Skip to content


Battle for the Elephants Education

Learn About the Illegal Ivory Trade and Africa's Elephants

Picture of elephants walking.

Photograph by J.J. Kelley

This collection of short videos and educational resources tells the story of the brutal slaughter of African elephants for their tusks and the market forces that are undermining the future of these charismatic and majestic land animals.

In these videos—clips from the National Geographic film Battle for the Elephants—investigative journalists Bryan Christy and Aidan Hartley take you on a journey that examines the supply and demand sides of the ivory trade. With Christy you travel to China to see the thriving ivory market and the ancient tradition of ivory carving. Hartley takes you to Africa, where he gains rare access to ivory stockpiles and goes undercover to expose the criminal ivory trade network. You also witness the devastating effects of poaching on the behavior of surviving elephants. 

Generous support for this education program provided by David H. Koch, Scott Asen, and the Charles Englehard Foundation.

Elephant Poaching and the Illegal Ivory Trade

These videos examine the illegal ivory trade, China's growing demand for ivory, and the devastating effects of poaching on Africa's elephant population.

A Natural History of the African Elephant

Explore the physical characteristics and social behaviors of the African elephant.

The Economics of the Illicit Ivory Trade

Explore the issues of supply and demand that fuel the illegal trade in ivory, and go undercover to learn about the rising prices of black-market ivory.

The History of the Ivory Trade

Trace the deadly history of the illegal ivory trade.


Trafficking Poached Ivory

Discover how smugglers move poached ivory from Africa to the Chinese market.

Craft or Species

Weigh the craft of ivory carving against the survival of elephants.

Tanzania’s Ivory Stockpile

Go behind the scenes to view Tanzania’s controversial ivory stockpile.

Altered Elephant Behavior

Poaching is causing alarming changes in the behavior of African elephants.

Partners in Elephant Conservation

Community involvement plays a key role in elephant conservation.


Learn More About the Issues

Blood Ivory: Ivory Worship

Gain insight into the factors behind the demand for ivory that fuels the slaughter of African elephants.

A Voice for Elephants

This National Geographic blog serves as a resource for information and a forum for discussion about the plight of African elephants.

Explore Africa

Africa: Physical Geography

Africa: Human Geography

Africa: Resources

All About Elephants

Elephants on the Move

During the dry season, elephants in the Mara-Serengeti must constantly search for water, facing obstacles both natural and manmade along the way. Watch this video to join a young elephant and his family on this journey.

Living with Sumatran Elephants

Elephants and humans are both ecosystem engineers on the island of Sumatra, but with both requiring large territory in the forest, coexisting has not always been easy in a rainforest with limited space and resources. Elephants play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy environment, but with humans now trying to build farms that border the forest, both species became at risk. Today, elephant trainers are beginning to work with the local animals to safely protect the forest for humans and animals alike.

Village of Elephants

Elephants along the Sangha River spend time at the Dzanga Bai, or "village of elephants," a huge clearing in the rain forest. The elephants go there for a very specific reason—watch this video to learn why.