Today is World Elephant Day, when we all come together in our support to protect these gentle giants of the African and Asian bush and their natural habitat. First launched back in 2012, August 12 has become the day to draw people’s attention to the urgent plight of elephants, one of the most loved and respected animal species worldwide.
It is heartbreaking when you realise that today, the future of the elephant is severely under threat. Escalating poaching, habitat loss, human conflict and even captivity are just some of the threats the elephant faces. It is estimated that there are less than 400,000 African elephants and less than 40,000 Asian elephants remaining worldwide.
We have to ensure their future is safe, by working towards improved protection for the elephants in the wild (especially against illegal ivory poaching – about 100 elephants are being killed every day for their ivory), enforcing policies to prevent the trade of ivory, and having programmes to re-introduce captive elephants back into the wild. These are the goals that numerous elephant conservation organisations are focussing on worldwide.
On World Elephant Day, please take a few minutes out to support solutions for the better care of captive and wild elephants alike.
If you want to sound knowledgeable about elephants when you are telling your friends all about this worthy cause, here are a few interesting facts that you can throw into your conversation:
Did You Know That…
– An African bull’s tusks can grow to over 11 feet long and weigh 220 pounds.
– An elephant’s trunk can grow to be about 2 metres long and can weigh up to 140 kg.
– Elephants can hear each other ‘trumpet’ up to 5 miles/8 km away.
– The largest elephant on record weighed in at a whopping 10,890 kg and was 13 feet tall.
– Elephants are scared of bees.
– Elephants are the only mammals, apart from humans, to have a chin.
– Elephants normally sleep between 2-3 hours a day.
– An adult elephant needs about 300 kg of food and 160 litres of water a day.
– A female elephant will be pregnant for nearly 2 years.
– Elephants have an extremely keen sense of smell, and can smell water from 12 miles away.