World Elephant Day 2021: Date, Theme, History, Significance and Facts
World Elephant Day 2021: The day focuses on the conservation and protection of elephants from the various threats they face.
"We admire elephants in part because they demonstrate what we consider the finest human traits: empathy, self-awareness, and social intelligence. But the way we treat them puts on display the very worst of human behavior.” - Graydon Carter
The reason behind the poor condition of elephants is not only poaching and habitat loss but also due to the negligence of the people about the threats that elephant a magnificent animal faces. One of these threats may be the elephant rides, isn't it!
World Elephant Day: History
On 12 August, 2012, the first international Elephant Day was celebrated. Since then, it is observed annually and this day is dedicated to huge animal protection and preservation. Let us tell you that in 2011, World Elephant Day was conceived by the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation and filmmakers Patricia Sims and Michael Clark. It was officially launched on August 12, 2012.
This day makes people understand the need for better protection for wild animals, elephants, and also to improve the illegal poaching and trade of ivory, better treatment of captive elephants. Do you know that now more than 65 wildlife organisations and several people around the world celebrate this day?
Let us tell you that in the IUCN Red List of threatened species, African elephants are listed as Vulnerable and Asian elephants as Endangered.
Threats that Elephants basically face
- Human-elephant conflict.
- Mistreatment in captivity.
- Do not ride on an elephant.
Above mentioned threats are faced by African and Asian Elephants
Solutions for the threats are:
- Together work towards better protection for wild animals.
- Improve enforcement policies to prevent illegal poaching.
- Improve the illegal trade of ivory.
- Conserve the habitats of elephants.
- Provide better treatment for captive elephants
- When it is appropriate then reintroduces captive elephants into the natural habitat.
- Protect sanctuaries is one of the goals of several elephant conservation organisations and focuses around the world.
How is World Elephant Day celebrated?
The best way to celebrate the day is to educate yourself and others about this magnificent animal that is an elephant. It is necessary to raise issues that these animals face and social media is the best platform for this. People watch documentaries on elephants as this makes us realise about wildlife and problems that animals face which can be an eye-opener. People donate on this day to a foundation dedicated to protecting elephants from poachers or relocating them to locations better suited to their needs.
To stop killing elephants MIKE (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants) programme was established by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) by Resolution 10.10 adopted at the tenth Conference of the Parties in 1997.
Facts about the African Elephant
- According to WWF, approximately the population of African elephants is 415,000 in the wild.
- The scientific name of the Elephant is Loxodonta africana.
- Shoulder height is 11 feet and weight is 6 tonns.
- The length is 19-24 feet.
- There are two species of African elephants - the Savanna or bush elephant and the Forest elephant. Do you know that Savanna elephants are larger than forest elephants and their tusks curve outwards?
- Forest elephants are darker and their tusks are straighter and point downward.
So, now you may have come to know that World Elephant Day is celebrated on 12 August every year to raise awareness about the issues that elephants face in the wild and to find out the ways to protect them.