Elephant Ecologist Mike Chase is the founder of “Elephants Without Borders,” a project aimed at counting all of Africa’s savannah elephants from the air. The number of dead elephants they are finding is truly frightening. In just 2 days, they counted the remains of more than 20 elephants in a small area.
It is estimated that nearly 20 million elephants existed previously. Now, that number has drastically dropped to only 352,271. The population has plummeted by 75% due to poachers hunting family herds. Every elephant killed is only earning the poachers just a few hundred dollars for their tusks, and the profits are typically going to organized crime gangs.
The Botswana Defense Force has deployed over 700 specially trained soldiers who are armed and ready to protect these elephants under a shoot-to-kill policy. But the task at hand is still very difficult because most of the poachers are ex-Zambian special forces that are equipped with high caliber weapons.
Chase and his team are doing everything they can to save these beautiful animals. The sad truth as of now is that there are more elephants being killed than there are being born.