In 1989, Discovery Channel helped expose a devastating situation in Africa with the world premiere of Ivory Wars. Along with widespread reporting from the international media, this landmark television documentary helped shed light on the severity of the elephant poaching situation in Africa.
The response was powerful and immediate. That same year, the international ivory trade was banned by CITES (the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species). Ivory prices plummeted as demand lessened, and elephant populations were given a chance to recover. But in recent years, the picture has changed.
Despite a 23-year international ban on trade in ivory, Africa’s elephants are once again under siege. These intelligent and vulnerable creatures are being killed in increasingly large numbers for their ivory tusks, with much of it going to the Far East — especially China — where demand is very high.