We love elephants at Xyza so when there’s a reason to talk about or celebrate them, we do! On August 12th, 2012, World Elephant Day was established by Canadian film director Patricia Sims and the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation of Thailand (an initiative of the Queen of Thailand). The purpose? To build awareness of the things that are threatening the elephant population, and to connect elephant conservationists and organizations to better support these efforts.
Did you know that millions of elephants once roamed Africa and Asia, but when the last elephant census (or count) took place in 2016, it was discovered that there are only approximately 400,000 African elephants and 35,000-40,000 Asian elephants left in the world? While there hasn’t been another elephant count since then, the outlook hasn’t been good. The African elephant is still considered a vulnerable species and the Asian elephant continues to be categorized as endangered.
Wondering why elephants are disappearing? One reason is elephant poaching. In some cultures, elephant tusks, which are made of ivory, are considered extremely valuable. People will pay a lot of money for an ivory tusk. The demand for elephant tusks has resulted in elephant poaching (or killing). Although some countries have eliminated their ivory markets by making ivory importing and selling illegal, and other efforts have been made to help rebuild the elephant population, it will take a lot more time and effort to save these animals from possible extinction.
What are some ways you would suggest to help save elephants?