World Elephant Day 2019

On August 12, World Elephant Day, we celebrate the elephant – one of the most intelligent and socially complex animals to grace our planet. Unfortunately, elephants remain in peril and their numbers in Asia and Africa continue to fall at alarming rates. We need to unite to protect this important keystone species, both to ensure the survival of wild elephants and to improve the living conditions of captive elephants.

Elephants play a vital role in maintaining the biodiversity of the ecosystems in which they live. These stewards of the forest disperse seeds encased in fertilizer as they travel, providing a service of immense value. They are a noble inhabitant of this planet and are deserving of our respect. The world is so much richer for the presence of elephants. If we do not act now, the day where elephants no longer roam the Earth may not be far away. This would be a tragedy, an unimaginable loss, and a sad indictment on humanity.

Asian Elephant Facts
Status: Endangered
Population: Approximately 40,000

Key Threats
Habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation
Human-elephant conflict
Poaching
Trafficking of live animals

Thai Elephant Population
Wild elephants in Thailand are very difficult to count given their densely forested habitat, but most experts agree there are between 1,500-2,000, with some on the ground estimates as low as 1,000. At the beginning of the 20th century, over 100,000 elephants are thought to have populated Thailand. The rapid demise in wild elephant numbers is due to loss of habitat resulting from an expanding human population and poaching. The captive elephant population used in the various forms of elephant tourism is estimated to be 3,500-4,000. A significant proportion of these elephants are put to work in trekking camps providing rides to tourists and performing demeaning tricks for people’s amusement. They often live in abusive conditions leading to undernourishment, injury, and PTSD expressed as stereotypical behavior such as the repetitive bobbing of the head and swaying.

Elephants need our help now. Let your voice be heard:

  • Support elephant conservation
  • Protect wild elephant habitats
  • Support ethical elephant tourism
  • Oppose poaching and the sale of ivory or other elephant body parts
  • Help stop the international trade of elephants

Find out more about what you can do at: www.worldelephantday.org

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