The Deaths of Elephants

Statistics show how the demand for ivory has led to the devastation of elephant populations in Africa

3 min read
The Deaths of Elephants
Photo: iStockphoto

imgProportion of illegally killed elephants is estimated by comparing elephant carcasses with population size and natural mortality rates. At levels above the horizontal red line elephant populations would be expected to decline.Source: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora; Infographic: Erik Vrielink

African elephants are the world’s largest terrestrial mammals: Adult males can weigh more than 6,000 kilograms, females average about half as much, and newborns about 100 kg. They are sociable, intelligent, proverbially capacious in memory, and eerily aware of death, as they show in their remarkable behavior when they encounter the bones of their ancestors. Although their bones have remained in Africa, their tusks have often ended up in piano keys or in the ivory bric-a-brac you still see sometimes on mantelpieces.

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This photograph shows a car with the words “We Drive Solar” on the door, connected to a charging station. A windmill can be seen in the background.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is embracing vehicle-to-grid technology, an example of which is shown here—an EV connected to a bidirectional charger. The historic Rijn en Zon windmill provides a fitting background for this scene.

We Drive Solar

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