They are smart. They have incredible memory power. They can feel a broad range of emotions, from joy to grief and even empathy. They live in big extended families and work together as a tribe.
Considering all these aspects and much more, what isn’t to like about elephants? But still, a countless number of elephants are killed each year brutally by poachers for ivory, and their carcasses are left under the sun to rot. Not only this, habitat loss, mistreatment in captivity, and human-elephant conflict are other factors that have led them to the verge of extinction.
This is the reason why 12 August is celebrated as World Elephant Day annually to honor the elephants and spread awareness among people about the threat these giants face.
World Elephant Day: History
World Elephant Day was established in the year 2011 by filmmakers Michael Clark and Patricia Sims and the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation. It was launched and celebrated officially on 12 August 2012. The primary idea behind the World Elephant Day was to make people understand the plight of elephants and to support solutions that ensure their safety and survival.
As per researchers, over 12 million elephants lived in the wild around 100 years ago. Unfortunately today, that figure has dropped down to nearly 400,000, with around 20,000 elephants killed each year by poachers.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, the Asian elephants have been listed as endangered and African elephants as vulnerable.
World Elephant Day: How can it be celebrated?
One of the best ways to celebrate the day is by educating yourself as well as others about this incredible animal and sharing your learning with others. You could raise voice against the dangers these amazing mammals face through social media. Besides, watching documentaries on elephants would only take a little of your time and make you know more about the wildlife and the issues the animals face. This could surely be an eye-opener. Besides, you could also support or even donate to an organization or foundation that works towards protecting and conserving the elephants.
Nonetheless, buying products that contain ivory must be a BIG no-no. When purchasing any antique, pianos, or other items, make sure that you always check and ensure that elephant tusks weren’t used in their manufacturing process.
Lastly, you could even invest in some projects dedicated to offering lucrative and sustainable livelihoods to individuals who reside alongside elephants.
Whichever way works best for you, ensure that you celebrate this day by getting involved in activities that help the elephant population worldwide.
You can make a huge difference by doing your part.
This day is an opportunity for every individual to come together and discover ways to lower human-elephant conflict. The solution likely lies in the integration of several strategies. These might include land development to minimize habitat destruction, changes in the local attitudes, and electric fences for keeping the elephants from entering the farms.
Luckily, many politicians and celebrities have stepped forward and are supporting the noble cause, including Ashley Judd, Leonardo DiCaprio, and others.
It’s important to protect the elephants to not only save their species but also maintain the biodiversity of the rain forests.