Kerry's trip was more than just a photo-op with elephants. As Secretary of State, he's made it part of his mission to combat wildlife trafficking internationally - one of the biggest threats to this iconic species:
"Slaughters of wildlife have grown exponentially," Kerry wrote on the Huffington Post. "The scale, pace, and sophistication of elephant and rhino poaching are accelerating at a devastating pace. Not only are these majestic animals disappearing before us, as poachers grow in sophistication and firepower, this explosion in trafficking undermines the stability and security of range states, and imperils those whose livelihoods depend on these great creatures and ecosystems.
"We do not have the luxury of time. We must act urgently and raise public awareness."