Why Do Poachers Kill Elephants?

African and Asian elephants are most often killed by poachers for their ivory tusks. According to CNN, conservation group estimates state that 30,000 elephants are killed annually for their tusks. As of 2014, elephant populations have dropped by as much as 62 percent over the previous decade.

The upper incisors protruding downward from the animal's skull are comprised primarily of dentine, which is used to make chopsticks, hair accessories, jewelry, ornaments and many other items. Ivory tusks often sell for thousands of dollars. In China, the largest market for illicit ivory trade, the price of ivory tripled from 2010 to 2014.