Elephants 2018-08-12T22:04:29+00:00
“How we walk with the broken speaks louder than how we sit with the great.”

BENNOT

AFRICAN ELEPHANTS

THE GARDENERS

SLAUGHTERED EVERY 15 MINUTES FOR THEIR TUSKS

Despite the ban on international trade, elephants are being poached in record numbers. An estimated 35,000 elephants are slaughtered every year for their ivory. Slaughtered elephants leave behind their orphaned young who are condemned to die by starvation, dehydration, and predation. Elephant numbers have decimated 64 percent over the last decade, and conservationists fear they will be extinct in the next 10 years.

blood ivory

BLOOD IVORY

Asia, Europe, and the USA are bankrolling the elephants loom to extinction funded by greed, corruption, and an insatiable obsession with ivory.

In 1976, the African elephant became a protected species on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), designed to control and limit trade. CITES is implemented and enforced primarily through the Endangered Species Act. During the 1980s, known as the “Ivory Wars,” 700,000 elephants were slaughtered throughout Africa. By 2008, rapid economic growth in countries such as China created a new class of ivory consumers.

A network of African gangs, international criminals, and corrupt government officials are profiting from the ivory trade, creating regional instability and strife. Ivory today is worth more than gold. One kilogram of ivory is worth between $1,000 and $1,500 in the Asian market, and each elephant tusk can weigh 10 kilograms.

In September 2015, U.S. President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping of China agreed to take steps towards ending ivory sales in their respective nations. China has agreed to shut down its ivory trade by the end of 2017.

THE ILLEGAL IVORY TRADE GENERATES 10 BILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY

LAST OF THE MEGAHERBIVORES. THE END OF A 60M-YEAR LINEAGE.

THE WORLD’S LARGEST TRUMPETING PACHYDERM ARE PRAISED FOR THEIR INTELLIGENCE AND COMPLEX SOCIAL SOCIETY.

As thundering icons of Africa, 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 releasing water and oxygen, a key role in global climate control. They push down trees, recycling nutrients locked in wood for other wildlife. Elephants seal water holes, so water holds longer during the dry season. Wild elephants are keystone species and crucial to the existence of other species. This means they create and maintain their own ecosystems. Without Elephants, many other species will go extinct.

These hulking megafaunas are known for their intelligent, complex communication capable of being able to express joy, anger, grief, love, and compassion. Their highly developed complex matriarchal society make them a wild wonder to behold. From their trunk with 40,000 dextrous muscles to their oversized ears that flap away heat, elephant’s ivory tusks are designed to defend, and ultimately the cause of their ruin.

PHOTO CREDIT FEDERICO VERONESI

SPECIES THREATS

HABITAT LOSS

The exploding growth of human population and extension of agriculture and infrastructural development into rangelands and forests means that elephant habitat is continuing to dissipate. Elephants are increasingly being crowded out of their habitats with small patches of disconnected land.

HUMAN-ELEPHANT CONFLICT

Farms are being established where elephants roam and become a target for crop-raiding by hungry elephants. A year’s crop can be wiped out in a single night, creating understandable animosity. When elephants and humans interact, there is conflict from crop-raiding, injuries, and elephants are killed by farmers for habitat degradation.

POACHING AND WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING

Elephants are killed every year for their tusks to fuel the illegal ivory trade. Ivory dealers employ and arm poachers, who slaughtered entire herds of elephants, shooting them with automatic weapons, poisoning, 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.

TROPHY HUNTING

An industry that blurs the lines between killing and conservation. Hunting has been carried out in absolute excess with little regard to the species endangerment. An elephant’s lifespan is about 70 years reaching sexual maturity at about 16 years old and a gestation period of 22 months. This means that elephants do not regenerate quickly or easily, and their populations are decimating at alarming rates. Trophy hunting of the African elephant is permitted in many African countries. Affluent individuals, primarily of American and European origin, spend up to US$30,000 to slaughter an elephant.

SOLUTIONS

  • Ban the sale of all ivory.
  • Complete ban on all commercial and domestic trade in ivory internationally.
  • Mandatory destruction of all ivory stockpiles, confiscated ivory, and “legal ivory”.
  • Investment in border force training and increase port (sea and air) security.
  • Strengthen and implement laws associated with wildlife crime.
  • Educate consumers in order to stem the demand for ivory. A survey in China found that almost 70% of the public thought ivory did not come from dead elephants but that it fell out naturally, like teeth.

96 elephants killed

ELEPHANT IVORY

Elephant ivory, dubbed as “white gold”, is used to make decorative items, carvings, jewelry, piano keys, and trinkets. The allure of “white gold” is a way to project an image of wealth and social status.

WE CAN SAVE TOGETHER

Pledge to be Ivory Free

Sign petitions against the ivory trade

Make donations to help fund elephant protection

Spread the word to family and friends

Tell your governors to ban the ivory trade

HELP SAVE THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT

Wildlife is under attack by Congress. Congressional bill H.R. 2603 aims to remove Africa’s species from the Endangered Species Act. This includes Africa’s most vulnerable iconic species like elephants and rhinos. Some powerful members of Congress and special interest groups are trying to dismantle the law. We need your help to save this landmark Act before it’s too late.

TAKE ACTION HERE

TRUMPET FACTS

are pregnant for 22 months
can only see red and green
eat 18 hours a day
weight up to 13,000 lbs
live up to 70 years
breed around 14 years old
born blind
communicate by touching
have 40,000 muscles in their trunk
trumpeting can be heard six miles away
elephants are left or right-tusked, like humans are left or right handed