Elephants are highly intelligent animals. They have excellent memories, have been known to use tools in the wild, and as shown in this video taken near Tarangire National Park in Tanzania, and posted by philanthropist and investor Paul G. Allen, they have even been observed mourning their dead. In the video, the elephant herd gathers around to mourn the loss a young bull (whose cause of death unknown) and as you can see, the elephants are clearly distressed.

These behaviors, which are usually considered hallmarks of human intelligence, are all proof that a higher level of thinking can be witnessed in the animal kingdom. This alone makes the plight of elephant’s in the face of poaching all the more tragic.

In Africa, the illegal ivory trade is driving elephants to extinction. It is estimated that one elephant is killed every 15 minutes for their tusks, and many scientists believe that if nothing is done to combat the ivory trade, these animals will be extinct from the wild within 20 years.

Like with humans, social structure is very important to these animals, so when one of them is killed, as we can see in this video, it has a lasting effect on the whole herd.

We can all make a difference for elephants by raising awareness of their plight. Share this post and encourage others to learn more about how the ivory trade impacts this species, check out these resources for more: