“We are experiencing what is likely to be the greatest percentage loss of elephants in history,” said Richard G. Ruggiero, an official with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Ney York Times; December 3, 2012). The poaching of elephants started in the late 1800’s and is still happening today. People are slaughtering these majestic animals for their ivory tusks. Ivory has been sold on the black market for millions of dollars. Before the start of ivory poaching there were millions of elephants in the world in both Africa and India, but today because of the hunting for ivory, there are barely any of these giants left in the wild. Throughout history Europeans have been moving in on central African states to make money out of ivory found on the tusk of elephants. Ivory is often used to make piano keys, knives, and other tools. Still today poachers are killing elephants daily for this unique commodity. Like hunters here in the United States, some poachers kill elephant for fun but still take the tusks to sell and others for their rare collections of wild ivory tusks. Despite worldwide protecting from many agencies, the value placed on elephant products, particularly ivory, the lack of effective enforcement and the remoteness of areas of elephant habitat, means that there are those that still kill elephants for profit. These poaching habits have led to a huge reduction of live elephants in the wild today.
Just how many are being slaughtered? Conservation groups say poachers are killing tens of thousands of elephants each year. According to a recent article in the New York Times, that’s more compared to the previous two decades (The New York Times; December 8, 2013). According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, poachers are still slaughtering more than a hundred elephants a day. In 1989, 7.4 percent of the elephant populations were massacred. As the years increased the number of deaths increased; in 2008, 8 percent of the elephants