World Elephant Day 2017 - 104 Elephants Die A Day!

World Elephant Day 2017 - 104 Elephants Die A Day!

Posted by Joshua McGill on 12th Aug 2017

On August 12th, we mark World Elephant Day 2017, a day dedicated to the protection of one of the most beautiful mammals in the animal kingdom. Despite this, elephants in Eastern and Southern Africa are at a great risk of extinction from illegal poaching.

The African Elephant is the largest of all land mammals and one of the most loved around the world. Just as the saying goes, they have an incredible memory and they’re more like humans than you might think. They’re smart, have an incredible ability to care for each other, and phenomenally display grief over the death of one of their own. They are also very happy animals; a simple YouTube search will find young Elephant’s playing around like children!

All this makes it doubly shocking that an estimated 104 die a day. At the beginning of the 20th century, it is estimated that there were around 3-5 million elephants in Africa and tragically that number is now down to a mere 415,000! There are similar problems in Asia, where numbers have dropped from around 100,000 to 35,000.

What’s behind the declining population of elephants?

elephant images

Poachers hunt Elephants for their ivory tusks. The tusks can then be used to make various objects such as jewellery or artwork. Most of the elephant tusks that are poached end up in China, with an estimated 70% of the trade being shipped to the country.

A male elephant’s tusks can weigh around 250 pounds, and Ivory is sold for around $1500. Sadly, there is high demand for this illegal industry and poachers make huge amounts of money.

However, recent reports show that the decreasing population is harmful to African countries’ economies, who are losing around $25m a year in tourism due to the fact it is harder for animal lovers to see their beloved elephants.

Asian elephants often suffer due to a destruction of their natural habitat, and it is crucial that more work is done to protect their habitat and prevent further human conflict. This would also help to protect human lives, as frightened elephants can kill people when they feel threatened.

What’s being done?

baby elephants playing

The Chinese government announced plans at the end of last year to shut down its ivory trade by the end of 2017. That is fantastic news for the elephant species and could help stop elephant poaching in Africa once and for all. Strict laws continue to be in place across the continent against poaching, but more needs to be done.

Here at The Great Projects, we are pleased to run a variety of conservation projects that you can sign up to, so get involved and help take part in assuring the elephant’s survival!

How can you help?

elephant elephants

This World Elephant Day, there are various things you can do to get involved and help save this beloved animal:

  • Show your support on Social Media; make sure your friends know all about the cause and the dangers that the species face, so you can all travel, and enjoy the species responsibly and ethically.
  • Buy elephant friendly coffee and wood. This means the product was made without causing any destruction to an elephant’s habitat.
  • Raise money and donate to a charity dedicated to protecting elephants.
  • Become a volunteer; check out our elephant volunteering projects!

We have a variety of projects you can get involved in, so pull your trunks together and make a real difference to help secure the future of this beautiful animal by volunteering!

If the elephant population continues to fall at such a rate and we fail to act, it’s likely elephants could become extinct within a single generation. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.

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