From: Alicia Graef, Care2, More from this Affiliate
Published August 12, 2015 02:00 PM

Happy World Elephant Day!

On Wednesday, August 12, animal lovers around the world will be coming together to celebrate elephants and support a future where they’re respected and protected for the fourth annual World Elephant Day.

World Elephant day was launched in 2012 by Canadian documentary filmmaker Patricia Sims and the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation of Thailand. On the same day, Sims’ film Return to the Forest premiered, which explores the journey and beautiful transformation that takes place when captive elephants are returned from a life with us to their home in the forest and how vital their presence there is.

Despite being a charismatic species loved by people of all ages, elephants in both Africa and Thailand are in serious trouble. Since the first World Elephant Day, individuals, celebrities and dozens of organizations that are working on solutions that will ensure their future survival around the world, have joined in support because the threat of losing them forever is becoming a very real possibility.

Poaching in Africa has reached unprecedented levels, which some believe could wipe elephants out entirely within the next 10 years if it continues at its current rate, and there are now estimated to be less than 40,000 Asian elephants left in existence, who continue to face the threat of poaching, habitat loss and being taken for the tourism industry.

“So many people around the world love elephants but aren’t aware that elephants are in crisis. World Elephant Day helps increase security for elephants and expand habitat because it creates an opportunity to raise a rallying cry. We have to turn up the volume about the elephant crisis in order to put more pressure on leaders to take meaningful action, attract desperately needed resources, and to convince people to not buy ivory,” Misty Herrin, #SaveElephants campaign director for The Nature Conservancy, said in a statement.

Unfortunately, wild elephants aren’t the only ones in trouble. Animal advocates have also been working to end their exploitation in captivity and entertainment and raise awareness about why elephants belong in the wild, not circuses, zoos or tourist attractions.

Continue reading at ENN affiliate, Care2.

Elephant image via Shutterstock.

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