Help Stop the Ivory Trade

The illegal ivory trade has decimated the elephant population. Elephants are on the brink of extinction. Please help save them. Every 15 minutes, an elephant is killed for its tusks. At that rate, elephants will be extinct in the wild in about 10 years.


10 years. In our lifetime. To make it even scarier: organized crime is at the heart of this destruction.


Here’s a small, horrific sample of the decimation in Africa:

-Cameroon: In February 2012, 650 elephants were killed by poachers in a national park. In March 2013, at least 40 endangered forest elephants were killed, including very young and newborns.
-Ivory Coast: There are less than 2,000 elephants left.
-Senegal has only between 5 and 10 elephants left.
-Sierra Leone lost its last wild elephant in 2009.
-Tanzania: 30 to 60 elephants are killed EVERY DAY. The population estimate in 2008 was approximately 165,000 — today there are fewer than 23,000 elephants left… every day this number is shrinking.
-Zimbabwe: In Hwange National Park in October 2013, more than 300 elephants were killed by cyanide poisoning put in their drinking water.

Stats courtesy of Action for Elephants UK


These staggering numbers don’t even account for the suffering of the elephants that survive. Elephants live in herds, and when a poacher attacks, the entire herd witnesses the brutality. As one of the more complex and social animals, elephants reel from this trauma and bear the emotional consequences for the rest of their lives. So, not only has the poacher physically slaughtered an elephant, he has also emotionally slaughtered any surviving members of the herd.

Stop the ivory trade now! Save the elephants!

The biggest threat to elephants is humans, at every level. And, our worst offense? Our desire for ivory. China is the largest consumer of ivory. The US is second. Demand for ivory dates back to ancient civilization, where it was (and still is) valued for its social significance. Ivory is also prized for its durability, making it a top choice for carving as well as everyday items such as buttons, hairpins, chopsticks, spear tips, bow tips, needles, combs, buckles, handles, billiard balls, and piano keys. We use ivory for nothing more than gewgaws. And an elephant has to die for our greed.

The best course of action is to ban the ivory trade, and sentence poachers to hefty fines and/or prison/death (Sri Lanka law protects the elephant and killing one is punishable by death).

Why should you care?

Aside from the fact that we humans have NO right to push animals to extinction?

      Ecological balance is probably the most important reason we should care. Elephants are linked to other species, and protecting them means we’re protecting a whole array of animals and plants. In a vulnerable ecosystem such as where the elephant lives, ecological balance impacts the world across.

      In central African forests, up to 30 percent of tree species may require elephants to help with dispersal and germination. Forest elephants are essential for the germination of many rain forest trees. The seeds of these trees only germinate after passing through the elephant’s digestive tract, contributing to a healthy forest ecosystem.

      Because elephants are one of the “Big 5” safari animals, they are a hugely popular tourist attraction, thus growing the economy and the tourism industry. This in turn creates job opportunities and better living conditions for local communities.


Elephants are being poached. Say NO! to the Ivory TradeWhat can you do?

A hell of a lot. Most people don’t get involved because they are afraid of having to spend money or committing hours of volunteer time. I get it – I’m a working mom, and I get it. But, there are ways to help raise awareness and educate people about what’s happening without spending a dime, and that take less time than writing a blog post.

If you blog, then you can help. If you tweet, then you can help. Post on Facebook? Then, you can help. Engage with people online? You. Can. Help.

Plus, you never know who you might reach with your efforts. There could be someone in your network who has more time, more money, and more resources – that someone might care enough to take your efforts even further.

1.) Sign petitions to help stop the ivory trade:

Bloody Ivory

End the Ivory Trade in the State of California (At the time of this writing, signatures were at 5,527, and they’re trying to reach 7,500. Please help reach this important goal. It will only take a minute of your time.)

-March for Elephants  (Help reach their goal of 10,000 signatures – currently at 7,710.)

Stop Wildlife Trafficking (scroll down the page, and you’ll find this particular petition on the left)

End Elephant Slaughter (scroll all the way down the page on the WWF site to find this petition)

2.) Need some exercise???

March for Elephants – an inspirational cause to raise money and awareness for imperiled elephants.

3.) Tweet and share on Facebook/Google+/LinkedIn your support of these organizations who are working tirelessly to save the elephants:

Action for Elephants UK
Global march for elephants and rhinos
March for elephants
Tsavo Trust
-International Elephant Foundation
Elephant Aid International

-World Wildlife Fund

4.) Reblog this post (or any post written about the war on elephants) to your followers

All of the above ideas don’t require much money or time. But, they do require compassion. And, there is plenty more you can do if you are willing to invest some money and/or time. Any of the above non-profit organizations can use donations and volunteers. Visit each site for information about their specific strategies to protect one of the world’s most iconic animals.

Ivory is only as valuable as we make it. So, don’t.


What will you do to help the elephants?


25 thoughts on “Help Stop the Ivory Trade

  1. Those numbers are heartbreaking. Elephants are such intelligent creatures. I recently watched a clip where a young elephant experiences the ocean for the first time. It was so sweet; he was like a child splashing around. Shows how complex these animals are.


  2. It’s so sad that elephant poaching still exists. I visited an elephant orphanage in Kenya and have fostered baby elephants for years. They are such kind animals. It’s wonderful that you are putting a spotlight on this issue, Kate.


  3. I can never understand the people who encourage these trades to happen by buying the ivory in the first place, without which there would be no market for it. I support the Born Free Foundation in the UK – what I love about this organisation is that they not only fight for species of animals, they also believe every individual animal is important so they carry out rescues of individual animals – and it was inspired by the fate of a captive elephant in a London zoo.


  4. Hi Kate, thank you for highlighting this awful situation. I didn’t realize how bad things still were; it’s disgusting. As you say, we need to stop the demand which will in turn stop the supply.


    • Hi Denise,

      I recently became aware of this situation, myself. I knew we’d been down this road before, and, foolishly, I thought we had learned our lesson. Guess not. Anything you can do to help spread the word would be most appreciated!


    • Hi Richard,

      Thanks so much for the reblog.

      An unspeakable crime, in all truth. And, elephants aren’t the only species we’re killing for our greed. I can’t understand how people can just do this and not care about the consequences. Makes no sense.


      • And people (mostly economists, politicians and accountant/business types) laugh when it’s suggested that the environment is more important than the economy. My jaw drops. Reminds me of a cartoon I saw recently. 2 frames. First frame: Man presenting “Climate change threatens our existence” to a sleeping audience – ZZZZZ. Second frame: Man presenting “Climate change threatens our economy” to an audience panicking with !!!!.


      • That cartoon nails the truth on its head. I wish it weren’t so. And, it’s those people with the deep pockets that we really need to care. I love hearing about celebrities who go out of their way and speak out for the environment. Their names pull a lot of weight; we need more of them.


  5. This is heartbreaking, Kate. and it’s terrible to see the US as one of the biggest markets. Demand is at the root of so many problems in the world, and removing the demand is the most effective way to bring about change.


    • Hey JM,

      We’d like to think that we’re above this kind of travesty, and yet, per usual, the US is at the heart of it. As a wealthy culture, we want more than we need, and we’ll do anything to show off our social and economic stature. I was saddened to see the US is so deeply involved in the ivory trade — and for what? Ivory has zero intrinsic value. What the hell are we thinking???

      Anything you can do to spread the word would be greatly appreciated.


  6. Hi Kate,

    Happy to reblog.

    It’s unbelievable the depths we sink to as a species. When future generations look back (in shame) on these times they will wonder what the hell we were doing. Our generation will surely be labelled the dumbest animal to have ever existed – a new genus of man: homo stulto (foolish man).


    • Darren, I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m disgusted by mankind. And, unfortunately, it isn’t just elephants we’re destroying, but many other species, and all for the same basic reason: greed. I’m just holding out some hope that there are more people who want to help save these animals than not, and that everyone who learns about this travesty will do something proactive.


      • I wish could do more, but short of becoming a million-selling author overnight my humble blog carries little weight. And, as unfortunate as it seems, money is both the cause and cure of the majority of these problems.

        Still, we do what we can 🙂


      • I hear you. I wish I could do more than share information and donate money. Even this post isn’t doing that much — according to my dashboard stats, not many visitors have clicked from here to any of the petitions or sites for which I provided links. So, I’m disheartened. I really don’t think enough people truly “get” it.


  7. Such a horrible thing. Porcelain can just as pretty as ivory. We don’t need to kill for decor. And these poor animals. Elephants are so majestic and intelligent. They should be respected and allowed to live in peace.


    • It all comes down to money and social status, of course. We’re such a greedy culture. I’m ashamed that the US is the second biggest consumer of ivory. We’ve been down this road before; this is not brand-new information. People should know by now that if you own ivory you took part in killing an elephant. I don’t understand how people are okay with that.


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