Since 2010, prices for the ivory of African elephants have nearly tripled. This increase in prices is largely due to the insufficient enforcement of ivory laws in China, where demand for ivory stems from affluent citizens who use the precious material as symbols of status or gifts to soften business deals.
The increase in demand has caused poachers to intensify their hunt, an act that has largely countered the efforts of African and Asian governments to put an end to the illegal market. It is estimated that despite increasing anti-poaching efforts, around 105 elephants are killed every day. The increase of poaching is unarguably devastating to the animal kingdom, but it is also disastrous to the human world due to the increase in organized crime it spikes. Despite efforts to prosecute poachers in Africa, countless aggressors go uncaught due to lax hunting and ivory laws aboard. The combination of weak laws and increased demand presents an irrefutable opportunity for poachers, who proceed to capitalize on the illicit market and ramp up their illegal killings–an action that also robs locals of valuable legal tourist dollars.
H.O.P.E. is a completely volunteer driven organization that seeks to counter these harmful effects and protect both elephants and law-abiding citizens. Both donations and volunteers make a sizable impact on this effort.