The largest extant land mammal on earth, the African elephant may weigh up to eight tons, live to be more than 60 years of age and is one of the world’s most intelligent and charismatic animals. They are distinguished by their massive body, large ears and a long trunk, which has many uses ranging from its use as a hand to pick up objects, a horn to trumpet warnings, an arm raised in greeting and a hose for drinking and bathing. Led by matriarchs, elephant families are organized into complex social structures of females and calves, while male elephants tend to live in bachelor herds or isolation. They use a complex combination of both verbal and non-verbal methods to convey messages, a language we are only beginning to understand and appreciate. > Once numbering in the millions and ranging across much of Sub-Saharan Africa the best estimates of the current African elephant population indicate that no more than 450,000 – 700,000 are alive today. The most comprehensive survey of elephant poaching to date suggests more than 100 African elephants are killed each day by poachers seeking ivory, meat and body parts, that 100,000 were illegally killed between 2010 and 2012 and the price of ivory in some Asian countries has tripled to $1,500 per pound. Unless the world’s conservation and political organizations can curtail this slaughter, it is highly likely all of Africa’s free ranging elephant populations will be wiped out within the next ten years. > Please note: some pictures in this presentation are quite graphic. Viewer desecration is advised.