Why Ivory Free?

The Facts about Ivory
& Rhino Horn Poaching


An elephant dies approximately every 15 minutes at the hands of a poacher. Between 2010 and 2012, 100,000 elephants were killed for their ivory, and all five rhino species are threatened with extinction, with merely 28,000 rhinos remaining worldwide. Poaching to satisfy the demand for ivory and rhino horn is the cause of these population crises.


Elephant and rhino poaching is a brutal, bloody practice. Animals are chased with helicopters and shot down with military-grade weapons. Tusks and horns are harvested by cutting off the faces of the sometimes still-living animals. Babies are often killed for their tiny stubble of tusk or horn.


We may see extinctions within our lifetimes. Scientists estimate some populations of the African elephant will be extinct within the next few decades if poaching continues at current rate. The African forest elephant, which plays a critical role in fighting climate change by promoting forest growth, is predicted to be extinct with 10 years. Black rhinos have experienced a 96% population decline since 1970. Fewer than 4,800 members of the species remaining today.


Wildlife trafficking, an escalating global crisis, is fueled in part by the U.S. ivory market — which is among the top markets globally. Massachusetts plays a significant role in this deadly market 


The worldwide illegal ivory trade has more than doubled since 2007 and tripled since 1998, driven by an international demand for ivory trinkets and status symbols.


Poaching is a national security issue. Extremist groups and terrorist organizations are often involved in wildlife trafficking, using it to finance their military operations. Wildlife trafficking is among the top 5 criminal markets worldwide alongside narcotics, weapons, human trafficking, and counterfeiting.