World Elephant Day 2022: History, significance, interesting facts and inspirational quotes on elephants
World Elephant Day: Since 2012, August 12 has been celebrated as World Elephant Day. It's a day to highlight the threats that elephants face today and emphasize the need to safeguard the gentle giants and save the earth's ecosystem.
- World Elephant Day was co-founded by Canadian filmmaker Patricia Sims and the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation of Thailand
- Elephants today are facing the threat of extinction
- Habitat loss due to deforestation, and poaching are two of the grave issues jumbos face today
World Elephant Day quotes and facts: August 12 is a day dedicated to the jumbos and it's observed every year to recognise the importance of the 'gentle giants' in the world's ecosystem. Unfortunately, across the globe, we lose elephants every year due to poaching. Jumbos also face other issues like mistreatment by humans, loss of habitat thanks to endless urbanisation and more. So this day is also meant to highlight these issues and make people understand how essential it is to safeguard elephants in today's world.
World Elephant Day 2022: History and Significance
The day was first observed on August 12, 2012. World Elephant Day was co-founded by Canadian filmmaker Patricia Sims and the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation of Thailand, an initiative of HM Queen Sirikit. Ever since that, every year, World Elephant Day has been celebrated.
The significance of this day lies in the fact that it's a day when the issues faced by these animals are highlighted - loss of habitat due to deforestation, captivity and ill-treatment by humans and of course death by poaching. Like their giant size, elephants play a giant role in maintaining the earth's ecosystem and it's essential for life itself to preserve and protect elephants.
World Elephant Day 2022: Elephant conservation
Elephants are literally running out of space and time! And if we are unable to work towards elephant protection and conservation, people should try and make a conscious effort to donate to organisations which are working to restore the jumbos' natural habitats, rehabilitate these animals and more. Patricia Sims, World Elephant Day Co-Founder, said, "World Elephant Day is a rallying call for people to support organizations that are working to stop the illegal poaching and trade of elephant ivory and other wildlife products, protect wild elephant habitat, and provide sanctuaries and alternative habitats for domestic elephants to live freely.”
World Elephant Day 2022: Inspirational, thought-provoking quotes on elephants
“The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book?” - Sir David Attenborough.
“Nature's great masterpiece an elephant; the only harmless great thing.” - John Donne.
"Only elephants should own ivory.” – Yao Ming
“Save the elephants… and then you save yourself.” - Mark Shand
“Elephants love reunions; they recognize one another after years and years of separation and greet each other with wild, boisterous joy.” - Jennifer Richard Jacobson.
“Elephants are so wise and so funny and so endangered and so intelligent. I just think there is a lot to learn from them.” - Gloria Steinem.
World Elephant Day 2022: Top 10 interesting facts on elephants
Here are 10 interesting facts on the gentle giants as provided by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF):
- They are the world's largest land animals. The African Savanna (Bush) elephant is the world's largest land animal.
- Elephants are of 3 species - African Savanna (Bush), African Forest and Asian and you can tell them apart by their ears and trunks.
- Their trunks have amazing skills! Elephants have around 150,000 muscle units in their trunk, which are perhaps the most sensitive organ found in any mammal.
- Elephant tusks are actually enlarged incisor teeth which first appear when elephants are around 2 years old. Tusks continue growing throughout their lives.
- Elephants have thick skin, almost 2.5 cm in some areas.
- Elephants eat a LOT! They are almost constantly eating, so much so that they can spend up to three-quarters of their day just eating.
- Elephants communicate through sound vibrations.
- Elephant calves can stand within 20 minutes of being born, while within 1 hour, they can walk!
- 'Elephants Can Remember' is not just an Agatha Christie novel. Elephants 'never forget' because the temporal lobe - the brain's area associated with memory - is larger and denser than humans.
- As the WWF points out, "Around 90% of African elephants have been wiped out in the past century - largely due to the ivory trade - leaving an estimated 415,000 wild elephants alive today. Asian elephants are also under threat, having declined by at least 50% in the last three generations. There are only around 45,000 left in the wild."