On August 12, 2012, the first annual World Elephant Day was launched to bring attention to the urgent plight of both Asian and African elephants. The elephant is loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, yet it balances on the brink of becoming lost to our world.

The World Elephant Day mission is to spread awareness, share knowledge, and provide solutions for better care and management of both captive and wild elephants. The intention is that with enough people and organizations signing on to the World Elephant Day initiative, it will become a powerful lobby force that can be utilized in any country where issues of illegal wildlife trade, management of protected wildlife sanctuaries, wildlife corridors, and human-wildlife conflict mitigation can be addressed with positive solutions.

Currently there are only about 500,000 African elephants and 40,000 Asian elephants left on the planet. The escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity, are just some of the threats to both African and Asian elephants. The goals that numerous elephant conservation organizations are focusing on around the world are working towards better protection for wild elephants, improving enforcement policies to prevent the illegal poaching and trade of ivory and conserving elephant habitats. Also important is better treatment for captive elephants, and when appropriate reintroducing captive elephants into natural, protected sanctuaries.

As quoted by Dr. Stephen Blake, Mac Planck Institute for Ornithology, "Elephants are simply one more natural resource that is being caught up in human greed on the one hand and human need on the other. We somehow need people to become reacquainted with nature or they can have no clue as the interrelatedness of cause and effect.”


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