Tuesday, August 12, 2014

World Elephant Day

August 12 is World Elephant Day. On this day people around the world are working to protect and conserve elephants from the numerous threats they face. The most serious threats faced by elephants come from man, both habitat loss and poaching. An elephant is killed every 15 minutes (96 elephants every day or about 36,000 animals every year). In the absence of consorted international action, elephants will be extinct in the next decade.

World Elephant day was launched two years ago on August 12, 2012. The inaugural World Elephant Day was launched to bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants.

Elephants are smart and emotional creatures who have been shown to demonstrate empathy, self-awareness, and social intelligence. On this day and throughout the year people are working to provide 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.

Elephants are also “keystone species,” meaning that plants, other animals and even ecosystems depend on them. Elephants help plants by spreading their seeds in their droppings. Even their footprints matter — when it rains, those huge prints become water troughs for other animals to drink from.

On the occasion of World Elephant Day, consider offering your financial and social media support to these five organizations that are devoted to researching and protecting elephants:

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT)
Save the Elephants (STE)
The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)
Elephants Without Borders (EWB)
Elephant Asia Rescue and Survival Foundation (EARS)

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