By Hannah Osborne
One elephant in Africa is slaughtered every 15 minutes to supply the demand for ivory, a rate that will result in the species becoming extinct in 12 years.
Dame Daphne Sheldrick, a conservationist from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust based in the Nairobi National Park, said Kenyan authorities seized four-and-a-half tonnes of ivory in the last two raids, showing the extent of the illegal trade in Africa.
Speaking on World Elephant Day, she said elephants becoming extinct in just over a decade is a "real possibility" if action is not taken to curb the number of animals being killed.
"Today is World Elephant Day but in 12 years' time there may not be any elephants left in Africa to celebrate," She said, according to the Metro.
"A world without elephants is hard to comprehend, but it is a real possibility. Against a submachine gun or poacher armed with a spear, they stand little chance."
Demand for ivory is being spurred by demand in East Asian countries. It is estimated that 36,000 African elephants were slaughtered last year to feed the illegal trade.
"Don't buy ivory," Sheldrick said. "That means all ivory, be it antique or pre-ban, in the UK or on holiday.
"Buying ivory only serves to fuel a trade which results in more senseless deaths of these beautiful animals. We can't let man-made extinction be the end of this iconic species. More....