Over 24,000 Elephants Poached for Ivory So Far in 2015

Elephant herd under threat

The Born Free Foundation today released shocking new figures, revealing that more than 24,000 elephants have died at the hands of poachers since the start of 2015.

The concerning figures have been made public as hundreds of thousands of animal lovers worldwide prepare to show their solidarity for the plight of elephants and rhinos and to demand an end to the ivory and rhino horn trade as part of Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, which takes place this weekend (3rd-4th October).

According to Born Free’s monitoring of reports, over 24,300 elephants have been estimated killed since the beginning of this year. Further figures reveal that over 129,000 elephants have been poached for their ivory since the start of 2012.

Born Free Foundation Policy Adviser, Dominic Dyer, will be speaking at the London march, which takes place on 3rd October and is one of more than 100 cities around the world hosting an event. He said: “Greed, corruption and ignorance is leading to the brutal, cruel destruction of Africa’s elephants and rhinos at a rate not witnessed in the history of human civilisation. Unless the international community takes urgent action to shut down the global ivory and rhino horn trade and provides more training, equipment and financial resources to African states to better protect their precious elephants and rhinos from poachers, we will be the last generation to see them in the wild.”

Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA CEO, Adam M. Roberts, who will be speaking at the march in Boston, USA, on 3rd October, added: “Elephants and rhinos are the victims of an illegal wildlife trafficking enterprise that is more organised, militarised, and lucrative than ever before. An estimated 129,000 elephants have died at the hands of poachers since January 2012. As documented in Born Free USA’s groundbreaking reports, Ivory’s Curse and Out of Africa, poaching is not only a wildlife conservation and animal welfare issue, but also is intrinsically linked to terrorist networks and global criminal syndicates that use bloody ivory money to fund their violent activities, threatening national security.”

“Rhinos are similarly suffering as casualties of the disturbingly high global demand for their horns. More than 1,200 black and white rhinos were killed in South Africa alone in 2014. Africa’s black rhinos in particular are critically endangered, with a population of fewer than 5,000. Only 3,000 one-horned rhinos remain in India and Nepal, and Southeast Asia’s Sumatran and Javan rhinos number only in the hundreds and tens, respectively,” Roberts added.

Born Free helped ensure the first international ivory ban in 1989 and since then has campaigned tirelessly against attempts to reopen international trade in both ivory and rhinoceros horn as well as to bring an end to all domestic and legal trade. Born Free also investigates poaching, exposes illegal ivory smuggling and, together with the Species Survival Network Elephant and Rhino Working Groups, works to increase protection for elephants and rhinos from trade.

In the UK, marches will take place in Edinburgh, Exeter, Liverpool, and London. After the London march, a letter signed by NGOs, conservationists, MPs, and celebrities will be delivered to the Prime Minister's office by representatives from Born Free, Action for Elephants UK, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and International Fund for Animal Welfare.

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