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November 3, 2013: How to Survive an Avalanche, Following Family History Through Asia and More

Join host Boyd Matson, as we survive potentially disastrous avalanche, swim with manta rays in Mozambique, walk the length of Africa looking for water, and follow our family tree’s roots throughout Asia.

Walking for Elephants: One Conservationist’s Journey

Jim Nyamu, a 37-year-old Kenyan research scientist, finished his 560-mile walk in Washington, D.C., last week to raise awareness about threats to elephants in the wild. He spoke to a gathering of about a hundred people in Lafayette Park opposite the White House. His finish was timed to coincide with the International March for Elephants,…

Elephant Crisis: An International March, As Warning and Call to Action

Elephants have captured the imagination of individuals across the world. Majestic beings, they have enthralled even those who may never have enjoyed close contact with them. It’s this empathy that has led thousands of people worldwide today to join the International March for Elephants organized by iworry, a campaign by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, to sound the warning that the future survival of elephants is in serious jeopardy. By Daphne Sheldrick, founder of the conservation charity.

Al Shabaab and the Human Toll of the Illegal Ivory Trade

The real boon for Al Shabaab’s ivory business is soaring demand in consuming countries, which translates into high prices. Illicit raw ivory now fetches over U.S. $1,500 per kilogram in Asia; in China the “official” cost for raw ivory is supposedly more than $2,865 per kilogram. That means higher profits for Al Shabaab—and a treasury it can use to wreak chaos. Consumers can help break that lifeline by not buying ivory.

Hippo vs. Elephant: Giants Face Off

What happens when a elephant crosses a hippo’s home turf?

The Future of Africa’s Elephants: Out with Arguments Old, In with Choices Bold

The idea that we can save elephants by selling their teeth is a flawed vision that will accelerate elephants down their current road toward near extinction, write Katarzyna Nowak and Trevor Jones, directors of the Udzungwa Elephant Project in southern Tanzania. “Elephants could be secure again, and recovering—but only if we can overcome our greed for their teeth.”

Elephants in Times Square (Watch Live)

On September 29th, elephants appeared in Times Square in New York City, in the form of a new animated billboard by eco-friendly artist Asher Jay (watch live video above). Jay told National Geographic via email, “We live in a generation where mainstream visual marketing is the language of the masses, and well-placed ad campaigns reformat…

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.

Global Partnership Formed to Save Elephants in Key Protected Areas

Leading conservation organizations joined six African countries today in a commitment to protect wild elephants in their last strongholds, reduce wildlife trafficking, and dampen consumer demand for ivory. The commitment is supported with a U.S.$80-million action plan to strengthen security for elephants in their range while investing more in intelligence networks, customs inspections, and consumer…

Why Elephants Matter

Richard Ruggiero, J. Michael Fay, and Lee White write that wildlife trafficking will receive overdue world attention this week at the United Nations General Assembly and by the Clinton Global Initiative and other elite platforms. “The ongoing slaughter of African elephants will be in particular focus, as African states and their partners seek to craft consensus on how best to save the largest land mammal from extinction.”

Breaking Bad: Poachers on the Loose in Kenya

While in Kenya this July, in Samburu County, working on a story about cheetahs, photographer Marcy Mendelson heard news of an elephant slain for its tusks. “One of the men with us was close to tears, and I was in shock at how close to this story I’d just become,” Mendelson writes.

If the Shoe Fits: Animals That Wear Boots

From penguins sporting shoes to an elephant with a prosthetic foot, check out animals that strut their stuff in booties.

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.

Singing Penis, Hearing Feet Among Nature’s Repurposed Body Parts

Elephants that hear with their feet and insects that sing with their penises are among species that repurpose their body parts.

Elephant Poachers Poison Hundreds of Vultures to Evade Authorities

Poachers lace the discarded elephant carcass with cheap poisons to kill vultures in mass. Why? Because vultures circling in the sky alert wildlife authorities to the location of poachers’ activities.