Two perspectives on elephant poaching in Africa

"The way we treat humanity is directly tied to the fate of these elephants." There are some complicated truths about how Kenya is failing to protect its elephants against the ivory trade.

What are the consequences of the ivory?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Africa lost nearly 100,000 elephants between 2006 and 2015 from poaching. Filmmaker Jon Kasbe spent almost 4 years in Kenya documenting poaching through the eyes of an ivory dealer, “X” and a wildlife ranger, Asan, for his film When lambs become lions. “X” and Asan maintain a good relationship, despite their jobs — rangers would be out of a job without poachers.

Becoming endangered

“At the core of this, like this is about elephants. But underneath, It's really a human issue. And I think the way we treat humanity is directly tied to the way that the fate of these elephants ends up. The bush law has kind of been "if a ranger sees someone near an elephant with weapons, they can shoot them on sight, and they can shoot to kill. And there's no repercussions for that. It's interesting because both sides have very similar motivations. Everyone is trying to feed their kids. They're all trying to survive. No one is really feeling like they're coming out on top in this situation. The two sides talk a lot. They're all friends. They all know each other. And also, the two sides are very interchangeable. Poachers become rangers and rangers will sometimes go back to poaching. They're very conscious of the social and political pressure from the international world. I think when the president of Kenya burned, you know, over 150 million dollars’ worth of ivory as a symbol of having no acceptance of poaching whatsoever, it sent a shockwave through the community,” Jon Kasbe tells Brut.

Poaching in decline

Elephant hunting has been illegal in Kenya since 1973. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Africa lost nearly 100,000 elephants between 2006 and 2015 from poaching. As stated in Nature Communications a recent study found the number of elephants dying from poaching is in decline.


12/11/2019 9:13 PM


  • Roberto R.
    12/27/2019 08:02

    Don’t say we. You know as well as everyone else it’s chinese buying the ivory.

  • Ivett M.
    12/16/2019 11:51

    There is no accepable reason or excuse to hunt these animals! especially if it isn't for their meat but only for "fun". if these people can't "feed their children", should feed them with the meat of the killed animals and not just leave the carcasses to be rotten! 😡😡 Ihate this species to be always complaining and making excuses! look at other countries like Costa Rica where the government and the people recognised that nature is not only for exploitation. now they are the leading eco tourist country in the world, people and nature cohabiting.

  • Jas C.
    12/15/2019 11:10

    The best way to protect elephants is to create a market and begin eating them.

  • Clint B.
    12/14/2019 04:59

    Please shoot them poachers for killing these animals we need to stop them from selling it to the Chinese dog shit eaters

  • Vasilis T.
    12/13/2019 22:16

    This... ( humanity ) statement is an inaccurate statement, those who are responsible for destroying nature all around us simply they don't belong to humanity.. this guilt does not belong to humanity but to the monsters the rich and the corrupt system of every kind of goverment..

  • Michael Z.
    12/13/2019 16:33

    I saw a different article a while back, where the tusks of elephants were being dyed pink, to ruin the sale cost of the ivory. It doesn't hurt the elephants in any way. It does however, create a FAAABULOUS looking elephant!

  • Janina K.
    12/13/2019 13:30


  • Steven I.
    12/13/2019 11:11

    I wish we could bring some of the elephants to the United States, maybe here they could be protected

  • Marty L.
    12/13/2019 05:49

    poaching is in decline - because the animals are nearly all gone. Not due to less market or price to poachers.

  • Anna F.
    12/13/2019 04:22

    Kenya is giving to Corruption and to the Chinese for $$$$$ That is so Horrible !! :-(

  • Joy D.
    12/13/2019 02:01

    Create more jobs for the poachers so they won't have to poach anymore. And arrest and penalized those who buy ivories from them. Confiscate all ivories they're selling in the market or blackmarket.

  • Alieu S.
    12/13/2019 00:35

    Its the same powers that are crying for enviromental preservation that at the same time promote the destruction. Its a very hypocritical management of the enviromental laws and regulations. Shame to them.

  • John Q.
    12/13/2019 00:26

    If we start breeding elephants for their ivory, we’ll have a lot more of them.

  • Mario C.
    12/12/2019 21:01

    Here is another solution, how about jail to all those millionares that actually possess ivory. They are the main problem, most likely royalty is involved aswell

  • Xandhi K.
    12/12/2019 20:19

    There should be a death penalty for poachers, if even just to dissuade them.

  • Renzo Z.
    12/12/2019 19:43

    We always see the poaching --or supply aspect-- of the equation. How about the demand side ? Who is buying so much ivory and I don't mean to which country it flows but the actual final buyers in those countries

  • Domenico P.
    12/12/2019 19:39

    Non sono capaci o non lo vogliono fare...

  • Brut nature
    12/12/2019 11:12

    Watch the trailer for When Lambs Become Lions here:

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