National Geographic : 2010 Nov
• Not long ago in Juba, in an old colonial building with cracked walls and tful electricity, two former military men--- Lt. Gen. Fraser Tong and Maj. Gen. Philip Chol Majak---were explaining the situation. "Organized gangs, maybe 50 men, are coming in on horseback," Tong said. " ey're targeting elephants and the bigger ungulates. ey dry the meat and keep the ivory and transport it on camelback." Tong is the undersecretary for wildlife in semi- autonomous southern Sudan, based in Juba, the capital. Majak is a senior sta er, a wildlife eld commander whose army unit was famous for shooting down MiG jets with shoulder-fired missiles during Sudan's latest civil war, which began in 1983. A cease- re ended that con ict ve years ago, but now Majak is ghting a new war. "We have to protect these animals," he said. ere's urgency in his voice. He and his fellow southern Sudanese feel a deep kinship with their wildlife. It's deeper than people elsewhere might realize, because for generations foreign raiders harvested two goods from here: slaves and ivory. People and elephants became linked, almost syn- onymous, rounded up and shipped o together. e bond strengthened during the civil war. As bombs and land mines exploded, humans who didn't ee into surrounding countries hid in the bush. So did elephants and other migratory beasts; some fell to hunters, but many evaded gun re by nding refuge in hard-to-reach places. Wildlife experts struggle to place a GPS satellite collar on a tranquilized bull elephant in Boma National Park. A Wildlife Conservation Society project aims to track elephant migration to and from Ethiopia. By Matthew Teague Photographs by George Steinmetz Matthew Teague wrote about the Uygurs of China's Xinjiang region last December. George Steinmetz began his photographic career in Africa 30 years ago.