Over the past ten years the numbers of African forest elephants have dropped by an astonishing 62 percent as a result of the illegal ivory trade. Even worse for the elephants is that the fewer there are of them the more valuable their ivory becomes, thus an inevitable increase in poaching, the most vicious of vicious circles. Researchers estimate that these creatures may all be gone in less than ten years.
I'm not personally keen on the death penalty but it seems like a good trade-off to execute a few desperate or greedy ivory poachers, not to mention a few ivory owners, to save an entire species. If the U.S. military needs a good venue to work off some inner tension by practicing their drone strikes, this would be the place.