Ivory’s Curse

Is it serious?

Some people think not.

Some people think there is no ivory crisis.

Some countries still want to trade ivory……. and some people doubt that the ivory trade is master-minded by organised crime with links to revel militias and the like.


- From Sudan, government-allied militias complicit in the Dafur genocide fund their operations by poaching elephants hundreds of miles outside North Sudan’s borders.

- In East Africa, al-Shabaab and Somali criminal networks are profiting off of Kenyan elephants killed by poachers using weapons leaked from local security forces.

- In Tanzania, political elites have aided the industrial-scale depletion of East Africa’s largest elephant population.

These are just some of the findings of a stunning, provocative, comprehensive and disturbing report Ivory’s Curse authored by C4ADS and sponsored by Born Free USA.

The scourge of elephant poaching has reached crisis – historically shocking – levels, with an estimated 35,000 to 50,000 elephants poached per year.  As a result, certain populations of African elephants are now vulnerable to extinction and may not withstand these poaching thresholds much longer.  And, when these elephants disappear, if ivory markets are not eliminated, demand will lead poaching operations further south, attacking the southern African elephant populations as well.

I’ve been fighting the ivory trade since 1989 and Born Free has been at the forefront of the campaign ever since.  We know how dangerous and bloody the ivory business is and it is not just elephant lives that are being lost – a thousand rangers have been killed in the last ten years, poachers (expendable as far as the criminal networks are concerned) often have lost their lives, widows and orphan children remain behind.  It’s disgusting.  It’s a disgrace.  And it’s time it stopped!

We know what to do.  There is a plan and if the powers that be need yet more evidence then they should read Ivory’s Curse – and act!

Blogging off


10 Responses to “Ivory’s Curse”

  1. Gill Gilbey Says:

    surely to stop the poachers it is necessary to stop the demand for ivory.What about severe sanctions and boycotts against the main perpetrators.World leaders and elected governments are not doing enough.

  2. Audrey Peacocke Says:

    This is disgusting and needs to be stopped now. Elephants should not be sacrificed to feed the greed of some government militia and criminals. We need to do dome thing now!

  3. Laura McGowan Says:

    For the life of me, I will never understand why the powers that could stop this madness, won’t. Frankly, I do not want to live in a world that allows ANY animal to be murdered to the point of extinction, but elephants are even more special. These magnificent animals are so family-oriented, intelligent, sentient beings and do not deserve such horrific endings. So much pain endured by the orphans left behind after witnessing the brutal murder of their beloved mother and family members. Many of these innocent victims will not survive because they lose the will to live after the traumatic event. And who can blame them? Where are the powerful humans who could stop this insanity?!! Are there any? Or are they all just greedy bastards with no regard for life? It leaves me depressed and despairing that I cannot do more to save them. I openly grieve, sobbing hysterically when I read or view the atrocities brought to these sentient creatures by humans. I would literally give my life to save them and all the unfortunate victims of HUMAN greed and exploitation. What a horrible world we live in. My heart is broken…

  4. Paul Cherriman Says:

    There needs to be an international armed force not connected to the corrupt militia that are arming the poachers from inside these countries to police the areas where these endangered Elephants live.
    If you look at the situation in Somalian waters where there was a big problem with pirates,once military ships were deployed these criminals knew the game was up.The same thing needs to be done here and poachers caught in the act shot dead as a warning to others.

  5. Priya Maeva Says:

    When will they stop :( the governments really need to do more to stop these demons, catch and punish them.

  6. Dave and Rita Cross Says:


    We feel the same way you do! With all of the abuse in our world, it is easy to lose faith in our fellow man! Sadly, greed and ignorance play a huge part in all of this. And the apathy of governments is, in itelf, a tragedy! These governing bodies could make such a lasting difference in the current problems animals are faced with! I continually ask myself why it is so very difficult for people to see the suffering and still do nothing to change it! As an avid animal right’s activist who writes and sign tons of letters and petitions and supports many animal organization worldwide, I do see progress as slow as it is! We are making a difference and know that it will continue as long as we work hard to make it happen!

    We must educate people about the abuses and exploitation that is rampant around the world! There are hundreds of thousands of animal lovers everywhere who want new laws and more stringent current laws to deal with this serious problem. Vanity and selfishness also play a large part in all of the abuse when it come to wearing real fur products, the use of down comforters and pillows, eating foie gras, the desire for elephant ivory, rhino horns, etc., etc!

    Some people may not take me up on this and that’s OK, but I truly believe that prayer solves a multitude of problems! I pray for the uneducated and ignorant, the cruel, the greedy and the vain people in this world! I believe that is one big reason we are seeing progress when it comes to animal welfare!

    Like you, I wish like anything I could go into all animal labs and release all the suffering that goes on there 24/7! I wish I could find all the animal poachers, get them prosecuted and punished for their misdeeds! I wish I could take all the geese and ducks that are abused for their diseased livers! I wish I could go into every fur farm and release the animals who are often skinned alive for their fur!
    My list could go on and on as you well know, but speaking out like this really gives me the impetus to continue doing what I do daily for as long as I am able!

    Just remember that most people are good and believe in the welfare for animals! If I did not believe that, I would have given up my dedication a long time ago! So, write, donate, call, demonstrate and keep the faith!

  7. Ann Lewis Says:

    I have no need to read the report. I know already about the tragic situation of the African elephant. Much has been said about it and so far, very little of significance has actually been done. The DEMAND for ivory is obviously the key, we all recognise that, but no government that I know of has yet taken a SIGNIFICANT stand. Why are the people with the power to DO something so reluctant to act? It must be for fear of upsetting Trade Agreements and losing out on the money involved. This is such a short term concern compared with the imminent loss of an entire species. Come on, Governments! Impose sanctions, ban ivory imports and sales of any and ALL ivory products EVERYWHERE. Words are not enough – ACTIONS are required immediately.
    When the elephants are all gone, future generations are going to despise us for allowing this to happen, sitting back and watching – and all in the name of GREED.
    PUBLICISE the situation, make it plain to EVERYONE, not just the few who actually know about elephants and above all, ACT and put some muscle into the action by hitting the Ivory Trade where it hurts most – in the pocket!

  8. Elizabeth Bronsdon Says:

    Dear Laura, I echo your sentiments . I do what I can to educate people I come across, here in my adoptive city of Helsinki. Friends, students, colleagues. It all feels hopeless, but that isnt the spirit, I know. I too despair, and quite frankly despise this world we’ve created. Change must come.

  9. Vivienne Hudson Says:

    Elephants, a beautiful gracious animal who have deep feelings for their families. How anyone could hurt these gorgeous creatures fails me. Just look at how amuzing the tiny ones can be, then STOP think what are we doing? what have we done? What is the governments doing????. Look into the eyes of a heartbroken elephant who has watched its mother or family member killed. These poor defenceless animals. Watching and learning about these very large animals can be so pleasing and humbling. I have loved elephants as far back as I can remember which is half a century. For goodness sake stop this horrible act of torture, STOP pleasing people and START pleasing these lovely animals.

  10. DAVID &PAUL Says:

    we have already experienced these pachyderms being executed by the greed poachers and we believe there exist a corrupt hand from some government officials.it is horrible to see mammals being eliminated to sustain a few individuals appetite.it is sad and hard to imagine a life which has been existing millenniums being wiped out in hours,truly we human have lost sanity.