Elephant Skin


Elephants killed for their skin

In 2016,  421kg of elephant skin was seized in Southwest China. The haul, along with multiple sightings of elephant skin in Myanmar, confirmed a devastating trade.

Cut into pieces the skin is sold on the black market, ground down to powder and promoted as a medicinal cure or, as Elephant Family investigations discovered, turned into beads for jewellery. Asian elephants are struggling to survive, they have lost 90% of their habitat in the last century – now they are being ripped from the wild for the tourist trade and their skin.

Our new report Skin for Sale: The continuing appetite for Asian elephants – published in September, 2019 – is as an update of our 2018 reports covering an 18-month period, during which we continued to monitor online marketplaces, visited key locations known for illegal wildlife trade, and engaged with national and international policy-makers. For clarity and perspective, we present our latest findings in the context of our previous research.

Our intention is not to apportion blame but to turn the spotlight onto the escalation of this crime and to call for the collaboration of governments, civil society and the wider public to tackle the issue before it threatens the survival of Asia’s elephants.

Campaign Activities

Elephant family has been contributing to undercover investigations into the illegal trade of elephant skin. The first report uncovered an increase in demand for products, the more recent report in 2019 revealed that the trade has moved online from physical markets.


Wanted Dead or Alive from Elephant Family on Vimeo.

Read further information on this abhorrent trade here

What you can do

There are a number of ways you can help:

Donate now and help Elephant Family stop skin becoming the next ivory.

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