On this day, the 16th of April, we celebrate Save the Elephant Day! On this day, we aim to bring awareness to the plight of elephants and motivate people to help protect them.
These much-loved giants might be wildlife icons, but sadly their population numbers are in crisis. This day has been created to spread awareness about the critical threats they are facing, such as ivory poachers, traffickers and the loss of habitat. Between the years of 2010-2012, over 100,000 elephants in Africa were killed for their ivory. While considerable strides have been made in recent years to prevent the illegal poaching of elephants, the destruction of elephants’ natural habitat, and bring down the cost and demand for ivory, elephants are still threatened by species extinction within our lifetimes.
Other than being extremely intelligent creatures that are capable of strong emotions and consciousness, elephants are important to the entire ecosystem they inhabit. For example, elephants spread seeds and create new habitats in areas they roam. Some species of trees rely solely on these vegetarians to disperse their seed. The way that elephants consume vegetation also allows new plants to grow in forests by opening space for new plants to grow. Elephants are also helpful to other animals. Their voracious appetites create space for smaller animals and game to inhabit otherwise dense shrubbery and bush areas. An elephant’s tusks are used to dig for water, which not only allows them to survive when droughts hit, but also provides water for other animals.
It is necessary to come up with positive solutions that will help ensure their survival. This is our chance to show our love and support by encouraging individuals and organizations worldwide to embrace this day and its mission of conserving the elephants.
How can I get involved? There are many ways you can contribute to Save The Elephant Day!
- Inform other people and educate our children on this matter.
- Get involved with community programs in your hometown and explain why it is important to preserve the elephants.
- Share your love and concern for elephants through social media outlets.
- Donate to one of the many dedicated organizations across the globe working to save elephants.
- Volunteer and get hands-on experience with elephants that you can share for the rest of your life.
At African Impact, we love and care about these gentle giants, which is why we are also doing our part to protect elephants in Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Volunteers take part in our elephant and wildlife conservation program and contribute to the protection of fragile elephants in the area.
The elephants in Namibia have an on going conflict with humans due to the search of water. Elephants often damage community water points, leaving small subsistence communities without access to water. With the help of volunteers, the Namibian elephant conservation project works to alleviate the conflict between elephants and humans by modifying water points to ensure fresh clean water for both elephants and humans. This project also conducts regular elephant patrols to monitor herd movements and provides education to local people on how to live in harmony with these majestic giants.
In Zimbabwe, our project is well divided into learning and conserving the wildlife as well as educating the community. You will experience working with the elephants and the black rhino as well as taking part in educating the community on the importance on the environment and its wildlife. As for our project in South Africa, you will be a part of daily research on the endangered Big 5 (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo). Stationed in the world famous Greater Kruger Area, the focus of this project will monitor is to monitor 'Big 5' animals first hand and assist in conservation within the area.
Our volunteers’ contribution to conserve the elephants and the wildlife is extremely important, as it will create peace between elephants and humans. We need you to do your part in conserving elephants, as well as other wildlife. It is time for global action; it is time we return the land into a habitat for which the wildlife can flourish once again.