In 2016, 421 kg of elephant skin was seized in Southwest China. The haul, along with multiple sightings of elephant skin in Myanmar, confirmed a devastating trade.
Elephants are being killed and stripped of their skin.
Cut into pieces the skin is sold on the black market, ground down to powder and promoted as a medicinal cure or, as Elephant Family investigations discovered, turned into beads for jewellery. Asian elephants are struggling to survive, they have lost 90% of their habitat in the last century – now they are being ripped from the wild for the tourist trade and their skin.
THERE IS STILL TIME
TO STOP THIS VILE TRADE
This might be the first time you’ve heard about the skin trade – this needs to change – we need to spread the word.
While we continue to tackle the live trade in baby elephants, the increase in trade for elephant skin continues to add to the myriad threats facing these animals. A threat with the potential to create enormous ripple effects on an already endangered wild Asian elephant population of less than 50,000.
In 2016, at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), we let international decision-makers know what is going on in their countries and made the case for protection. But today, the trade continues. And, as legal ivory markets close, a different trade once again threatens the survival of Asia’s elephants.
TRACK THE TRADE
ELEPHANTS WANTED DEAD
Asian elephants are killed for their skin
Fresh elephant skin is transported to black markets across Asia
It is chopped into pieces and sold on the black market, used for medicinal purposes
Or transformed into beads for jewellery
ELEPHANTS WANTED ALIVE
Baby elephants are ripped from the wild
Kept alive and smuggled to tourist camps
Many are even forced to perform