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Opinion: Hunters’ Demand for Elephant Trophies Should Not Take Precedence Over Government Accountability

Katarzyna Nowak

While positive steps have been taken by governments to protect elephants and their ecosystems, private hunting companies are working hard to undermine the potential gains.

Q&A: Landmark Report Reveals Crucial Links in the Illegal Ivory Trade

While there are effectively unlimited numbers of poachers and consumers fueling the lucrative illegal ivory market, a new report suggests that nearly all the ivory shuttled from Africa to Asia—the biggest market—is confined to as few as 200 shipping containers a year.

100,000 African Elephants Poached Since 2010, Study Finds

Ivory-seeking poachers have killed 100,000 African elephants in just three years, according to a new study that provides the first reliable continent-wide estimates of illegal kills. During 2011 alone, roughly one of every twelve African elephants was killed by a poacher.

Geography in the News: The Strangest Desert

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM The Strange Namib Desert of Africa Africa seems to always be in the news covering conflict and disease across the continent. Its wonderful physical diversity, however, provides a background that is often overlooked by the casual reader. The Namib Desert is just one of…

OPINION: My Offer to Help Kenyan Authorities Catch an Ivory Kingpin Is Spurned

World Elephant Day was celebrated around the world yesterday, with pageantry, song and dance, events and activities. Everyone was wearing grey. But for award-winning conservationist and CEO of WildlifeDirect Paula Kahumba, Elephant Day could hardly be described as “fun.” “I sat for nearly nine hours with my team in a government waiting room at the office of the Chief of Police, in Nairobi to deliver a letter…an offer to raise funds to help in the arrest of suspected ivory kingpin Feizal Ali Mohamed, who has been a fugitive since June 1.” Has her offer fallen on deaf ears?

Illegal Wildife Trafficking and the U.S.-Africa Summit

David Hayes, Former Deputy Secretary of the Interior, sheds light on key issues and opportunities facing leaders at the U.S.-Africa Summit regarding supporting their people and growing their economies by protecting their wildlife.

Family Strife

Mushara Waterhole, Etosha National Park, Namibia – Sunset began with a visit from Paula and Nadia and their fraction of the Athlete family. We saw them break the clearing from the southwest, and I rushed to get two of my volunteers out on their bunker observation rotation, but we were too late. They were coming in fast.

Ozzie on Fire Again

Mushara Waterhole, Etosha National Park, Namibia — Ozzie was on fire again Thursday, parting a sea of 14 bulls with his parade of musthy pomp until he reached his target—Mike. Mike is one of the largest bulls in our study population, and also one of the least aggressive. Why was he the focus of the young…

The Night Belonged to Ozzie

The world’s largest land creature stood on me last night—two giant feet over my head, putting me at a disturbing eye-level vantage with a dripping elephant phallus in the dark. It has occurred to me over the course of my research that an untimely end could happen to anyone studying these larger-than-life animals, but it’s not something I ever thought I’d live to tell about.

July 20, 2014 Radio Show: Making Music With Elephants, Running Hundreds of Miles Through Mountains and More

This week, on National Geographic Weekend radio show we run ultramarathons through Nepal, Switzerland and Utah’s Rocky Mountains, then we save goliath, learn safety tips about the newest bacterial threat, making music with elephants, visit the world’s largest caverns, and find some secret cities.

Time Passes at an Elephant’s Pace

Time passes at an elephant’s pace here at Mushara waterhole in the northeast corner of Etosha National Park, Namibia. The mornings are slow to materialize, a few solitary bulls drifting in like a lazy late morning gust from the northeast and then later from the southwest, each gliding through on non-overlapping paths. By early afternoon…

June 29, 2014: Refueling Satellites in Space, Sequencing the Koala Genome and More

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. This week, we walk in space to refuel a satellite, cure koalas of chlamydia, play soccer the Brazilian way, end elephant poaching in Tanzania, run out of air at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, pair scientists with adventurers, road trip through the American South, and “revisit the Golden Age of Exploration.”

Opinion: Killing of Great Tusker in Kenya Recalls Lesson From the Past

By John Heminway The killing in late May of the great tusker Satao, in Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, was another blunt reminder that no elephant in Africa is safe. A poacher’s poisoned arrow felled him, and his death was presumed to have been long and painful. Satao was thought to be the largest-tusked elephant surviving in Africa. While he…

June 15, 2014: Negotiating Elephant Truce With Armies, Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days and More

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. This week, we negotiate a truce between armies and Central African forest elephants, find common ground between jazz and physics, learn to take a cover photo for National Geographic magazine, run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 straight days, learn the National Parks Service’s most secret places, and learn about panda bear’s reproductive difficulties.

Controversy Swirls Around the Recent U.S. Suspension of Sport-Hunted Elephant Trophies

Battle lines are being drawn after the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) announcement last month to suspend import of elephant trophies from Tanzania and Zimbabwe for the remainder of 2014. The decision was spurred by the catastrophic poaching of Africa’s elephants and the fact that in these two countries, according to FWS, “additional…