The Bronx Zoo, together with the Wildlife Conservation Society are going all out to beat a world record as part of their elephant poaching awareness campaign. The Zoo has been collecting origami elephants from all over the world in an effort to better the previous Guinness World Record held by the ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in London. The current record stands at 33,764 origami, the New York Daily News tells it's readers.

Zoos are often vilified by animal activists, but the Bronx Zoo believes they contribute much to the welfare of animals across the world.

In fact, their Website states that their conservationists are "working tirelessly to save wild animals and wild places across four continents and four oceans."

USA - one of the largest illegal ivory markets in the world

The Conservation Society who run the Zoo, have done a good job of getting the word out about the plight of elephants that are being poached for their ivory in Africa. John Calvelli, the executive vice president of public affairs for the Wildlife Conservation Society feels it is fitting that a US Zoo in New York should focus on the ivory trade as,“The United States has one of the largest illegal ivory markets in the world.” The elephant origami challenge was a way to introduce an "interesting" and "different" approach to wildlife awareness.

Origami arrived from places as far as Kazakhstan, he told the NYDN

Illegal poaching of elephants on the rise

Although literally hundreds of thousands of elephant origami arrived at the zoo. The best of the best, which totals 85,000 origami pieces will be examined by judges to see that they fit all the criteria for the world record.

The cause is a good one and very timely, as in 2014, a study revealed that over 100,000 elephants had been poached for their ivory in Africa in just three years. Poaching fact - Truth from the Frontline, reveals that despite efforts to stop poaching, it is on the rise. In the Kruger National Park in South Africa, 22 elephants were killed within the park during 2015, and this year the figure is already above 36 dead animals. In Central Africa, they report that illegal poaching of elephants has now reached unsustainable levels.