The african Elephant is the largest land mammal.


Elephants and Humans

Unlike their cousins the Asian elephant, African elephants aren't easily domesticated.  In 2016, experts estimated that Africa's elephant population had dropped by 111,000 elephants in the span of a decade. Today, there are just 415,000 elephants across Africa, which is down from 1.3 million in the 1970s, mainly due to poaching for ivory during the 1980s.

In 1989 there was an international ban on ivory although it is still sold illegally to markets in Africa and Asia.  Although the overall number of elephants in Africa has declined, certain populations are doing so well that they have had to be culled in order to maintain the habitat where they live. Scientists are now considering contraceptives to control their numbers.

In many areas human settlements and crops have restricted the areas within which they can move.  This can bring them into conflict with humans, especially if they trample on their crops.  The Massai people, however, live in harmony with them since their staple food is cows which they keep out in the open.

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