World Elephant Day
About World Elephant Day
When is World Elephant Day? This holiday is always observed on August 12
Today is huge, make that enormous international event. It’s World Elephant Day. According to the creator and sponsors of this enormous August 12 holiday, the goal of this day is to raise awareness of the plight of the shrinking populations of African and Asian elephants.
Elephants have a huge and impressive footprint. They are the largest living land animal in the world. Despite their size, elephants can be tamed to the extent that humans can work with them. They can be taught to do work, including heavy lifting, and we can even catch a ride atop their massive backs. They’ve also been employed in wars. They are beloved by children and adults alike and are the most popular animal in zoos around the world.
Elephants are facing a struggle for survival. Just 100 years ago, there were an estimated 5 to 12 million African elephants. Now, there are only approximately 400,000 African elephants left. There were about 1,000,000 Asian elephants 100 years ago. Now, only an estimated 20,000 to 40,000 exist. Asian elephants are on the “Vulnerable Species” list. African elephants are on the “Endangered Species” list. They need our help to survive.
Elephant populations are decreasing in numbers for several reasons. Poaching is perhaps the number one problem. Poachers hunt and kill them solely for their valuable ivory tusks, leaving the carcass behind. Poachers illegally hunt them in open ranges, as well as elephant sanctuaries. Loss of habitat is another huge reason for their declining numbers. As human populations continually increase, more and more wildlife areas are razed and converted to farms to feed the ever-growing need for food. That causes increasing conflict with humans, as the elephants roam into and damage farmlands. Mistreatment of elephants in captivity is also a stress on the steadily decreasing elephant population.
African bush elephants are the largest land animal. They can weigh up to 13,000 pounds.
Elephants typically spend 16 hours a day eating.
Elephants really do have a good memory.
Elephants do indeed like peanuts.
Over 300 species of elephants have roamed the earth for over 55 million years.
Elephants are afraid of bees. Farmers use bee hives to keep elephants from coming onto their land.
The oldest elephant lived to be 86 years old.
Elephants are pregnant for 22 months… Yikes!
Elephants weigh up to 260 pounds at birth.
An elephant’s trunk is also called a proboscis.
Pachydermophobia, or Elephaphobia is the fear of elephants.
Speaking of an elephant’s trunk, it can weigh up to 400 pounds and pick up a grain of rice.
An elephant’s trunk has about 100,000 muscles.
Elephants can’t jump. They always have at least one foot on the ground at all times.
Elephants can swim. They use their trunk as a snorkel when swimming.
Ivory from the tusks of just one elephant, can be worth over $100,0000, or $2,100 per pound.
How to Celebrate and Participate in World Elephant Day
Here are some ways to celebrate and participate in World Elephant Day:
- Support organizations that strive to protect the remaining elephants left in the wild.
- Watch documentaries about elephants.
- Go to the zoo to see them. Don’t forget to take some pictures.
Why did the elephant quit the circus? He was tired of working for peanuts.
History and Origin of World Elephant Day
World Elephant Day was conceived in 2011 by Canadian filmmakers Patricia Sims and Michael Clark of Canazwest Productions, along with Sivaporn Dardarnanda, the Secretary General of the “Elephant Reintroduction Foundation (ERF)” in Thailand. Patricia Sims and the ERF went on to create World Elephant Day in 2012.
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