African Elephant Stories

  • Global momentum in elephant conservation

    June 20, 2016

    Elephants have been hit hard by a global poaching epidemic that’s emptying the planet of an array of wildlife. As many as 30,000 elephants are killed for their ivory each year. But people and governments are taking a stand for these remarkable animals – and making a tremendous impact.

    elephants at watering hole, Namibia
  • Rampant poaching threatens former elephant stronghold in Tanzania

    June 15, 2016

    Rampant ivory poaching has reduced the elephant population in Tanzania’s oldest and largest protected area by 90 percent in fewer than 40 years. WWF is sounding the alarm for urgent action in combating wildlife crime in the reserve.

    an elephant in Selous reserve
  • New US ivory regulations mark a victory in the fight to save elephants

    June 02, 2016

    Setting an example for the world in the fight to save elephants, the United States has finalized new regulations that will help shut down commercial elephant ivory trade within its borders and stop wildlife crime overseas.

    African elephant
  • What kind of animals live in KAZA? And four other KAZA facts

    The Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) is home to almost half of Africa’s elephants, as well as an array of other animals such as African wild dogs, hippos, rhinos, lions, African buffalo, zebras, crocodiles, and cheetahs. Learn more about KAZA and what WWF is doing for it.

    Elephants at sunset in Namibia
  • 5 remarkable animal moms

    The animal kingdom is flush with moms that take the time to teach their babies how to find food and protect themselves against the elements.

    Emperor penguin babies
  • What is ivory and why does it belong on elephants?

    We’ve all seen photographs of majestic elephants sporting long, off-white tusks on either side of their trunks. This ivory is both beautiful on the animals and essential to the species’ survival. But what exactly is it?

    elephant standing in field
  • Lessons in life on the African plains

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2016
    A trip to Kenya to see the animals of the plains
    Two male lions walking
  • Why we care about elephants on World Wildlife Day—and every day

    March 03, 2016

    Elephants number among the smartest and most empathetic creatures on the planet. This World Wildlife Day, we’re celebrating these magnificent animals—and emphasizing their need for our help.

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  • Photographing the most elusive animals of Namibia

    Researcher Lise Hansen and photographer Will Burrard-Lucas worked together to document the great diversity of wildlife present in this part of Namibia—even the shy and rarely seen animals. 

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  • Photographing Africa's most elusive animals

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2016
    In a landscape largely undocumented by science, a researcher and a photographer team up to illuminate more than the night
    Male Lion in camera trap
  • Hong Kong steps up for elephants

    January 13, 2016

    In a landmark move for elephants, the government of Hong Kong is actively exploring phasing out domestic ivory trade. The government is also set to strengthen efforts to tackle the illegal ivory trade.

    elephants walking in a line
  • More than One Million Sign on to Stop Elephant Slaughter

    September 28, 2015

    An unprecedented chorus has spoken for the world’s elephants: More than one million people signed a WWF petition supporting a new proposed rule from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to prevent illegal African elephant ivory from being imported and sold in the US.

    African elephant (Loxodonta africana), herd with Kilimanjaro mountain in the background.
  • Thailand Destroys Elephant Ivory Stockpile

    August 25, 2015

    Over two tons of elephant tusks, carved ivory, and trinkets in Thailand—most of it from elephants poached a continent away in Africa—made its way into a machine that ground the ivory into chips. The solemn ceremony to destroy Thailand’s illegal ivory follows a number of important laws the country passed to crack down on the illegal elephant ivory trade.

    prepping ivory to crush
  • President Obama Announces Important Advance in Fight to Stop Wildlife Crime

    July 25, 2015

    New draft ivory regulations will significantly curtail the sale of commercial ivory in the United States and help stop wildlife crime worldwide. President Obama announced the long-awaited regulations—along with the formation of an ambitious new United States Wildlife Trafficking Alliance —on his first official trip to Kenya.

    African elephants
  • The World's Elephants Can't Wait

    June 19, 2015

    The US government and the conservation community came together again to destroy a stockpile of confiscated ivory and to make a statement that the United States has zero tolerance for wildlife crime.

    ivory getting crushed
  • Elephant Ivory Crush in New York City

    June 19, 2015

    An enormous machine roared to life pulverizing more than one ton of illegal elephant ivory tusks, trinkets and souvenirs in the heart of New York City today. The ivory crush in Times Square sent a dramatic message to the world that the United States will not tolerate elephant ivory trafficking. 

    african elephant
  • Crush and Burn: Destroying Illegal Elephant Ivory

    May 29, 2015

    Several countries, including China, have recently joined the US in publicly destroying their illegal elephant ivory stockpiles—a powerful act demonstrating that a country will not tolerate wildlife crime. The act ensures that stockpiles of seized ivory will never again be sold and affirms that elephant ivory is only of value if it remains on elephants as nature intended. And these burns and crushes also bring global attention to a problem threatening not only elephants and other wildlife, but also national development and regional stability.

    ivory burn in Gabon
  • Baby Animals and Their Moms

    May 04, 2015

    We all know how great moms can be. The same is true in parts of the wild. Take a look at a few images of animals with their parents.

    zebra and mom
  • Thailand Faces Sanctions If It Fails to Stop Ivory Trade

    March 19, 2015

    Thailand has until the end of March 2015 to take measures to shut down domestic trade in illegal elephant ivory or it will face trade sanctions under the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), which met in Geneva last July.

    African Elephants
  • Thai Citizens Say No to Elephant Ivory

    January 27, 2015

    With demand for elephant ivory at an all-time high, the campaign asks people to imagine a life without elephants by publicly removing the Thai letter representing elephants—“Chor Chang”—from their names. The Thai word for elephant, “Chang,” starts with the letter in the Thai alphabet called “Chor”. By removing Chor Chang from their names, Thai people are making a statement that they want the illegal trade in elephant ivory to stop or their beloved national animal—the elephant—could disappear.

    African elephants at watering hole
  • Wildlife Management Areas in the 21st Century

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2015
    Data helps more than 500 village game scouts more effectively monitor species in Tanzania
    Two village game scouts stand on a rock and look over the landscape.
  • Saving Africa's Elephants

    September 25, 2014

    At the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, Secretary Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton announced the Elephant Action Network. WWF’s Ginette Hemley and TRAFFIC’s Senior Director Crawford Allan attended the event in New York on Sept. 23.

    clintons and group
  • Wildlife and Climate Change

    To increase chances of conservation success, we must understand traits that make an individual species especially resilient or vulnerable to changes in climate. Different species will be affected in different ways; sometimes negatively, but not always.

    gorilla closeup
  • Taking a Stand Against Wildlife Crime

    July 15, 2014

    The governments of CITES took strong and decisive action in Geneva last week. They laid out timelines and concrete deliverables for countries most complicit in the illegal ivory trade. In particular, they laid down a strict timeline for Thailand to take the necessary steps to rectify the problems that have facilitated its rise to becoming the world’s largest unregulated ivory market. Thailand has until March 2015 to deliver, or they face sanctions.

    African Elephant