Ever since I witnessed my first herd of these wild, majestic animals in Africa 10 years ago, I’ve been haunted by the reality behind these numbers. Elephants are amazing, intelligent, emotional animals, so much like us, and crucial to the landscapes they call home. Elephants live in herds, feel empathy, and develop relationships that are as strong as the bonds between human family members. With each death, a baby elephant might be orphaned or a mother or father elephant might lose a young one—and the loss is felt throughout the herd. The impact is measured in tears.

These animals are in danger, and we are not winning the war against poaching. Dr. Jane Goodall said, “I’ve spent hours and hours watching elephants, and I’ve come to understand what emotional creatures they are; it’s not just a species facing extinction, it’s a massive individual suffering.”