Honour the Ellies this World Elephant Day!August 11, 2017
“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
There are presently less than half a million elephants left in Africa and their numbers are dropping by an average of 100 a day.
With World Elephant Day around the corner (Saturday, 12 August), there seems no better time to raise awareness about what is threatening elephant populations, and how we can support positive solutions that will help ensure their survival.
The Biggest Threats Facing Elephants
Poaching: The insatiable lust for ivory in the Asian market continues to make the illegal ivory trade extremely profitable. This has led to poachers slaughtering tens of thousands of African elephants and has caused the worldwide elephant population to drop by 62% over the last decade. As of 2011, the world began losing more elephants than the population could reproduce, and if we are to continue at this rate, elephants will be all but extinct by the end of the next decade.
Habitat Loss: Habitat destruction is also a danger to the world’s elephant population. As they are such large animals, they require vast amounts of food and water on a daily basis. Without sufficient space, elephants are deprived of the nutrition that they need, making it more difficult for them to breed, and easier for poachers to track them down.
Tourism: While many types of tourism can be helpful towards wildlife conservation (when done right), there are unfortunately still a few sectors in tourism that seek to exploit elephants. Circuses, roadside zoos and places that offer elephant back rides are just a few of the culprits responsible for harming elephant populations.
How to Support World Elephant Day
Awareness and Education: The first step to helping elephants, is to understand the problem. Do research on the topic and help to spread the awareness by sharing your findings with friends and family. Social media is also a great tool for sharing information with others – whether it be a blog, a video or just a personal status about it.
Find reputable organisations to support: Support organisations dedicated to protecting elephants from poachers and finding solutions for human-elephant conflict. This could be through volunteer work or even just a donation. If you want to see elephants in person, make sure you choose a reputable wildlife reserve/sanctuary to support. (Get in touch with us in you need help deciding!)
With their impressively large bodies, mighty tusks and wise dispositions, elephants are an iconic animal around the globe, and personally, we wouldn’t want to live in a world without them. Find out more about World Elephant Day here.
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