On August 12, 2012, the inaugural World Elephant Day was launched to bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants. The elephant is loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, yet we balance on the brink of seeing the last of this magnificent creature.
“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
The escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are just some of the threats to both African and Asian elephants. Working towards better protection for wild elephants, improving enforcement policies to prevent the illegal poaching and trade of ivory, conserving elephant habitats, better treatment for captive elephants and, when appropriate, reintroducing captive elephants into natural, protected sanctuaries are the goals that numerous elephant conservation organizations are focusing on around the world.World Elephant Day asks you to experience elephants in non-exploitive and sustainable environments where elephants can thrive under care and protection. On World Elephant Day, August 12, express your concern, share your knowledge and support solutions for the better care of captive and wild elephants alike.
“Elephants are simply one more natural resource that is being caught up in human greed on the one hand and human need on the other. We somehow need people to become reacquainted with nature or they can have no clue as to the interrelatedness of cause and effect.”– Dr. Stephen Blake, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
Wimbledon-based Exodus guide Paul explains: “I am thankful for world elephant day as these iconic animals need every shred of publicity if they are to survive the poacher’s bullet.”
Picture: Paul Goldstein/Exodus/REX
The threat of poachers has forced the population of elephants in Africa to move further south, and therefore increase the percentages of elephants in the Southern Africa region. Due to this, many poachers head south and so the population of elephants has suffered despite the numerous efforts of parks and animal protection organisations. It is important that we celebrate and support World Elephant Day in South Africa to raise awareness about this pressing issue, as it is so relevant in this country.
As of Elephant Day 2015, there are 14 767 signatures on the petition that pledges to support the protection of elephants and their habitats.
Source: World Elephant Day