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World Elephant Day observed across the world on 12 August

Aug 12, 2014 15:15 IST

12 August: World Elephant Day
World Elephant Day was observed across the world on 12 August 2014. It is an international annual event and is dedicated towards the preservation and protection of the world’s elephants.

Goal of World Elephant Day
Goal of observing and celebrating the day is to create awareness about the plight of African and Asian elephants. Both these species of Elephants are facing extinction as per the IUCN Red List of threatened species.
• African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana) are being vulnerable
• Asian Elephants (Elephas Maximus) are endangered

Reason for Asian Elephants to be counted among vulnerable
• Major traditional cause for the decline is poaching for ivory and meat
• Illegal hunting in some areas, mainly in Central Africa
• Loss and fragmentation of habitat caused by ongoing human population expansion and rapid land conversion and this trend has led in increase of human-elephant conflict and this aggravates the threat to elephant populations

Reason for Asian Elephants to be counted among endangered
• The Asian elephant is hunted for ivory, food, leather and other products
• Several animals are also removed from the wild and used in forestry operations and for ceremonial purposes

About World Elephant Day
The inaugural World Elephant Day was observed on 12 August 2012 and the day was declared by the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation in Thailand. Patricia Sims, a Canadian filmmaker was also one of the founder members of the day. It was a Royal initiative of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand.

The foundation declared a day to be observed as the Elephant Day to raise awareness among people to express concern, share knowledge and positive solutions for better care of captive and wild elephants. At present, the day is supported by several wildlife organisations and individuals in different countries across the world.

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