Elephants have existed on this planet for millions of years. Only two species remain – the African and the Asian elephant, which are descended from a long line of giant mammals, including the mammoths.
African elephants are currently found in 37 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Their numbers fell from 1.3 million in 1979 to less than 600,000 today, as a result of the ivory trade.
Asian elephants are found primarily in large parts of India, Sri Lanka, Indochina peninsula, and parts of Indonesia. There are fewer than 50,000 Asian elephants left in the world.
Elephants are killed for their ivory, which is used for jewelry, carvings, and Hankos (name stamps carrying the personal seal of the owner). Public outrage and fears for the very survival of elephants led to an international ban in the trade of ivory. Though the combination of various loopholes and black market trade, poaching levels are at record levels.
Via WildAid’s public service announcements and short form documentary pieces, we are working to educate consumers and reduce the demand for ivory products worldwide. Our message reaches one billion people a week in China alone.
In Corbett National Park, home to approximately 1500 Asian elephants, we are working to secure migratory corridors and to mitigate the encroachment of human development on these corridors. We are also working to clear brush and debris from mining, which can severly restrict safe passage during monsoon season and other extreme weather. We are working closely with government officials to restrict boulder mining, which increases the flow in the rivers, making it increasingly difficult for elephants to cross. WildAid also works with the locals and fringe villages to reduce human-wildlife conflict.