Watch an adorable baby elephant having some fun chasing swallows in Kruger National Park in South Africa:
Today, August 12, is World Elephant Day!
World Elephant Day focuses on raising awareness to help elephants. African and Asian elephants face many threats including poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict, mistreatment in captivity, and more.
According to the World Elephant Day site:
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.
What can you do to help elephants?
- Learn about elephants and the important role they play in the ecosystem. (See our article, African elephant, to read more.)
- Participate in eco-tourism whose operators treat elephants with respect. Boosting Africa’s economy through eco-tourism helps placate local residents who view elephants as pests.
- Never buy, sell, or wear ivory.
- Write to your politicians to speak out against poaching. (Americans can write a letter to the Secretary of State on the Wildlife Conservation Society website.)
- Encourage the ethical treatment of elephants in captivity. Boycott circuses, whose unethical treatment includes chaining elephants up by their feet and trunks, as well as beating them frequently. Urge zoos to create environments similar to African elephants’ native habitat.
See the World Elephant Day’s page, How to Help Elephants, for more ideas.
Watch a cute and informative video about how elephants communicate with each other as they play. Elephant biologist and conservationist Joyce Poole and her husband, Petter Granli, founders of ElephantVoices, created the video. Poole interprets and explains the elephants’ behavior as they interact.
To learn more about African elephants, see our African elephant facts page.