Journalist Bryan Christy Plants GPS Device In Elephant Tusks And What Happened Next Was Unbelievable

Elephants under threat.

Journalist Bryan Christy Plants GPS Device In Elephant Tusks And What Happened Next Was Unbelievable

Bryan Christy, a journalist with National Geographic, was shocked when he found that population of elephants in central Africa fell drastically by 64% in last one decade. 

In a bid to find out how 30,000 elephants were killed every year, Bryan came out with a unique idea that landed him in jail. His investigative story first appeared on internet on September 12, 2015.

 Scroll down to know about Bryan's efforts.

Poachers killed 30,000 elephants every year to meet demand of ivory.

Tusks of elephant

Bryan thought of implanting GPS device in fake tusks to track their journey.


So, he searched people who could make fake tusks that looked real. 

Elephant tusk

Christy's search ended when he met a taxidermist who worked at museum exhibitions.

Bryan, taxidermist and their team made the tusks which looked real.


When traveling with the tusks for further investigation, Bryan was caught at the Tanzania airport.

Later, he implanted GPS devices in the tusks to trace how were they smuggled. As he watched on Google Maps, he came to know that they were taken to South Sudan.

Later, the GPS device indicated that tusks were buried underground.

Cover story for National Geographic, titled 'Tracking Ivory'.

Nationl Geographic

In his story, Bryan shared his experience and knowledge about poached tusks, and how smuggled tusks helped to fund terrorists' organisations.

In his story, Christy writes: 

Poached tusks

"Poorly equipped park rangers try to defend poachers. In central Africa, as I learned firsthand, something more sinister is driving the killing: Militias and terrorist groups funded in part by ivory are poaching elephants, often outside their home countries, and hiding them in national parks. They're looting communities, enslaving people, and killing park rangers who get in their way." 

Large volume of ivory end in China!

Elephant with long tusks

During course of investigations, Bryan Christy found that ivories landed in China, where the price of ivory-made chopsticks was in thousands of dollars.

The world may take inspiration from Bryan Christy's 'fake tusks' idea.


Did you like Bryan Christy's spirit to save African elephants?