I just got to know that yesterday was World Elephant Day 2014. I had never come across such a thing before, and was intrigued. I went on to read a bit about this day on the internet, and was quite surprised at what I found.
When did the day originate and why?
Apparently, this day was first launched in the year 2012 to draw the world’s attention to the plight of the Asian and African elephants. Though this magnificent creature is much loved in general, there are a number of evils that have taken the elephant world in its grip – including poaching, ivory stealing and mistreatment of the animal. All of this together has resulted in a sad state of affairs, with the elephant population almost on the brink of extinction.
Recent figures indicate that there are only about 4,00,000 African elephants remaining worldwide, while this number is only 40,000 in case of the Asian elephant. Overall, the population of elephants has dropped by 62% in the last decade, with hundreds of animals being killed every day for illegal activities.
Doing our bit
I love elephants. I love how they are huge, yet so graceful. I love how they are gentle, yet strong. I love the tales about their memory and love that I have heard so many times over from people. I didn’t even know that they were on the brink of extinction, though. Sad.
However, I have decided to do my bit for the beautiful creatures now. Do you want to help as well? Here’s how you can, too:
1. Be aware
Be aware of the various evils perpetrated against elephants, and be ready to raise your voice against them. Read up about the injustices meted out to animals and vow that you will not support them, come what may.
2. Pledge your support
Pledge your support to organisations that are working to eliminate poaching of elephants, illegal trade of ivory, protecting the natural habitat of these animals, and finding solutions to areas of conflict between humans and elephants. You can help out either monetarily or physically.
3. Do not consume ivory
Do not consume ivory. Or any other product that you know has been procured by harming an animal, for that matter.
4. Do not support elephant use for entertainment or profit
Do not support organisations or people who mistreat elephants, harm their natural habitat, or use the animals for entertainment or generating profit.
5. Spread awareness
Spread awareness about the plight of elephants whenever and wherever you can. Encourage more and more people to become elephant-conscious, and to pledge their support to the conservation of these animals.
6. Buy fair-trade products
As far as possible, ensure that you buy fair-trade products, which have not led to destruction of forests or mistreatment of animals in any manner.
7. Support organisations that promote elephant-friendly products
Extend your support to those organisations that produce and sell elephant-friendly products. Help in spreading awareness about such products as well.
8. Visit elephants in their natural habitat
If you wish to observe elephants, do so in their natural habitat, in as non-intrusive a way as possible. Choose eco-tourism operators who can take you to places where you can see elephants being treated with dignity and love.
Brainstorm with your friends, acquaintances, colleagues and family, and come up with ideas that you can practically implement to conserve the elephant population.
10. Support cultures that have lived in harmony with elephants
Study about cultures that have lived in harmony with elephants since generations. Do your best to support such cultures and practices.
References: World Elephant Day