The numbers tell an alarming story. More than 60 African elephants were slaughtered every day in 2012 to feed the illegal ivory trade. Within a two-year period, 100,000 elephants were killed.

Why is this happening? “White gold” — a kilogram of ivory can sell for more than $3,000 on the black market, and criminals want these profits. The Washington Post helps explain why time is running out for these majestic and highly intelligent creatures.

How can you help fight the ivory trade?

  • Educate your friends and family. Some people don’t know the horrifying truth behind the illegal ivory trade. An International Fund for Animal Welfare survey in China revealed that 70 percent of people thought ivory fell out naturally, like a tooth.
  • Take part in a global march for elephants on October 4 in a participating city close to you.
  • Enter the Ivory Challenge. Propose your idea of how to turn 6 tons of ivory crushed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service into educational tools that raise awareness of the illegal wildlife trade.
  • Pledge not to buy or sell objects made of ivory, and encourage peers to join you. You can even sign online petitions.
  • Know where your government stands. The U.S. government believes the illegal ivory trade is a conservation and global security threat, and has a National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking.
  • If your organization conducts wildlife conservation programs, consider applying for a grant from these conservation funds.