World Elephant Day is observed every year on 12 August. It is aimed to the preservation and protection of the world’s elephants. The goal of World Elephant Day is to create awareness on elephant conservation and to share knowledge and positive solutions for the better protection and management of wild and captive elephants.
The current population estimates indicate that there are about 50,000 – 60000 Asian elephants in the world. More than 60% of the population is held in India.
World Elephant Day is being celebrated to bring the attention of various stakeholders to support various conservation policies to help elephants, including improving enforcement policies to prevent the illegal poaching and trade of ivory, conserving elephant habitats, providing better treatment for captive elephants and reintroducing some captive elephants into sanctuaries. The elephant is the Natural Heritage Animal of India and India also celebrates this day to spread awareness about the conservation of the species.
The theme of World Elephant Day 2022
World Elephant Day is observed every year on 12 August. It is aimed to the preservation and protection of the world’s elephants. There is no specific theme for the day.
Quick facts about Elephants
Here are quick facts about elephants:
- An elephant never forgets! The elephant’s temporal lobe (the area of the brain associated with memory) is larger and denser than that of people. Therefore, elephants do not forget.
- The African Savanna (Bush) elephant is the world’s largest land animal – with adult males, or bull elephants, standing up to 3m high and weighing up to 6,000kg on average.
- A baby elephant during birth can weigh 120kg.
- Trunks are the most sensitive organ found in any mammal. Elephants have around 150,000 muscle units in their trunk. Elephants use their trunks to suck up water to drink – it can contain up to 8 litres of water.
- Elephant tusks continue growing throughout their lives.
- An elephant’s skin is 2.5cm thick in most places. The folds and wrinkles in their skin can retain up to 10 times more water than flat skin does, which helps to cool them down. They keep their skin clean and protect themselves from sunburn by taking regular dust and mud baths.
- Elephants need to eat up to 150kg of food per day –although half of this may leave the body undigested. Elephants eat so much that they can spend up to three-quarters of their day just eating.
- Elephants communicate in a variety of ways – including sounds like trumpet calls (some sounds are too low for people to hear), body language, touch and scent. They can also communicate through seismic signals – sounds that create vibrations in the ground – which they may detect through their bones.
History of World Elephant Day
World Elephant Day was officially founded, supported, and launched by Patricia Sims and the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation on August 12, 2012.
On #WorldElephantDay, reiterate our commitment to protect the elephant.