“Bringing the world together to help elephants.”
Both African and Asian Elephants are facing threats from many sources: habitat loss, poaching, human – elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity being some examples. Since the inaugural event in 2012, World Elephant Day aims to highlight these threats, and educate about the ways that captive and wild elephants alike can be provided with better care.
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.
Here are some ways that individuals can help the elephants, taken from the World Elephant Day web site:-
• Study elephants in their “keystone” role in the environment and interrelationships with plants and other animals because all of nature is interconnected.
• Learn about and support organizations that are working to protect habitat for wild elephants and finding solutions for human-elephant conflict.
• Support organizations that are working to stop the illegal poaching and trade of elephant ivory and other wildlife products.
• Support organizations that are protecting wild elephant habitat.
• Support organizations that are building natural sanctuaries and alternative habitat for domesticated elephants to live freely.
• Do not support organizations that exploit or abuse elephants and other animals for entertainment and profit.
• If you wish to experience elephants in their natural environment, choose eco-tourism operators who support local elephant conservation projects and who treat elephants with respect and dignity.
• Support healthy, alternative, sustainable livelihoods for people who have traditionally relied on elephants, wild animals and natural resources. Learn about indigenous cultures that have traditionally lived in harmony with elephants.
• Be an elephant aware consumer. Do not buy ivory or other wildlife products.
• Be aware of elephant habitat. Do not buy coffee that is not fair-trade or shade-grown, nor products with palm-oil. These commercial crops are grown in plantations that have decimated elephant habitats. Only buy wood products that have been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which promotes responsible management of the world’s forests – the natural habitat for elephants and other wildlife.
• Talk about elephants at your school. Initiate an elephant study group to share knowledge and ideas about the plight of elephants and what can be done to ensure their survival into the future.
• What do you love about elephants? Their intelligence, empathy and caring for one another are just a few of their qualities. Embrace these qualities and live them in your own life.
• Use your love of elephants and World Elephant Day, August 12, to start a conversation with the next person you meet. Tie a string around your finger right now so, like an elephant, you don’t forget!
See the World Elephant day web site http://worldelephantday.org/ for more information and reports about lots of events that have been taking place around the world.
You can “like” World Elephant on Facebook and follow on Twitter @wrldelephantday
(Baby elephant image from Wiki Commons.)