I’m going to have a very unusual holiday this year. I’m going to photograph elephants in Africa. If you would like to do the same, you’d better book your ticket soon. There won’t be any wild elephants in twenty years’ time. They’ll all be dead, except maybe for a few in 5 nature reserves.

An elephant is a walking bank as far as hunters are concerned. The reason is the price of ivory, which was $5 a kilogram in the 1960’s but is $50 a kilogram now.

As the price went up, the killings started. Elephant populations in eastern Africa started falling and now the total  African population is declining fast. The largest estimate says that there are about 800,000 African elephants.

In ten years’ time, this figure will be halved if hunting continues as it is now. Another ten years, and the wild elephant will hardly exist.  Sixteen of the thirty-five African countries which have elephants are going to restrict trade in elephant products and some of these are going to start special nature reserves, where elephants are protected. But it may be too late.

If the hunting continues on its present scale, the elephant will soon be a thing of the past.




A. Mark the statements as True (T) or False (F).

1. The writer is going to have an ordinary holiday this year.

2. Almost all of the wild elephants in Africa will become extinct in twenty years if hunting continues at its present rate.

3. Elephants are hunted for their ivory.

4. The price of ivory has fallen since the 1960’s.

5. In ten years’ time, there will be twice as many African elephants as there are now.

6. Some countries are planning to protect the wild elephant.


B. What do the following refer to?

1. ‘a-few’ (line 4): a few

2. ‘this figure’ (line 12):


.C, Mark the best choice.

1. Line 10, ‘declining’ means .

a) increasing b) finishing c) decreasing d) growing


Line 16, to ‘restrict’ means to . a) encourage b) limit c) start d) end

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