Ivory Trade Kills Elephants

The illegal ivory trade is pushing elephants to the brink of extinction. Each year, 35,000 African elephants are killed for their ivory. No species can withstand this kind of loss and survive. We care for Asian elephants at our Zoo. In the wild, Asian elephants are also under siege. There are fewer than 50,000 left.

Thanks to the efforts of the Join the STAMPede campaign and those who celebrated World Elephant Day in 2015, a near-total ban on commercial trade in African elephant ivory that was passed in the U. S. went into effect July 6, 2016.

According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), there are currently 161 African elephants and 138 Asian elephants in the AZA Elephant Species Survival Plan. That means that there are more elephants killed in three days than are living in all of the AZA-accredited zoos combined.

Every year the Zoo supports the welfare and conservation of Asian elephants in Sumatra and other countries in Asia and the conservation of African elephants in Kenya. Since 2004, the Zoo's WildCare Institute has provided nearly $332,500 to Asian elephant conservation and $795,500 to African elephants for a total of nearly $1,128,000 in contributions.

Behind the Name: 96 Elephants

96 Elephants is named for the number of elephants illegally killed each day for their ivory.

The collective 96 Elephants coalition includes the Saint Louis Zoo and more than 120 other AZA accredited zoos and aquariums, a network of business and non-profit partners, and millions of conservation advocates. This coalition is sending a clear message to decision makers that only elephants should own ivory.

Wildife Conservation Society (WCS) is leading global efforts to save Africa's elephants and end the current poaching and ivory trafficking crisis. In September 2013, WCS launched its 96 Elephants campaign (96elephants.org) to amplify and support the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) "Partnership to Save Africa's Elephants" by stopping the killing, stopping the trafficking, and stopping the demand. The WCS campaign focuses on: securing effective moratoria on domestic sales of ivory; bolstering elephant protection; and educating the public about the link between ivory consumption and the elephant poaching crisis.