Dr. George Wittemyer, assistant professor at CSU, has spent the past 16 years intimately studying the ecology, social structure, and habitat use of elephant populations in Samburu, Kenya. In 2009, his research took a tragic turn as a poaching epidemic fueled by demand for ivory in Asia began sweeping the region and the entire continent.
“More than 50 percent of elephant deaths in Samburu in 2011 were due to poaching, and this is affecting not just the death rate – but the entire social structure of these elephants,” said Wittemyer. “Elephants are intelligent animals with strong memories and familial bonds. When adult elephants are killed, particularly the matriarchs of families, it disrupts the entire group and leaves behind orphans that lack their normal support structure.”
Colorado State University’s “Save the Elephants” research is helping to inform policy makers and potential consumers around the world about the detrimental impacts of the illegal ivory trade on the elephant species. Your gift can help fund this continued research and efforts to stop the devastation of these majestic animals.