Ivory's tragic price – An elephant walks with her infant in the Amboseli Game Reserve in Kenya. The International Fund for Animal Welfare says 2012 had the highest toll of elephants' lives in decades. Between January and March 2012, at least 50% of the elephants in Cameroon's Bouba Ndjida National Park were slaughtered for their ivory. Most illegal ivory is destined for Asia, in particular China, where it has soared in value as an investment and is coveted as "white gold."
Ivory's tragic price – A police officer catalogs illegal ivory found in the possession of four Chinese men in Nairobi, Kenya, in January, 2013. The men pleaded guilty to smuggling thousands of dollars worth of ivory and were fined just $340 each. The loot included 40 chopsticks, six necklaces, bracelets and a pen holder, as well as raw ivory that had a black market value of $24,000 in Asia.
Ivory's tragic price – An elephant is pictured in southern Kenya. Wildlife protection groups say the number of African elephants killed for their tusks is the highest in decades, in part because of increasing prosperity and demand for ivory in China.
Ivory's tragic price – Chinese basketball star and conservationist Yao Ming looks at the carcass of an elephant killed for its tusks in Kenya.
Ivory's tragic price – A member of the Lord's Resistance Army stands guard. The group is accused of poaching elephants in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Garamba National Park and using the profits to fund terror activities.
Ivory's tragic price – A Kenya Ports Authority employee weighs ivory tusks seized by officials on January 21, 2013, in Mombasa. The value of the 638 illegal tusks was estimated at $1.5 million.
Ivory's tragic price – A man with the words "Blood Ivory" painted on his face protests in Nairobi with a group called Kenyans United Against Poaching.
Ivory's tragic price – A 5-month-old orphaned elephant called Tembo is taken for a walk by his keepers at Tony Fitzjohn's Mkomazi Rhino Sanctury in Mkomazi, Tanzania.
Ivory's tragic price – Elephants travel together at the Amboseli Game Reserve, about 200 miles outside Nairobi, Kenya.