Conservation Numbers You Need To Know On World Elephant Day


By Kat Lapelosa, Vocativ

Date Published
On Wednesday morning #WorldElephantDay took off across worldwide social media networks featuring a mix of both gorgeous photos on safari and statistics on poaching rates, with hopes to bring awareness to conservation and protection issues facing dwindling elephant populations around the world. African elephants are an especially vulnerable endangered species, often killed by hunters looking to profit from the lucrative, and illegal, ivory trade. In 2013, iWorry (a division of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust), released a report illuminating how much money elephants can rake in for their surrounding economies if they are allowed to live out their lives under healthy, ethical circumstances. The report contained some shocking statistics about elephant deaths, and drove home several points about how living elephants can contribute to local areas in desperate need of sustainable income.

These staggering statistics show not only how much more an elephant is worth alive than it is dead, but just how far elephant poaching affects local economies and human life in the long run.

15 minutes

How often an elephant is slaughtered by ivory poachers.

76 times more

How much more an elephant is worth alive than it is dead. An elephant tusk can sell for $21,000 on the black market, but a single living elephant can draw billions of dollars over the course of its lifetime if properly taken care of.

$22,966 per year

The amount of money tourism can accumulate per year from a single elephant. Elephants draw in visitors to national parks and wildlife refuges in many parts of Africa and Asia, providing capital to local communities in developing nations.

90 percent

The amount of elephants that Zakouma National Park in Chad has lost since 2002 due to poaching and illegal activity.


How much a healthy adult elephant could have contributed to the local economy over the course of its lifetime, had it been kept alive.


The amount of tusks collected and sold that funded terrorism by Seleka rebelswhen they overthrew the Central African Republic (CAR) government. Poachers often profit off of elephant slaughter as a means to fund human slaughter as well. In 2008 800 people were killed by Kony, whose army was likely heavily supplied with guns and ammunition paid for from dead elephants.

70 years

The average lifespan of a healthy elephant is only slightly lower than the average life expectancy of a human being (78.8). However, female elephants typically produce offspring every 3 to 5 years, meaning that the rate of reproductive activity is much slower and therefore the potential to wipe out populations in any given area is much higher.


How many elephants will die each year by poachers looking to kill for the sole purpose of selling ivory.


How much money has already been lost to tourism due to the slaughter of elephants.-