In 1979 there were an estimated 1.3 million African elephants. A decade later, widespread poaching had reduced that figure by more than half. Just 600,000 African elephants remained.
Africa’s savannahs and forests were no longer sanctuaries for elephants; they had been turned into graveyards.
In 1989, a worldwide ban on ivory trade was approved by CITES. Levels of poaching fell dramatically, and black market prices of ivory slumped.