About 98% of the female elephants are now showing up without tusks. There were only 2% – 6% born on average a few years ago. Poachers target the elephants with tusks for the best ivory and now that they have been doing this for so long, they have altered the gene pool. In the past ten years they have slaughtered so many elephants that a third of Africa’s elephants have disappeared. The demand for ivory in Asia has increased especially in China.
In the years 2007 to 2014 poachers have killed about 144,000 elephants which could cause the extinction of elephants in some regions. Researchers have warned that the elephant population in Africa may become tusk less like their Asian cousins.
Researchers have found that 30% of the female elephants born after the Mozambique civil war were born without tusks. When these females give birth to daughters they will also be without tusks. They discovered that even the ones with tusks had very small tusks which is about half the size of previous elephant tusks.
Poaching may come to a halt but without tusks elephants may have a hard time finding food and water. They will also not be able to move trees around since they use their tusks for this maneuver.