Images of cats and dogs with the text The Humane Society of New York Since 1904

International Humane Issues


These elephant specials are not only important to watch, but highlight the stories of these remarkable creatures.

Nick Brandt

Nick, our friend for many years is an artist, photographer, activist, and guardian of the animals. He is is a Humane Society of New York Humane Medal recipient and founder of the Big Life Foundation.

Nick Brandt's work: "This Empty World" deals with the escalating destruction of the natural world at the hands of humans, showing a world where, overwhelmed by runaway development, there is no longer space for animals to survive. The people in the photos are also often helplessly swept along by the relentless tide of 'progress'. Environmental degradation will almost always affect poor rural people the most, due to the exhausted natural resources upon which they rely. So the people in this photo are not the aggressors, but like the elephants, victims of environmental degradation beyond their control.

elephant walking in dirtNick Brandt, On This Earth
Elephant facing straight aheadNick Brandt, A Shadow Falls
a man squats with two large elephant tusks held up to his headNick Brandt, Across the Ravaged Land


a man with his tracker dog

Dog Saves Elephants: How One of Big Life's New Tracker Dogs Successfully Tracked Down Elephant Poachers Armed with AK47's

By Nick Brandt / Llewellyn Dyer

The gang of Somali poachers, armed with AK47's, shot and killed two big bull elephants for their ivory on consecutive days. It was not their first, for they had been killing elephants in the area for a year. Once again, they successfully fled the scene of the crime.


Elephants walk in a line in the African grassland

Tusk & Fang

By Erika Mansourian

By some estimates, an average of 96 African elephants are slaughtered each day for the ivory trade. At the current rate of poaching an ancient species will be gone within a decade, two at most. Dogs are helping to catch the bad guys.


A group of elephants walk on the plains of Africa

Photo by Guillaume Bonn via Vanity Fair

Agony and Ivory

By Alex Shoumatoff for Vanity Fair

With tens of thousands of elephants being slaughtered each year for their tusks, raising the specter of an "extinction vortex," Alex Shoumatoff travels from Kenya to Seattle to Guangzhou, China, to expose those who are guilty in the massacre—and recognize those who are determined to stop it.


Blood Ivory

By Bryan Christy for National Geographic

In January 2012 a hundred raiders on horseback charged out of chad into Cameroon's Bouba Ndjidah National Park, slaughtering hundreds of elephants - entire families — in one of the worst concentrated killings since a global ivory trade ban was adopted in 1989. Carrying AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades, they dispatched the elephants with a military precision reminiscent of a 2006 butchering outside Chad’s Zakouma National Park. And then some stopped to pray to Allah. Seen from the ground, each of the bloated elephant carcasses is a monument to human greed. Elephant poaching levels are currently at their worst in a decade, and seizures of illegal ivory are at their highest level in years.