World Elephant Day - Extinction by 2020?

World Elephant Day - Extinction by 2020?

Posted by Connor Whelan on 12th Aug 2015

A lot of the blogs I have written since starting my job here at The Great Projects have been around the very sombre topic of animal extinction, and unfortunately this one is in the same vein. World Elephant Day was created to bring attention to a species of animal, which due to their gargantuan size, humans often assume are almost invincible. This is not the case.

Over the last decade, Elephant numbers have dropped by 62%, and this could lead to near extinction by the end of the current decade. An estimated 100 African Elephants are killed each and every day for their meat, body parts, and most prominently for their ivory. This mass slaughter means the worldwide African elephant population is now as low as 400,000, and as of 2011, the world is losing more elephants than the population can produce.

Large bull elephants are the main targets due to their huge tusks, but female African elephants also have tusks, so when they are targeted it has a huge effect on the elephant population and their societies. An increasing number of orphaned baby elephants are being discovered as a result of this, and it is near impossible for the youngsters to survive in the wild without any parental protection.


Whilst poaching is the main fear for the African Elephant population, for the Asian Elephants, poaching is only one of their worries. In such a densely human-populated area of the world, they suffer from huge habitat loss. Their traditional homes have been developed into highways, farms and plantations for industrial crop growth including palm oil and rubber trees and this has had a devastating effect. With no access to their natural habitats Elephants are often forced into confrontations with humans, and when this happens the Elephants never come out as winners. On top of these issues, as they have lived alongside humans for around 4,000 years, some people perceive the elephant as part of their everyday lives, and the Asian Elephants are often taken from their mothers at a very young age to be sold into the illegal pet trade or to perform in circuses. This only further exacerbates the issue. It is estimated that there are only 40,000 Asian Elephants left in the world and we cannot afford to let that number drop any further.

World Elephant Day’s purpose is to raise awareness about the plight of the Elephant population. If we don’t start to make changes to the way we care for these magnificent animals then they will disappear much quicker than we could ever imagine.


Share this Article...

Share this article with your friends and followers by using the social media buttons below.


Leave a Comment...

Wanting to add something to this story or just let us know your thoughts? Just leave your comments below. Please be aware that all comments will be moderated: abusive behaviour or self-promotion will not be allowed.

500 characters remaining

Has this blog inspired you to volunteer? If so, why not enquire today? Simply fill out an enquiry form, and allow a member of our travel team to assist with your query! Please note that blog comments are not monitored by the travel team, so any questions related to bookings may be missed.


Featured Videos


Experience The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

See what you could get up to as a volunteer at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary! This volunteer project offers you the chance to get up close and personal with some of the country's most iconic species.

Discover The Great White Shark Project

Come face to face with one of the world’s most misunderstood predators whilst aiding great white shark conservation. As a volunteer, not only will you get the incredible opportunity to dive with sharks, but you will also assist the team in raising awareness of the great white as you work alongside tourists and local school children to provide them with knowledge of the local environment and the importance of living in harmony with South Africa’s marine life.

Volunteers Review Their Experience at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary

Volunteers talk about their recent experience at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary in Borneo.

Latest Blog Arcticles


Achievements at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project in 2022

Achievements at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project in 2022

After 2 difficult years, we finally welcomed volunteers...

Merle’s Orangutan Experience at Samboja

Merle’s Orangutan Experience at Samboja

Merle shares her experiences from her time spent...

An Invasive Species: The Lionfish

An Invasive Species: The Lionfish

Many invasive species have made their way to all corners of...

Sun Bear Update From Samboja Lestari

Sun Bear Update From Samboja Lestari

After a lot of hard work by the June 2022 volunteer group,...

The Latest From The Great Orangutan Project!

The Latest From The Great Orangutan Project!

The Great Projects volunteer coordinator, Jess, is...

An Update from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project!

An Update from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project!

Samboja Lestari welcomed back volunteers this month, and...

Kathy & Drew's Great Gorilla Experience

Kathy & Drew's Great Gorilla Experience

Kathy and Drew joined The Great Gorilla Project in January...

Raja Ampat Diving Project - Magical Manta Ray Moments!

Raja Ampat Diving Project - Magical Manta Ray Moments!

Manta ray season is at its peak at the Raja Ampat Diving...


Where you can go
Contact Info
UK Office
The Great Traveller Ltd,
3 Dairy Yard
Star Street
Ware, Hertfordshire
SG12 7DX
United Kingdom

Opening hours:
   Mon-Fri 8:30am–5:30pm
   Sat 10am-4pm

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987