This photo taken on December 26, 2017 shows a newborn baby elephant at the Planckendael Animal Park in Muizen. Parks likes these are sanctuary spaces for wildlife elephants especially recently with the USA ban lifted to import elephant heads into the country.
Also of note are the increasing number of African elephants now born tusk-less because poachers have consistently targeted their ivory over decades, fundamentally altering the gene pool. The change has many fearing that future generations of children might only know about elephants from books and a collective memory. Across the continent, elephant poaching is happening on an industrial scale. According to the shocking results of a study in 2014 the population of Savannah elephants declined by 30% between 2007 and 2014. There are roughly 400,000 Savannah elephants left and that number is falling by 8% per year.
The good news is there is increased opposition on the Continent to stop poachers. The collective African government has shown a political will to act against poachers and enforce justice. And public opposition to the ivory trade has grown thanks to education efforts by conservationists and local communities which is having a dramatic impact.
(Cover photo: Jasper Jacobs/AFP/Getty Images)