According to the World Elephant Society, the World Elephant Day is marked “to honor elephants, to spread awareness about the critical threats they are facing, and to support positive solutions that will help ensure their survival.”

World Elephant Day: History

World Elephant Day was co-founded by Patricia Sims and the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation of Thailand, an initiative of HM Queen Sirikit of Thailand on 12 August 2012.

For the first time, World Elephant Day was observed in the year 2012 to bring light to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants. Since then, the day is being observed every year on 12 August.

World Elephant Day: Significance

World Elephant Day plays a very significant role in raising awareness about issues faced by elephants. As per the World Elephant Society, elephants suffer constant threats of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity, etc. Hence, it is mandatory to work for their protection and create a sustainable and non-exploitive environment.

8 interesting facts about the giant mammal:

  • They are the largest land animals in the world, especially the African elephant.
  • There are two species of elephants- African and Asian.
  • Elephants have around 150,000 muscle units in their trunk.
  • Elephant tusks are actually enlarged incisor teeth that first appear when elephants are about 2 years old. Tusks continue growing throughout their lives.
  • Elephants need up to 150kg of food per day, which is around 375 tins of baked beans although half of this may leave the body undigested.
  • Elephants communicate in a variety of ways through sounds like trumpet calls, touch, body language and scent. They can also communicate through sounds that create vibrations in the ground which they may detect through their bones.
  • Surprisingly, elephant calves have the ability to stand within 20 minutes of being born and can walk within 1 hour. After around two days, they can keep up with the herd.
  • Elephants remember everything as their temporal lobe (the area of the brain associated with memory) is larger and denser than that of people.

Did you know?

The ears of African elephants are much larger than their cousins and are described as being shaped like the African continent, whereas the ears of Asian elephants are shaped like the Indian subcontinent.

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