There’s no doubt that elephants face a poaching crisis unlike any other in history. Criminal cartels transporting ivory continue to become more organized and more clever in the ways they elude authorities, all while funding poachers on the ground. Most recently, a wildlife survey from Botswana revealed poaching numbers are on the rise there. Early data show that more elephants have been killed this year in Botswana than what was counted during the Great Elephant Census survey of the country.

But wildlife conservationists, researchers and scientists say there’s still hope for this iconic species. We asked members of Save the Elephants, the World Conservation Society, a University of Washington scientist who uses DNA to pinpoint poaching hotspots and one of our own members of the Vulcan Wildlife team, “What gives you hope for the future of elephants?”

Conservation & Exploration Bernard Lesirin elephants Frank Pope Iain Douglas-Hamilton Lucy King Sam Wasser Save the Elephants Shana Tischler Sue Lieberman University of Washington World Elephant Day

READING LIST

On World Elephant Day: Why You Should Have Hope for Elephants

By The Editors

Innovator Profiles: Sam Wasser Knows Elephant Poop and Is Using It to Catch Poachers

By The Editors

Innovator Profiles: Lucy King Uses Bees to Keep the Peace Between Humans and Elephants

By The Editors

Remembering the Great Elephant Census on World Elephant Day

By The Editors

A Day in the Life of an Anti-Poaching Ranger -- In Pictures

By The Editors

Every Elephant Counts

By Paul G. Allen