"A single elephant can yield 10kg of ivory with a market value of about $30000," said Will Travers of the Born Free Foundation, "and the trade itself is worth as much as a billion dollars a year." Not only this, but poaching and the ivory trade have been connected to arms trafficking and terrorism, most notably the group Al Shabaab.
There are ways to help stem the tide of poaching, though. Wildlife tourism is a promising option (though it's not without its caveats).
Kenyan wildlife expert Jonathan Scott told Zimbabwe's TIMES Live:
"When people ask me, 'How can we help?', I say: 'By taking a safari.' Wildlife-based tourism pays the bills that keep the game parks and their wildlife secure. Without the tourist dollars you might as well hand over all the remaining wildlife to the poachers."
You can also support groups that are helping to stop poaching like the International Anti-Poaching Foundation, WildAid and Save The Elephants, and pledge below never to support the ivory trade by buying ivory products.