The African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) is a forest-dwelling species of found in the . It is the smallest of the three species of elephant, but still one of the largest living terrestrial animals. The African forest elephant and the , L. africana, were considered to be one species until genetic studies indicated that they separated an estimated 2–7 million years ago. From an estimated population size of over 2 million prior to the colonization of Africa, the population in 2015 is estimated to be about 100,000 forest elephants, mostly living in the forests of . Due to a slower birth rate, the forest elephant takes longer to recover from poaching, which caused its population to fall by 65% from 2002 to 2014. As of 2014[update], the United States politician and diplomat quoted an estimate of the forest elephant becoming extinct by 2024.