Elephants are one of the most beloved animals in the world. Although these animals are extremely large, they are gentle and compassionate. However, due to many factors, these animals are at risk of being lost forever.
Many people ask us, how can we help save elephants? We tell elephant lovers that it starts by educating themselves and others about the importance of elephant conservation. Check out these spooky African elephant facts about why elephants are in danger.
Scary African elephant facts
More than 100 elephants are killed each day.
One of the distinct features of an elephant is its tusks. Elephants use their tusks to dig holes, push things and defend themselves. Although tusks are extremely important to elephants, it is also the reason why they get killed.
Poachers hunt down elephants for their tusks, which are made up of ivory. This ivory is used to create valuable items that are sold for high prices. To help decrease the number of elephants getting poached, the International Ivory Ban was created. Sadly, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) reports that more than 100 elephants are still being slaughtered by poachers each day.
If action is not taken, African elephants could be extinct by 2040.
Elephants have one predator, and that is humans. Animals in the wild do not normally attack elephants unless they are babies or look ill. Humans, on the other hand, kill elephants for their tusks, skin and meat. Poaching is one of the reasons why elephant populations are decreasing.
The World Wide Fund of Nature Fund (WWF) predicts that African elephants will be extinct by 2040 if urgent action is not taken to save them. Action to save elephants starts by supporting laws that prevent poaching and illegal trade. You can also donate to wildlife nonprofits that are working to improve the lives of elephants.
Human-elephant conflicts are killing elephants.
The growing number of humans is also a problem for elephants. Many elephants lose their homes due to farming and fragmentation and are left with limited space and resources. It leaves elephants to wander into farmers' crops and villages in search of food. This action leaves elephants in danger of being killed and/or killing humans.
A report states that 50 to 120 "troublesome" elephants are shot by authorities each year, and around 200 people die due to human-elephant conflicts. Wildlife nonprofits are working with local people to reduce these conflicts to provide safe, inexpensive and effective solutions to keep elephants and humans safe.
Over the past 10 years, there have been more elephant deaths than births ( 3 births vs. 5 deaths annually). Why are there not enough births? There are several reasons, such as the lack of breeding elephant bulls (males) and the increase in infertility rates in elephant cows (females). The lack of breeding bulls in captivity has decreased genetic diversity.
There are more zoo elephant deaths than births.
On top of that, researchers have also found an increase in infertility rates for elephant cows. Experts believe rising infertility rates could be due to an ovarian cycle disruption in elephants that are in captivity. One cause could be due to their lack of exercise or diets that zoos need to reexamine.
How can we help save elephants?
You can help save elephants by supporting our research. Our research helps zoo and wild African elephants to thrive. In zoos, we provide specialized reproduction and care services. In Africa, we conduct research on elephant biology that helps improve the quality of life for zoo elephants. You can support our research by joining the “Herd of Heroes.” Join down below!