Recent study shows that African elephants are possibly facing extinction as their decline have surpassed 50%.
South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe wildlife accounts for more than 60% of all elephants used for the survey.
According to the study, it takes as long as 23 years for the African elephants to start breeding. Unfortunately they are killed before they get to that age. So, it is hard for the species to be replenished as sooner as is required to save the ecosystem.
See Also: 10 Most Endangered Animals in Africa
Attesting to the sad and drastic reality, an elephant ecologist, Mike Chase says Africa’s elephants are fast depleting. From his survey in the forests he saw not less than 20 carcasses of Africa’s majestic elephants.
“I don’t think anybody in the world has seen the number of dead elephants that I’ve seen over the last two years.”
Africa’s elephants are a rare specie. Perhaps if the continent knew this and actually had value for natural creatures, we would be more sensitive to the conservation of these animals.
Scientists believe that Africa possibly had as much as 20 million elephants. As disappointing as it is, there were about 1.3 million of them remaining as at 1979.
“Africa’s Savannah elephant population has been devastated, with just 352,271 animals in the countries surveyed – far lower than previous estimates.”– CNN
From poachers to climate change to incessant wars and terrorist activities, our elephants no doubt have reduced to an incredibly low number at the moment.
Mike Chase said:
“When you think of how many elephants occurred in areas 10 or 20 years ago, it’s incredibly disheartening.
“Historically these ecosystems supported many thousands of elephants compared to the few hundreds or tens of elephants we counted.
“I’ve been asked if I’m optimistic or pessimistic about the future of Africa’s elephants, and on days like today, I feel that we are failing the elephants.”
It was also found that African elephants are intelligent. They are capable of detecting threats; as such they “cross borders to escape them.”
A typical case was during the Angolan civil war. The elephants left the location only to return after the war was over.
It is good to know that Botswana have seen the importance of safeguarding these majestic and symbolic African creatures. The country has deployed soldiers in more than 40 wildlife bases to protect the elephants.
Compared to the few hundred dollars earned by poachers (from Ivory Sales), a wildlife report says that “a live elephant can earn more than a million dollars for communities involved in eco-tourism, according to a report from.”