The International Union for Conservation of Nature has currently listed the Asian elephants as endangered due to the fact that there's been a 50% decline in their population within the last sixty years.
The Asian elephant species grows to an average height of eight feet which is relatively small when compared to their African relatives, who grow to an average height of 10-15 ft tall. And the tiniest Asian elephant of all is the Bornean pygmy which reaches an average height of two feet!
Not long ago in Sabah, Malaysia, two dead Bornean elephants were discovered with their tusks removed. One of the tiny elephants was named Sabre and he'd recently been the focus of scientists as well as the media due to his uniquely shaped tusks during the months that lead up to his extermination.
The increase in interest for the Asian elephant tusks is being attributed to their scarcity as well as their more expensive market value by both conservationists and investigators alike. Making their elusive ivory that much more expensive is the fact that only the male Asian elephants have tusks.
The primary destination for the illegal ivory products is China and even though they've promised to pass legislation banning the trade of ivory in their country by the end of the year, conservationists are doubtful as to their effectiveness in enforcing the laws.
Because of their unusually small size and their limited geographical range, Bornean elephants have become the most endangered elephant species. And though historically excessive deforestation and habitat destruction caused by human activity have been the main enemies of these tiny animals, the most imminent threat today has officially become poaching.
Just knowing that even the world's tiniest elephants are now being specifically targeted for their tiny tusks tells us everything we need to know about the growing reach of the brutal worldwide ivory crisis.
Take a look at the video below to see these amazing little creatures in their natural environment:
What a heartbreaking tragedy it is that these incredible little animals are being systematically hunted down and killed for the sole purpose of taking their one tiny possession and selling it to be made into trinkets and jewelry! It's absolutely infuriating!
What do you think about these special little creatures and the new dangers threatening them?
Let us know in the comments below and please make sure to 'SHARE' this story with family and friends on Facebook to help shine a light on this senseless slaughter!