Only 40,000 Elephants Left

Lexi Carr, Staff Writer

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According to, tens of thousands of elephants are being killed every year for their ivory tusks. The ivory is often carved into ornaments and jewelry. More recently, there has been an upsurge in poaching and illegal ivory trafficking, which has led to steep declines in forest elephant numbers and some savannah elephant populations. 

There were more African elephants killed last year than there were born. There are only 40,000 elephants remaining worldwide, and that number is rapidly declining.

While elephants have lived alongside humans for so long, there is still much we don’t know about them. With the largest brain of any land animal, they are smart, aware, social and empathetic, which are qualities we strive for ourselves. We share so many characteristics with elephants that they may be more like us than any other animal. Many researchers are concerned that we are risking the elephants’ future as a species and, in the process, damaging the essential habitat required for biodiversity throughout Asia and Africa.