Just before dawn, profound quiet falls over the African savannah...and as the first glimmer of light approaches, many of the night's hunters are still—except for one.
When the shots ring out and the earth shakes with the fall of the bull elephant, the matriarch runs, trumpeting her fear and outrage. She turns to gather her herd, including six calves, behind her. Trunks lifted, they face their attackers...but only one single female survived that morning's slaughter in Kenya's Tsavo East National Park.
The matriarch, her children, and two youngsters with small tusks were no match for the poachers armed with AK-47 and G3 rifles.
Elephant populations are declining at a rate of 8 percent annually. This is faster than the rate of regeneration, which averages between 5-6 percent annually for elephants. And history proves the deficit of elephant populations; in the late 70's more than one million elephants roamed the African savannah. Today, approximately 415,000 elephants remain. The rise of illegal killing and the recent debate about lifting the United States ban on elephant and lion hunting trophies poses as serious threats to these delicately unstable populations.
- Elephant ivory is coveted by poachers for profit
- Approximately 100,000 elephants were poached for their ivory between 2010 and 2012.
- In Africa, poachers are responsible for 80 percent of park ranger deaths
- At the current poaching rate, elephants may be extinct in the wild in as little as 10 years
- The illegal wildlife trade is a booming black market business and is estimated to be worth $7-10 billion annually
- Poachers use helicopters, AK-47s, powerful veterinary drugs, and more to kill elephants and the rangers protecting them
- More than 200 tons of ivory stockpiles were destroyed between 2011-2016 around the world
You can help AWF raise $10,000 in the Newman’s Own Foundation challenge to combat the ivory trade.
How? To win, we have to be one of the top 10 organizations generate the most donations! To help, just join our fundraising team and donate what you can.
Donate the price of your morning coffee, ask everyone in your office to donate one dollar, or ask for donations to your fundraiser instead of holiday gifts.
Every dollar donated will be doubled!
Also, please remember to join the fundraising team and share this fundraiser. If you can't donate, sharing goes a long way.
Thank you for all you do!
About African Wildlife Foundation:
The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is the leading international conservation organization focused solely on Africa. We believe that protecting Africa’s wildlife and wild landscapes is the key to the future prosperity of Africa and its people – and for over 50 years, we have made it our work to help ensure that Africa’s wild resources endure.
Photos courtesy of Billy Dodson.