The elephant is an icon of the animal kingdom and one of the world’s most intelligent, emotionally complex living creatures. Elephants form close ties and appear to understand death. They are the world’s largest surviving terrestrial animals and are considered a keystone species in the environments in which they are found, forming an important relationship with their local ecosystems.
At least 33,000 elephants are now being killed each year in a devastating wave of poaching that is sweeping across Africa. This equates to one elephant every twenty minutes. Gangs of organized criminals and corrupt businessmen ship ivory around the world, arming groups, such as the notorious Al Shabaab, using the illicit gains from ivory to finance terrorism and wars.
You can do something about it by donating directly to the Elephant Crisis Fund.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has worked closely with Save the Elephants and the Wildlife Conservation Network to creative a ground-breaking initiative called the Elephant Crisis Fund to address the current ivory crisis by supporting an array of over 20 projects in 3 areas:
Anti-poaching — reducing poaching of elephants across Africa, including training anti-poaching staff, providing tools and aircraft to support those personnel, and creating innovative community engagement with clear anti-poaching outcomes.
Anti-Trafficking — stopping trafficking of ivory at national, regional and global scales, including judicial reform and anti-trafficking tools such as sniffer dogs, training, forensic technologies.
Demand Reduction — decreasing demand for ivory in Asia through media and policy outreach.