National Geographic
Menu

Christina Russo

Christina Russo is a freelance journalist. For nearly 15 years, she has worked as a producer for a number of public radio programs, including NPR/WBUR’s "On Point" with Tom Ashbrook. Christina also freelances for Yale Environment 360, where her written work focuses mainly on wildlife conservation issues. She is the co-producer, with WBUR, of the nationally syndicated documentary on American zoos, From Cages to Conservation. She has written numerous articles about animals, including a story about caring for donkeys in Ethiopia; a veterinarian saving horses in Sonoma County, CA; an elephant sanctuary in northern Thailand; and the work of pre-eminent whale biologist Roger Payne for her hometown newspaper, The Gloucester Daily Times.

Gabon: Ground Zero for Forest Elephants

There’s simply no way other way to begin this story: The future for Africa’s forest elephant (Loxodonata cyclotis) is exceedingly dire. The battle to protect this “hidden elephant” from unremitting slaughter is being lost to a more aggressive and merciless demand for the animals’ ivory. Or as Richard Ruggiero, Africa branch chief at the US…

Mourning the Loss of a Great Elephant: Torn Ear

A beloved, venerable African elephant named Torn Ear was killed in Kenya on February 7 by poachers who shot him with poisoned arrows. Richard Bonham discovered Torn Ear’s fatal injury while observing him at a watering hole. Bonham is the co-founder and the African operations director of the wildlife conservation organization, Big Life Foundation. He…

Au Revoir: France Crushes its Ivory

France has now joined a growing number of other countries—including the United States and China—in destroying its stockpile of ivory. More than three tons of ivory was pulverized at Champs de Mar at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. The ivory stash was worth more than one million dollars, and was comprised of 698 individual…

The Fate of Forest Elephants: Andrea Turkalo Shares Her Experiences, Insights—and Concerns

Andrea Turkalo is Associate Conservation Scientist at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and cofounder of Cornell University’s The Elephant Listening Project at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, in Ithaca, New York. Turkalo is considered the leading expert on Africa’s reclusive and lesser understood forest elephants. She’s been studying them for more than two decades at…

Success and Tragedy: IFAW’s Project to Relocate Elephants in Côte d’Ivoire

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) recently completed an ambitious project: translocating six forest elephants in Côte d’Ivoire. The elephants—all males—were transferred from small patches of forest just outside the town of Daloa, to Azagny National Park, a 46,000-acre park 250 miles away. The move was considered exceedingly risky: possibly the first-ever forest elephant…

Elephants in the Media: A Conversation with Melissa Groo

Since 2001, elephant conservationist Melissa Groo has been managing the Save the Elephants listserv, a free news service that disseminates daily news about elephants from around the world. Save The Elephants (STE) is a Kenya-based international conservation organization founded by preeminent scientist Iain Douglas-Hamilton, who has been working across Africa on behalf of elephants since…

The Silent Crisis: Vietnam’s Elephants on the Verge of Extinction

As the slaughter of the remaining elephants in Africa continues without interruption, elephants in Vietnam—without media attention and a pack of NGOs calling for their protection—are quietly disappearing. Victim of an intensely and increasingly fragmented habitat, weak environmental laws, human-elephant conflicts, logging, and poaching, elephants in Vietnam are teetering on extinction. According to some reports,…

African Parks Partners With Chad to Combat Elephant Poaching

In a week of wildlife conservation announcements coming out of New York, including CGI’s commitment to spend $80 million fighting elephant poaching, and the merge between Rare and The Nature Conservancy, the nonprofit organization African Parks (AP) added its news to the mix: African Parks is partnering with the government of Chad to launch the first national program to combat elephant poaching in central Africa.

An Elephant Orphanage in Zambia Struggles Against the Odds

The ongoing slaughter of Africa’s elephants has left tens of thousands of elephants dead. Teased out of these numbers are entire families: mothers, aunts, sisters, cousins, fathers, and brothers. Some of them, of course, are babies.