It is no secret that Africa suffers greatly from illegal poaching. An industry fuelled by black markets and underground deals. While most ivory is destined for China (70%), other countries such as Myanmar are now playing big parts in the illegal trading and buying of ivory.
For many Asian countries, particularly China, ivory is a status symbol, a sign of prestige and ivory carving is something engraved deeply in their culture. This possibly explains why the domestic ivory sales in China were only banned in 2016.
According to the IUCN, over the last 60 years the number of elephants has declined by 70% and while China made an effort to stop the sale of ivory, the demand continued, so as a result, so did illegal poaching.
Today there are only 28,000 elephants left in Kenya. More worryingly, as of March 2021, both species of elephants, the African forest elephant and the African savanna elephant are on the endangered and critically endangered list.
While poaching still remains the number one cause of death for elephants in Kenya, there has been recent research showing there is another big contender, avocado farming.
A bullet will kill an elephant instantly, but the ever encroaching spread of farmland into wildlife corridors and surrounding conservancies puts a lot more pressure on elephants than one first thinks.
The Greater Amboseli ecosystem has arguably suffered the most with this battle. According to The Big Life foundation, 180 acres of wildlife habitat can be cleared in a matter of days for farming in this region.
Amboseli has one of Kenya's last healthy elephant populations, thanks to a number of amazing organisations that work tirelessly to protect these animals.
This year for Save The Elephants day we have partnered with one such amazing organisation known as The Amboseli Trust for Elephants.
The Amboseli Trust for Elephants aims to ensure the long-term conservation and welfare of Africa’s elephants in the context of human needs and pressures through scientific research, training, community outreach, public awareness and advocacy.
Ocean Sole’s art raises awareness for endangered species, so this year we are offering 30% off ALL our elephant sculptures for 30 days to help save these magnificent animals that are in danger of extinction.
At the end of the 30 days we will make a donation to support the amazing work of The Amboseli Trust for Elephants.
With their different approach to conversation they have managed to gather over 40 years worth of research, following some of Kenya’s great tuskers and largest herds. Groundbreaking research allows us to better understand these animals and create more tailored plans to help protect them for generations to come.
We think they do a great job.