For many, finding the economic value of an elephant might be controversial, but as iworry campaign director Rob Brandford puts it, "These findings make it clearer than ever that we must recognize the value of our wildlife and environmental heritage in order to pass policies that safeguard against their destruction. Referring to wild animals as economic commodities has created controversy in the past but where policy is determined by the value of an object, its a powerful argument to convince policy makers."
The current population of elephants in Africa is unknown, but estimates place the figure at between 300,000 and 400,000. African elephants are listed as "vulnerable" on the IUCN Red List. As a species, elephants do not reach sexual maturity until at least 11 years old, can live until 70 on average and reproduce slowly meaning at the current rate of slaughter, they might be wiped out within our lifetime. They are extremely intelligent, known to mourn for dead relatives and are even able to distinguish a human's age and even ethnicity by listening to a voice.