by Divya Bhardwaj
Friday, September 22, was Elephant Appreciation Day. Elephants are among the most majestic and beautiful animals in the world, but sadly, they are endangered due to poaching and hunting for their ivory tusks. While most people know this, they don’t know how to help.
Problems that elephants face:
- 1.The African elephant population is in extreme decline, with a decrease of 30% in 7 years from 2007 to 2014.
- At this rate, it is estimated that in 10 years, Africa’s elephant population will be half of what it is now.
- About 100 elephants are killed each day by poachers who participate in the ivory trade.
- Though international ivory trade was banned in 1990, domestic trade is still legal in numerous countries, and even in countries where it is not, illegal trading is a serious problem. However, in late 2016, China announced that it would shut down the ivory trade by the end of 2017, and they have been making good progress toward this goal.
- Since the population is growing and taking up more land, elephants have lost much of their habitat in Africa and Asia. Because the population is expected to keep increasing, this is a problem elephants will likely be facing for a while.
Ways to help:
- Save the Elephants, a charity based in Kenya, works through the Wildlife Conservation Network to monitor, protect, and raise awareness about elephants.
- The International Elephant Foundation helps to establish relations between elephants and people who live around their habitats. Their goal is for them both to coexist in the same space.
- Ivory Ella is a clothing store that donates 10% of profits to Save the Elephants.
- A less popular one is Bangle Up, a French jewelry store that donates 50% of their profits to Elephant Family to conserve the habitat of Asian elephants.
- Divinity LA also sells bracelets, and their profits go not only to elephants, but also pandas and sea turtles.
- Some organizations, such as the World Wildlife Fund, allow people to “adopt” elephants, which means you get sent pictures of “your” elephant and they receive money that goes towards their conservation programs.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, even a little bit can go a long way to help save the elephants. Some estimations show that African elephants could be extinct by as early as 2025. Even if all you do is spread the word, anything is a step towards the preservation of unique and beautiful elephants.