Elephant Poaching

Bobby Burnett


All throughout Africa, there are poachers trespassing on Nationally protected land and illegally killing elephants. They are killing the elephants, cutting off their tusks and selling them primarily to China and Thailand for profit. In 2012, it was estimated 360 elephants were killed, along with the estimated 289 in 2011.


Elephant poaching occurs all over Africa, but this presentation will focus on the poaching in Kenya. The elephant poaching in Kenya occurs in the Tsavo East National Park, (seen below)a 8,500 sq. mile park, the largest ecosystem in Kenya.

Victims and Perpetrators

Victims: elephants of all shapes and sizes.

Perpetrators: Kenyan poachers. It is suspected that 10 poachers killed 12 elephants earlier in 2013. Possibly China and Thailand for having such a high demand.

  • Many people blame China, as it is the #1 buyer of ivory in the world.
  • It is common for people to be caught smuggling in ivory tusks into Hong Kong on Cargo ships.
  • In this past January, they confiscated 779 tusks in Hong Kong, worth about $1.4million

Themes of Geography going along

Human-Environment Interaction: The elephant's numbers are decreasing, that way there is less total food consumption by the population causing plants to grow greater than before.

Movement: It is very difficult to catch poachers because of the lack of roads in the preserve. The park rangers have to hunt down the poacher on foot through the thick foliage. However the poachers can easily evade the patrols in all the brush.


  • The Poaching of elephants, even off of National property, is illegal.
  • The Kenyan Wildlife Service deploys daily armed patrols into the preserve to find and suppress poachers. However the poachers can easily hide and are everywhere.

Public Opinions

  • The only people who can even justify these crime, are the poachers themselves. They are making money, so why would they not want to do this?
  • Even native/local Kenyan tribes have aided the Kenyan Wildlife Service to try to reduce poaching.

My Opinion

  • I absolutely believe it is wrong. There are other ways of earning money in the world than killing elephants.
  • I do not think the Kenyans are handling it as well as they should.


  • I think the Kenyans are spread too thin across the area. They leave a lot of open space for poachers to lie in wait for days at a time.
  • I think they need more well-trained men to go out on more patrols through the reserve.