Working to save highly endangered species here in Rhode Island and across the globe is a major focus in our conservation work. In 2015, we signed on in support of 96 Elephants, a worldwide campaign started by the Wildlife Conservation Society to help raise public awareness of the increased rate of African elephant poaching.
In 1980 there were 1.2 million elephants in Africa. By 2012, only 420,000 remained. If allowed to continue at its current rate of 96 elephants killed every day, the world will see the end of this magnificent species. Equally critical is the rate of killing rhinoceros for their horns.
The fact is sales of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horns bring millions of dollars to the criminals who ruthlessly harvest them. Though there are federal laws restricting import, export and interstate sale of ivory, this has not been enough to stop the killing. Several states have passed laws to ban the sale of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn, and products made from those animal parts.
- Be an elephant aware consumer. Don't buy, sell or wear ivory or other wildlife products.
- Buy elephant-friendly coffee and wood. Coffee and timber crops are often grown in plantations that destroy elephant habitats. Make sure to buy Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified timber and certified fair trade coffee.
- Get involved with Roots & Shoots, Roger Williams Park Zoo's youth program created to incite positive change.
- Use your love of elephants to become a powerful advocate for these great creatures and spread the word!
We encourage everyone to learn more about elephant conservation efforts supported by the Zoo both locally and around the world.
Please also consider signing the 96 Elephants petition to end the sale of ivory worldwide. Sign Here.