There's little doubt that illegal elephant hunting is devastating to wild elephants; the African elephant population has dropped from several million at the turn of the century to roughly 500,000 today, largely due to the ivory trade. It's estimated that 100,000 were killed between 2010 and 2012 alone.
But the human toll is often vastly underestimated. Many poachers have ties to criminal organizations, including narcotics cartels and even terrorist groups, throughout Africa and Asia, which are inherently dangerous to the men affiliated with them.
But it's also dangerous to men like these, who were innocent people who just wanted to save elephants. Instead, the death toll for poaching just got a little bit higher.