Elephant Poaching

News, information and statistics about elephant poaching. Facts about the killing of elephants for their ivory and the ivory trade is collected from wildlife charities, intelligence reports and other public criminal justice information.

See all facts and information about the illegal wildlife trade here.

An estimated 10 elephants are killed every month in southeast Cameroon for their ivory, according to elephant conservation programs in the African country.

Around 11,500 elephants remain in the wild in Cameroon.  In one national park in neighboring Chad, the number of wild elephants almost decreased by half within 5 years due to poaching.

In 2006, an estimated 23,000 elephants were killed in Central Africa by wildlife traffickers.

(Price list of endangered animals on the black market.)

Source: Divine Ntaryike, “Cameroon, Chad Team Up to Protect Wildlife,” Voice of America, August 11, 2011.

Between 2001 and 2011, around 45,000 pounds of ivory has been seized every year either in Asia or in route to the continent.

In addition, wildlife monitoring network Traffic reports that on average, two Chinese nationals are arrested for smuggling ivory every day.

Source: Alex Shoumatoff, “Agony and Ivory,” Vanity Fair, August 2011.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare estimates that up to 100 elephants are killed every day for their ivory tusks by poachers.

Source: Alex Shoumatoff, “Agony and Ivory,” Vanity Fair, August 2011.


Up to $20 Million of elephant ivory is seized from poaching activities around the world each year.

Source: AFP, “Gangsters gain by ‘green crimes’,” Sydney Morning Herald, November 15, 2010.

Security services in India broke up a wildlife trafficking ring that were illegally selling elephants from the Indian state of Assam.

The traffickers were offering adult elephants for sale at prices between $22,572 to $33,841 (1 Million to 1.5 Million Indian Rupees). The price to buy a calf elephant was half the price of the adult. According to police, the costs to buy an elephant has risen in the past several years due to increased demand.  Some of the elephant traffickers even print up business cards in order to advertise their services.

Wildlife officials estimated that up to 25 to 30 elephants are taken out of Assam each year and sold to in the illegal wildlife trade.

(More prices of elepahnts and exotic animals for sale.)

Source: Subir Bhaumik, “India police discover elephant smuggling racket,” BBC News, November 3, 2010.

The number of wild elephants in Vietnam has dropped from more than 2,000 in the mid 1990s to between 72 to 80 in 2010 due to wildlife trafficking.

In addition, an estimated 4,000 tons of black market wildlife products pass through Vietnam each year.

Source: Cain Nunns, “Ivory trade could make Vietnam’s elephants extinct within a decade,” Guardian, September 21, 2010.

In 2010, illegal logging was estimated to make up between 40 to 55 percent of all of Indonesia’s harvested timber.

The illegal logging activity is down from the estimated 73 to 88 percent of illegally logged timber in 2007.

Source: Jennifer Macey, “Illegal loggers turn elephant protectors in Indonesia,” ABC Online, June 15, 2010.

Traffickers and poachers killed up to 60,000 elephants each year around the world in order to sell their ivory on the global black market.

Around 38,000 elephants are killed in Africa.


Source: Associated Press, “Asian Ivory Trade Poses Danger to African Elephant,” ABC News, May 15, 2010.

Wildlife trafficking of ivory in 2004 led to a kilogram being sold on the black market to be about $100. Due to wildlife poaching, in 2008 the black market price for a kilogram of ivory was as high as $1,800.

Source: Associated Press, “Asian Ivory Trade Poses Danger to African Elephant,” ABC News, May 15, 2010.

In 2004, a kilogram of elephant ivory was sold by wildlife traffickers for $200.

In 2010, the price for a kilogram of ivory increased up to $1,500 due to increased demand.

Source:  Associated Press, “Tanzania, Zambia Bid for Ivory Sales Nixed,” CBS News, March 22, 2010.