The Elephant Crisis

Africa’s elephants are in crisis

With over 30,000 elephants killed annually for their ivory, the elephant population in Africa has been depleted by 90% in the last 50 years and 30% in the last 7 years. Not since the 1980s, when between 600,000 and 800,000 elephants were killed, has such epic levels of poaching been seen. With fewer elephants remaining in Africa and an unrelenting demand for ivory, time is running out for these majestic and gentle giants.

What is driving the crisis?

While habitat loss is a serious threat, the rising demand for illegal ivory in Asia is the primary factor.

With a burgeoning affluent middle class in Asia, and primarily China, more people can afford to buy ivory, referred to as “white gold” based on its value. A single tusk can fetch up to $6,000 – more than 6 times the average annual income in Africa – to be transformed into ornaments, trinkets and bracelets.

The demand for ivory far outweighs the supply of elephants remaining.

Sadly, today an elephant is worth more dead than alive.

The Value of Ivory

The insatiable demand for ivory has driven up wholesale prices in the black market drastically in the last few years
$564 a pound

$1,322 a pound in 2014(Source: IFAW)

The Impact on Tourism

Africa’s tourism industry and its wildlife depend on each other for survival

It is time for our industry to take action.

No other industry than the travel industry is as vested and dependent on the wildlife in Africa, most countries depend on tourism as one of their primary sources of earnings.

Over 53 million tourists traveled to Africa in 2015. Without wildlife to see, there will be no tourists. And with no income, there is no way for communities to protect wildlife from poachers. Tourism and wildlife depend on each other to survive – it’s that simple.

Our industry – with such a strong global voice whose customers value our opinions – needs to act now.

How you can help

The Demand For Ivory


Over 80%of the middle class in China have admitted to purchasing ivory in the past and the same percentage has indicated that they intend to buy ivory in the future. (Source: IFAW)

Poaching Today

A trophy hunter killing a large “tusker” elephant for its ivory is a vision of the past.

Today, organized criminal gangs have entered the lucrative ivory trade, hunting down and massacring herds of elephants at a time, indiscriminately using machine guns accompanied by night vision goggles and satellite phones.

Why should we care for elephants?

Elephants are the most intelligent and largest living land mammals on earth, who, like humans, show great emotion and are complex social animals. As a keystone species, elephants also play a critical role in the ecosystem and biodiversity of Africa. They are nature’s gardeners – dispersing seeds needed for plants and trees to grow. Without elephants, ecosystems could cease to exist.

Wildlife Drives Africa’s Tourism Industry

providing jobs to over

mapeither directly or indirectly.

(Source: WTTC Economic Impact Report, 2012)

Only an estimated 350,000 elephants remain on the African continent. In some countries already, elephants are more or less gone.

At this rate, the elephant – a keystone species and beloved African icon- faces extinction by 2025.

Tourism Industry by African Country

Total Contributions to Employment (2011, % Share)


(Source: WTTC Economic Impact Report, 2012)

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