Mark your calendars because World Elephant Day is on August 12. This day was created to bring awareness about the decreasing number of Asian and African elephants worldwide. Nowadays, individuals and organizations are using this day to show their concern and support for the protection of conservation strategies for African Elephants and Asian elephants.
World Elephant Day began in 2012 and was co-founded by the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation and Patrica Sims, a director and writer. Since the start, Patricia Sims has been leading World Elephant Day. Through the years, 100 elephant conservation organizations joined in partnership to support this day.
To help support World Elephant Day, Patrica Sims, Anne Dillon and Philip Hansen Bailey founded the World Elephant Society. The President and Vice President of this society are Patricia and Anne. World Elephant Society helps raise awareness of World Elephant Day by creating and distributing educational information.
Elephants in the wild
From the African Savannahs to the Asian rainforest, elephants need a lot of space to roam freely and safely. In recent years, elephant populations have started to decline due to loss of habitat, poaching and conflicts with humans. This has increased the need for conservation strategies for African Elephants and Asian elephants.
The International Elephant Foundation estimates that there are around 30,000 - 50,000 Asian elephants and 400,000 - 500,000 African elephants. Currently, the conservation status of Asian elephants is endangered, and African Elephants are listed as vulnerable.
Losing the elephants would affect their ecosystems. Elephants do so much in their environments that other animals cannot like creating homes for small animals, creating pathways, increasing biodiversity and creating water sources. If elephants are lost forever, it would have an impact on several species.
Elephants in zoos
For many people, the closest they have gotten to see and experience an elephant is through zoos. These organizations play a crucial role in wildlife protection. Zoos help wildlife conservation efforts, educate the public and conduct research. All this is done, plus taking care of animals.
Although zoos are helping animals, some animals are not self-sustaining. African elephants are one of those animals that are currently not self-sustaining and at risk of “captive extinction” in U.S. zoos. Studies have shown that elephant deaths have exceeded birth rates. This risk of captive extinction could be caused by the increase in infertility rates.
How you can help save elephants
Elephants all over the world need your help to prevent habitat loss, stop poachers and find the best conservation strategies. There are various ways you can help elephants spread World Elephant Day information all year long!
On World Elephant Day, post on social media using #WorldElephantDay to let your friends and family know why it is essential to save elephants. Or you watch one of these wildlife documentaries to learn about the importance of wildlife conservation.
Plus, you can donate to elephant conservation organizations, like For Elephants. At For Elephants, we research to find conservation strategies for African Elephants in zoos and the wild. Make a donation or purchase a For Elephant t-shirt.