Despite years of intense campaigning against elephant poaching, the illegal killings still continue in shocking frequency. Recognition of the crisis is slowly increasing; however, since murky misconceptions still surround the topic here are five crucial facts to help shed light on one of the most important issues in the environmental world.
- Poaching is the illegal hunting and killing of wild animals, often done in search of profit. Elephant poaching in particular is especially lucrative with millions of dollars in estimated profits.
- Although assault rifles are popular amongst poachers, new technology has “innovated” the illegal market, making it easier to kill elephants in numbers larger than previously imagined. Most recently, cyanide has been used to mass poison elephants.
- More than 30,000 elephants are killed annually for their ivory, which has a huge market overseas in Asia and Africa. It is estimated that around 105 elephants are victims of poaching each day.
- Despite increasing efforts to bring poachers to justice, less than 5% of aggressors are prosecuted and even less face a prison sentence.
- Elephants not only are vital to a healthy ecosystem through their aid in preventing overgrowth and maintaining habitats, but they also provide humans a valuable, legal economic asset through tourist dollars.
The issue is pressing and demands attention.
Innocent elephants are murdered daily to fund an illegal market that not only robs the animal kingdom, but also law-abiding citizens. H.O.P.E. is dedicated to protecting elephants and countering poaching and illicit ivory trafficking in Africa. Please contribute and protect both elephants and humans from the disastrous effects of poaching by donating or volunteering today.