Cote d'Ivoire National football team star and captain of Manchester City FC, Yaya Toure and footballers at a World Cup qualifier match between Cote d'Ivoire and Morocco made a strong statement against the illegal killings of elephants in Africa on Saturday.
Yaya Toure, said, "Time is running out for African Elephants. The surge in the killing of elephants in Africa and the illegal trafficking in other threatened species will not only threaten the animals, but will affect the livelihoods of millions who depend on tourism for a living," adding, "Wildlife crime is a serious threat to the security, political stability, economy, natural resources and cultural heritage of many countries. We need to come together to take action against the illegal trade in wildlife across Africa and across the world."
Increased poaching and loss of habitats are threatening the survival of African elephant populations. The UN estimates that over 17,000 elephants were illegally killed in monitored sites in 2011 alone. Overall figures may be much higher Even previously secure populations, like in East Africa, are now under threat.