“We admire elephants in part because they demonstrate what we consider the finest human traits: empathy, self-awareness, and social intelligence. But the way we treat them puts on display the very worst of human behavior.” – Graydon Carter, Editor of Vanity Fair
World Elephant Day is an international annual event on August 12, dedicated to the preservation and protection of the world’s elephants. Conceived in 2011, it was officially founded, supported, and launched on August 12, 2012. Since that time, World Elephant Day has grown, supported by over 65 wildlife organizations and many individuals in countries across the globe.
The goal of International Elephant Day is to create awareness of the urgent plight of African and Asian elephants, and to share knowledge and positive solutions for the better care and management of captive and wild elephants. African elephants are listed as “Vulnerable” and Asian elephants as “Endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of threatened species. One conservationist has stated that both African and Asian elephants face extinction within 12 years. The current population estimates are about 400,000 for African elephants and 40,000 for Asian elephants, although it has been argued that these numbers are too high.
Poaching and habitat loss are the largest reasons for the downfall of these gentle giants. In China the demand for ivory is quite high. In addition, Asian elephants have lost nearly 30-40% of their habitat, making it incredibly difficult to maintain their offspring and themselves. In the past 50 years, the Asian elephant range has shrunk by over 70%.
Looking for ways you can help? Check out https://worldelephantday.org/ for inspiration.
Written by Lynda Walz, Sales Executive