Natasha Balletta Photography | 100 Elephants Per Day Loose Their Life To Ivory Trade

100 Elephants Per Day Loose Their Life To Ivory Trade

As there is still a demand for ivory tusks, everyday 100 elephants per day loose their life and are poached for their ivory every 15 minutes which is shocking and very sad. The elephant population has declined by 50% in Asia. Due to things such as habitat destruction and being poached for their ivory they are critically endangered. These are some of the reasons why these special mammals could become extinct, the EU have recently confirmed elephants could be extinct within 25 years due to the ivory trade. It has been announced that China are banning the sale of ivory trade by the end of 2017 which is great news and will hopefully help the survival of the species. Elephants play an important role and help to maintain forest for other species. When it is dry season they use their tusks to dig for water which not only helps them, it provides water for other animals that live in the same area. Another way elephants are good for helping animals is whilst they look for food they make gaps in vegetation where plants grow which helps to create pathways for smaller species.

In 2012 and 2013 Bala and Hari were born into the Hi Way Elephant Family at Chester Zoo, I got attached to them during my visits to the zoo. They had a close bond and spent a lot of time together, it was always hard to tear myself away from them. Unfortunately Bala and Hari passed away from the Elephant Endotheliotopic Herpes Virus, the virus affects young elephants around the world. When I heard the news I was so upset as I had become so attached to them through my zoo visits the past few years. Since 2015 the Elephant Family have had 3 more elephant calves born into their herd including Nandita, Indali and Aayu which is great news as they play an important role in Chester Zoo's Conservation Organisation. I went to visit them in March 2017, I could have spent all day with Nandita, Indali and Aayu as they have such playful characters.

One of the Organisations that does great work is Chester Zoo's conservation organisation Act for Wildlife, they fund projects in the UK and overseas including teaching people to live with elephants in their natural habitat. The past 10 years they have been working in India to help people and elephants live together. Through their projects they hope to protect wild elephants. One of their campaigns is We Never Forget in memory of Bala and Hari from Chester Zoo who unfortunately passed away from the Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus. Through the campaign they are funding research to try and help elephants in zoos and the wild so less are affected by this horrible disease. In the future they hope to find a cure for the virus. For more information please visit their website

Below are a few of my favourite photos of Bala and Hari and Nandita and Indali from Chester Zoo