Conservation expert, Michael Keigwin says if the current poaching trend continues the elephant population will be wiped out in the next decade.
“The continent elephant population is in massive decline, it was not so long ago when we said if we went below a million elephants in Africa, we would be in crisis. Now we are in 400 or 500 thousands and now we have no illusion, we are in trouble. The need to be able to conserve elephants and rhinos is absolute, the need to support countries where they don’t have resources to be able to protect is absolute.”
Nearly 20 000 elephants are killed each year across the African continent, mostly as part of the illegal ivory trade.
This was revealed during the 16th annual International Elephant Conservation and Research Symposium at Bela Bela in Limpopo.
Another expert, Nikita Lyengar says the conflict between humans and elephants threatens both species.
“There is a lot of conflict arising between humans and elephants due to elephants raiding their crops and these are the livelihoods of the farmer so it is a difficult thing to tackle between humans and wildlife and it threatens both the species and humans.”