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Symbols of strength and wisdom, the elephant is believed to be sacred and incredibly valuable in many cultures. In this way, these majestic animals are to be preserved. Sadly, we have done the opposite.
We have singlehandedly eliminated hundreds of species in the past few decades, the elephant being no exception. The trade of ivory is unrelenting despite an international ban by CITES in 1989, and the statistics available to us are disheartening. In 2013 the IUCN’s African Specialist Group completed their most recent analysis, their elephant database indicated 397,601 definite individuals throughout Africa.
To put that in perspective, there were as many as five million African elephants in the 1930s and 1940s. Last year, a study found that more than 100,000 African elephants had been killed between 2010 and 2012. It is now estimated that one elephant is killed for their ivory every 15 minutes.
The loss of native habitat has also had a devastating effect on the wild populations of both the African and Asian elephants. The Asian elephant’s population is estimated to be somewhere between 25,600-32,750 wild individuals.
Poaching and habitat loss aside, elephants have been plucked from the wild and placed into captivity for years to be used for our entertainment or put to work. Thanks to a number of organizations working tirelessly to end the suffering of exploited animals, elephants are finally being phased out of many circuses and zoos.
We are so thankful to the sanctuaries taking in abused neglected and exploited elephants both here in the United States and abroad. It is through these incredible organizations working to raise public awareness, conserve the elephants native habitat, and ensuring the elephants in their care are safe for the remainder of their lives, that we can begin to hope for the future of the species.
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Elephant Sanctuaries & Places You Can Donate To And Help
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3 months, 3 weeks ago