AFRICAN ELEPHANTS, THE WORLD’S LARGEST SMARTEST LAND MAMMAL ARE PRAISED FOR THEIR LOYALTY AND LONGEVITY.
As icons of the Africa continent, elephants are mega-gardeners that boost the health of the ecosystem maintaining Africa’s diverse habitats. Forests of Africa depend on elephants for seed dispersal, that sequester carbon and release water and oxygen, a key role in global climate control. These hulking megafauna are known for their intelligent, complex communication capable of being able to express joy, anger, grief, love, and compassion. Their highly developed social structure and beauty make them a wonder to behold in their natural habitat.
Every 15 minutes an elephant is brutally slaughtered for their tusks. Elephants are racing to extinction funded by greed, corruption, and an obsession with ivory.
Their tusks are sold into the illegally ivory black market trade that feeds the demand for ivory in Europe, China, and the USA which is bankrolling the elephants loom to extinction.
THE EXTINCTION OF THE ELEPHANT
The IUCN¹ Red List, which lists all rare species, classifies African elephants as ‘Vulnerable’. This means the species ‘faces a high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future’.
WHY ARE THEY KILLED?
Elephants are brutally slaughtered for their ivory. Despite the ban for international trade, elephants are being poached in record numbers. The demand for ivory to make decorative items, jewelry, and trinkets is pushing elephants to the brink of extinction. Burgeoning ivory demand fuels poaching and trafficking, both of which, according to a recent Criminal Nature report, are as dangerous as global arms, human and drug trafficking.
HOW ARE THEY POACHED?
Ivory dealers employ and arm poachers, who slaughtered entire herds of elephants, shooting them with automatic weapons, darting, or catching them with snares. While the animal is most times still alive, the tusks are gouged out of their skull, leaving the elephant to die a slow death from hemorrhage often while their young watch near by.
LEADING BUYER OF IVORY
Illegal Wildlife Trade, Human-Elephant Conflict, Habitat Loss
ELEPHANT DECIMATION 1900’s 10 MILLION – 2010’s 400,000