World Elephant Day 2020

                                                                            

Elephants cannot be manufactured. Once they’re gone, they cannot be replaced.”

—Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, DPhil, CBE, Founder and CEO of Save the Elephants

The 12th August is World Elephant Day.   It’s all about bringing the world together to help elephants, which I think is a wonderful theme.

The day is a rallying call for us all to help and support organisations working to do 3 things:

  1. Stop illegal poaching and the trade of elephant ivory and other wildlife products
  2. Protect elephant habitat
  3. Provide sanctuaries and alternative habitats for domestic elephants to live freely

However each of us responds, we all need to stand up and take action of some sort – even if simply to share news of the day.

The World Elephant Day website is phenomenal. It has a tremendous amount of information, some amazing videos of elephants and all the news.

Whatever else you and I do on the 12th August 2020, please can we all stand up and do something to help make a difference to elephants.  They NEED us.  And they need our ACTION.  They need us all to do something, to take a step to make a difference to do it, whether that step feels ant sized or elephant sized.


Facts About World Elephant Day

  • It was co-founded on August 12, 2012, by Canadian Patricia Sims and the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation of Thailand, an initiative of HM Queen Sirikit of Thailand. 
  • It partners 100 elephant conservation organisations worldwide
  • It reaches millions of people every year. 
  • It empowers organizations and individuals to join up to give voice to the issues threatening elephants and to demand cross-border action. Individuals, policy-makers, politicians, and governments MUST create and support conservation solutions to make the world a safe place for elephants, wildlife, and habitat for future generations to cherish.

So please make the pledge “I pledge to support a world that protects, elephants, wildlife and their habitat.  You can do this on #WorldElephantDay’s home page.

Here are some easy ways to help:

Well, as you can imagine there are a great many ways to help elephants so I am just picking a few and then asking you to please spend some time roaming round the incredible #WorldElephantDay website and find more ways to make a difference.  There’s no need to confine it all to 12th August (#WorldElephantDay itself) – there will be plenty of actions we can all take every day of the year if we want to.

  1. Be clear about why elephants are important and why they matter to you.  What is it that touches your heart about elephants?  For instance, I love the way they all look after each other in a family. 
  2. Watch Return to the Forest – the video tells the story of the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation and its mission to save elephants in Thailand.  It also shows the plight of endangered Asian elephants and the key role of elephants in the forest ecosystem, and asks us to consider our role in the protection of elephants and their habitat throughout the world.
  3. Tweet elephant facts for #WorldElephantDay e.g There were over 100,000 elephants in Thailand at the beginning of last century. There are less than 4,000 today.  We need to get the word out about the state the elephant population is in.  We need to move people to take action.
  4. Pick a few elephant charities from the list (good luck choosing, there are lots of them, and please don’t forget the ones down towards the bottom of the list because the tendency is always to go for those at the top) and find out what they are doing and how you can help.
  5. Sign the petition to Ban the Sale of Elephant Ivory in Canada #IvoryFreeCanada. Take the Elephant Trumpet Challenge – post a video of your best elephant trumpet on your social media channels to help give the above mentioned petition more signatures and Make it a Million.  Challenge your friends to do the same.
  6. Watch elephant videos and share them on social media.  Tell people why you love elephants and want to help. Why not create a fundraiser for an elephant charity on social media?
  7. Moving Giants is the largest elephant “re-wilding” effort ever attempted from South Africa to Mozambique, as 200+ elephants will journey more than 1,000 miles to their new home.  Find out more – be informed here   Tell people about it.
  8. Tweet #BeElephantEthical to promote safe, ethical elephant tourism. Don’t support organizations that use elephants (and other animals) for entertainment and profit.
  9. Take 10 actions in the 10 days leading up to World Elephant Day, August 12.
  10. Donate to #WorldElephantDay.   Charities’ income to continue with their work to help elephants has taken a real hammering from the covid-19 virus. There are no tourists so in many cases there is no income. Please help (I’m doing what I can too!).



Wildlife Trust of India


Other lifestyle and buying actions you can take

  •  Don’t buy ivory or other wildlife products.
  • Visit elephants on holiday – it helps the economy and deters poachers.  Choose eco-tourism operators who support local elephant conservation projects and who treat elephants with respect and love and dignity.  Responsible Travel have both elephant watching holidays and elephant volunteer holidays.
  • Many people have relied on elephants and wild animals for a living in the past.  Support alternative and sustainable livelihoods for people e.g. sponsor a wildlife ranger.  People need to eat. 
  • Be aware of what you are buying – buy fair-trade coffee, and avoid palm oil – palm oil is grown in plantations which destroy wildlife habitatOnly buy wood products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which promotes responsible management of the world’s forests
  • Give a talk about elephants at your school.  Tell your classmates how they can help elephants.  Why not start an elephant conservation club?

 Please make a pledge with yourself to take 3 actions to help elephants.