From the Publisher: Oct 16 1989

Since ancient times, human beings have been fascinated by elephants. From the powerful woolly mammoths that dominate prehistoric cave paintings to the soulful Babar of children's stories, these partisans of the order Proboscidea have captivated us with their gentleness and awed us with their strength. Unfortunately for the elephant, however, the world's affection for ivory is almost as ancient and as great. Today the voracious appetite for the tusks of African elephants -- particularly in the Far East -- threatens to eradicate this noble species. TIME correspondent Ted Gup chronicles the danger in this week's cover story on the ivory trail.

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