World Elephant Day

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WED_symbol_official_text_2 smIt’s World Elephant Day!

Go to:  http://worldelephantday.org/ and participate.  Here is a brief of this event, but do go to the website and watch the movie posted there: Return to the Forest.  You will be moved!  And Happy World Elephant Day from Elephants Forever. Together, let’s make this World Elephant Year!

On August 12, 2012, the inaugural World Elephant Day was launched to bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants. The elephant is loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, yet we balance on the brink of seeing the last of this magnificent creature.

The escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are just some of the threats to both African and Asian elephants. Working towards better protection for wild elephants, improving enforcement policies to prevent the illegal poaching and trade of ivory, conserving elephant habitats, better treatment for captive elephants,  and when appropriate reintroducing captive elephants into natural, protected sanctuaries are the goals that numerous elephant conservation organizations are focusing on around the world.

World Elephant Day asks you to experience elephants in non-exploitive and sustainable environments where elephants can thrive under care and protection. On World Elephant Day August 12, express your concern, share your knowledge and support solutions for the better care of captive and wild elephants alike.

Things you can do:

    • Study elephants in their “keystone” role in the environment and interrelationships with plants and other animals because all of nature is interconnected.
    • Learn about and support organizations that are working to protect habitat for wild elephants and finding solutions for human-elephant conflict
    • Support organizations that are working to stop the illegal poaching and trade of elephant ivory and other wildlife products
    • Support organizations that  are protecting wild elephant habitat
    • Support organizations that are building natural sanctuaries and alternative habitat for domesticated elephants to live freely
    • Do not support organizations that exploit or abuse elephants and other animals for entertainment and profit.
    • If you wish to experience elephants in their natural environment choose eco-tourism operators who support local elephant conservation projects and who treat elephants with respect and dignity
    • Support healthy, alternative, sustainable livelihoods for people who have traditionally relied on elephants, wild animals and natural resources. Learn about indigenous cultures that have traditionally lived in harmony with elephants.
    • Be an elephant aware consumer. Do not buy ivory or other wildlife products.
    • Be aware of elephant habitat. Do not buy coffee that is not fair-traded or shade-grown, nor products with palm-oil. These commercial crops are grown in plantations that have decimated elephant habitats. Only buy wood products that have been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which promotes responsible management of the world’s forests, which is the natural habitat for elephants and other wildlife.
    • Talk about elephants at your school.  Initiate an elephant study group to share knowledge and ideas about the plight of elephants and what can be done to ensure their survival into the future.
    • What do you love about elephants?  Their intelligence, empathy and caring for one another are just a few of their qualities.  Embrace these qualities and live them in your own life.
    • Use your love of elephants and World Elephant Day, August 12 to start a conversation with the next person you meet. Tie a string around your finger right now so, like an elephant, you don’t forget!