Did you know that August 12th is World Elephant Day? Well, now you do! This day celebrates elephants and brings awareness to their struggle and needs. Other threats exist to elephants, not just poachers.
Patricia Sims, Michael Clark, and the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation (ERF) started World Elephant Day in 2012. Filmmaker Patricia Sims continues to lead this special day. The first film released for the cause was Return to the Forest, voiced by William Shatner. The movie was about introducing captive Asian elephants back into the wild.
As of 2002, the ERF has focused on helping elephants. They have managed to free over a hundred elephants and bring them to one of their three sanctuaries in Thailand. These sanctuaries offer no elephant rides or tourist visits.
People use elephants for ceremonies, rides, and worship. In many places, Asian elephants are chained in front of temples. If we truly love and appreciate elephants, we should let them roam free without chains in their natural environment.
World Elephant Day: Struggle for Survival
African and Asian elephants face many issues that have put them on the endangered list. Poachers hunt them for ivory. Their meat, leather, and body parts are also used in trade.
Deforestation is another issue elephants face. Agricultural activity has killed off nearly 40% of elephant’s natural habitat. These deforestation issues also make it easier for poachers to find the elephants and set traps. The constant search for a home and food makes it difficult for these elephants to breed and feed. As a result, there are more human-elephant conflicts. The paths that used to be forests are agricultural lands. The owners have killed or harmed elephants to protect their crops.
Elephants are large animals that spend their day walking for miles with their herd in search of food and water. We should not use elephants for our entertainment. World elephant day brings awareness to these animals in circuses, zoos and used for tourist rides.
This World Elephant Day, let’s honor these creatures and plan for a better future for them. Some believe that these elephants won’t be around for much longer if we continue to do nothing to save them. Do we want to live in a world where elephants don’t exist?