There are two sub-species of African elephant: the Savannah elephant and the forest elephant. In 1979 there were 1.3 million left. Today only approximately 450,000 African elephants survive in the wild.
Elephants are the world's largest living land mammal.There are two sub-species of African elephant: the savannah elephant and the forest elephant. In 1979 there were just 1.3 million left. Today approximately 450,000 survive in the wild.
The single biggest threat to elephants is the illegal trade in ivory. A recent report - the Great Elephant Census published in 2016 - estimates that 30% (about 144,000 elephants) were killed for their ivory between 2007-2014. Although the trade in ivory has been illegal since 1989, one-off sales of stockpiled ivory have accelerated demand. Ivory, like human teeth, is made of dentine. It is carved into ornaments and trinkets and given as symbols of wealth. The rest of the elephant is usually left where it fell or used as bush meat. As a result of these elephant deaths there are an increasing number of orphaned elephants.