On the continent of Africa it’s estimated that 100 elephants die every single day. While some deaths are natural—old age, disease, an unfortunate encounter with a pride of lions—a large portion of the elephant’s disappearance can be blamed squarely on human beings. Between rogue farmers’ shotguns and ivory crazed poachers, the massive pachyderms are dying. In 2011 an estimated 40,000 elephants were illegally killed. One number that’s not so accessible is the number of live elephants in Africa. For the sake of conservation, the Great Elephant Census is trying to to fill that void.
We've always been taught that elephants are an endangered species. But some areas of Africa are experiencing problems with elephant overpopulation, which poses a threat to the ecosystem, animal biodiversity, and ultimately to humans. There are some controversial population-control methods, but what is the most environmentally friendly answer?