World Elephant Day 2019: Current Theme, History and Significance
World Elephant Day is to inform people and organisations about the threat that an elephant faces. Although, elephants are loved by most of the generations but they are also on the verge of extinction.
The reason behind the poor condition of elephants is not only poaching and habitat loss but also due to negligence of the people about the threats that elephant a magnificent animal faces. One of these threats may be the elephant rides isn’t it!
World Elephant Day: History
On 12 August, 2012, the first international Elephant Day was celebrated. Since then, it is observed annually and this day is dedicated to the huge animal protection and preservation. Michael Clark and Patricia Sima, two filmmakers from Canada and Sivaporn Dardarananda, Secretary General of the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation in Thailand decided to celebrate World’s Elephant Day in 2011.
This day make people to understand the need for better protection for wild animals, elephants and also to improve the illegal poaching and trade of ivory, better treatment of captive elephants. Do you know that now more than 65 wildlife organisations and several people around the world celebrate this day?
Let us tell you that in the IUCN Red List of threatened species, African elephants are listed Vulnerable and Asian elephants as Endangered.
Threats that Elephants basically face
– Human-elephant conflict
– Mistreatment in captivity
– Do not ride on elephant
Above mentioned threats are faced by African and Asian Elephants
Solutions for the threats are:
– Together work towards better protection for wild animals.
– Improve enforcement policies to prevent illegal poaching a
– Improve illegal trade of ivory
– Conserve the habitats of elephants.
– Provide better treatment for captive elephants
– When it is appropriate then reintroduces captive elephants in to the natural habitat.
– Protect sanctuaries is one of the goals of the several elephant conservation organisations and focus around the world.
How World Elephant Day is celebrated?
The best way is to educate yourself and others about this magnificent animal that is elephant. It is necessary to raise issues that these animals’ faces and social media is the best platform for this. People watches documentary on elephants as this make you realise about the wildlife and about the animals that they faces which can be an eye-opener. People donate on this day to a foundation dedicated to protecting elephants from poachers or relocating them to locations better suited their needs.
To stop killing of elephants MIKE (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants) programme was established by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) by Resolution 10.10 adopted at the tenth Conference of the Parties in 1997. Around 28 sites participating in the MIKE programme in Asia which are distributed around 13 countries. Let us tell you that India has 10 sites which are followed by two sites each in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand, and one site each in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
Facts about African Elephant
– According to WWF approximately population of African elephants is 415,000 in the wild.
– The scientific name of the Elelphant is Loxodonta africana.
– Shoulder height is 11 feet and weight is 6 tonns.
– Length is 19-24 feet.
– There are two species of African elephants – the Savanna or bush elephant and the Forest elephant. Do you know that Savanna elephants are larger than forest elephants and their tusks curve outwards?
– Forest elephants are darker and their tusks are straighter and point downward.
So, now you may have come to know that World Elephant Day is celebrated on 12 August every year to raise awareness about the issues that elephants faces in the wild and to find out the ways to protect them. Therefore, it is imperative to protect elephants as they are critical for maintaining the biodiversity of these rain forests.