Following population declines over several decades due to poaching for ivory and loss of habitat, the African forest elephant is now listed as Critically Endangered and the African savanna elephant as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Over the last decade, the number of elephants has significantly dropped by 62%. It is estimated that, every day, 100 African elephants are killed by poachers. The desire for ivory in Asian markets has led to the slaughter of thousands of elephants.
World Elephant Day was co-founded on August 12, 2012, by Canadian Patricia Sims and the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation of Thailand, an initiative of HM Queen Sirikit of Thailand. This powerful, collective global movement offers a way to establish and endorse conservation solutions to help preserve and safeguard elephants from the multiple threats they face.
“World Elephant Day is a rallying call for people to support organizations that are working to stop the illegal poaching and trade of elephant ivory and other wildlife products, protect wild elephant habitat, and provide sanctuaries and alternative habitats for domestic elephants to live freely.”
– Patricia Sims, World Elephant Day Co-Founder
IMPORTANCE OF ELEPHANTS
Elephants are a keystone species, which means they create and maintain the ecosystems in which they live and make it possible for a myriad of plant and animal species to live in those environments as well. The loss of elephants gravely affects many species that depend on elephant-maintained ecosystems and causes major habitat chaos and a weakening to the structure and diversity of nature itself.
The Asian elephant has lived alongside humans for over 4,000 years, enjoys great respect and is associated with a variety of cultural and spiritual customs. In Thailand, for example, the elephants are a national icon with a national holiday dedicated entirely to them. But also in many Asian locations elephants suffer in the name of entertainment. Elephant rides are a popular and lucrative tourist activity. Still, behind the scenes, the animals are taken from their mothers, their spirit is broken, and they endure cruel and stressful ‘training’ to make them tolerate being ridden.
Elephant tusks are actually enlarged incisor teeth that first appear when elephants are around two years old.
Elephants need up to 150 kg of food per day — that equals about 150 bags of chips!
They have the biggest brain of any land animal, which makes them clever, conscious, social, and empathetic.
Most elephants can live to about 60 years old.
POACHING AND NATURAL SANCTUARIES
Elephants are running out of space and time. We have to work together to prevent senseless poaching and the trafficking of ivory, and establish protected natural sanctuaries in which elephants and other wildlife can thrive — before it’s too late and they’re all gone.
Sources: nationaltoday.com, worldelephantday.org, worldanimalprotection.org.in
LET'S FIGHT TO SAVE THE MOST ENDANGERED
VAKOVAKO will soon fight to save the most endangered. 100 % of all donations given via our app to „MOST ENDANGERED“ area will by transfered to related NGOs. Let’s help them expand their activities together.