You may think the ivory market only happens in Asia, but in California alone over one thousand items were for sale in 2014, with over half being deemed illegal under federal law.
Even worse, an undercover investigation by the NRDC in 2015 found 90% of Los Angeles ivory on the market was likely from recently killed elephants.
Fortunately, in July 2016 a new California law went into effect, increasing penalties for those selling illegal ivory. It was just upheld by the courts today after a challenge by the Ivory Education Institute.
Sonje was orphaned due to poaching. She was found alone in 2012, with a fractured leg and a spear wound. She limped, and her caretakers called her Sonje as it means “lame” in a local language. Not surprisingly, she was aggressive towards humans at first. But, it only took one day before she realized these new human captors were not meaning her any harm. She began to drink milk from a bottle, and was on her way to recovery.
Video: David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust