conservation Biology/University of Washington

Samuel Wasser, director of the…

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