Battle for the Elephants

What is it about elephants that pull us in, that evoke an almost immediate sympathy? Is it that family is so important to them? That they take care of their young? That they play? Or is it that they are simply so big, smart and powerful? Whatever the allure, elephants are popular. And yet, in 2012, the world witnessed the greatest slaughter of elephants since an international ban on the ivory trade was first put in place in 1989. According to some sources, as many as 50,000 elephants were killed across Africa for their tusks. Who is perpetrating the wholesale slaughter of elephants? What's driving the decimation of elephant herds and why is it happening now? What happened to the ban on the trade? Now, National Geographic follows five people, each of whom is waging a battle for the elephant. Their stories reveal that this is an epic tale of supply and demand, of passion and profit, of love and loss, themes borne out in the quests of our five main characters and the many others whose paths they cross.



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