World Elephant Day was created in 2011 as a day to honor elephants, spread awareness about the critical threats they are facing, and support positive solutions that will help ensure their survival.
We’ve done a post every year, but it’s a little strange to think about what World Elephant Day means in a COVID world. More than ever before in our lifetimes, humans are being reminded that this is a global world. Everything is connected, and we are all in this together. Each individual’s choices have a ripple effect on the planet, in ways that we don’t always know or understand.
In response to articles, current events, and specific elephants, we frequently get asked, “What can I do to help?” People also send us news stories or respond to our tweets, saying, “Can’t you do something? Isn’t there something you can do to help?” We understand that people want a simple answer, but there’s never an easy answer. If there were an easy answer, it wouldn’t still be a question.
As humans, we destroy a lot of the world and creatures around us. There are nicer ways we could say it, but using “nice” words doesn’t change the facts. We destroy the rainforests, the savannahs, the icecaps, the habitats of elephants, the habitats of so many creatures. It’s easy to feel hopeless.
But we shouldn’t. If each choice we make can negatively affect the world, then each decision can also positively impact the world.
The elephants certainly don’t feel hopeless. Our elephant residents have lived through some truly horrific traumas, yet they still greet their friends and their days with smiles and happy ear flaps.
Maia, Rana, Lady, and Mara are all unique individuals, but they aren’t unique to their species. Every elephant in every zoo, temple, and circus has an individual personality that can’t shine in their small enclosures and limited lives. Each captive elephant has the same potential if given the space for healing and the respect they deserve. Every wild elephant is just as special as each of our girls. Each one deserves to remain in their family unit and live the lives they are born into, safe from poachers and habitat encroachment, free of human-elephant conflict.
There’s no easy answer, but we believe one of the best tools available is education. We are grateful to have such a large platform to educate and to share stories and experiences but don’t forget that each of you has a platform too. You have your voice. So often, people just don’t know the reality of the lives of elephants. Never stop talking about, sharing, and fighting for elephants who need a better or safer life. ❤️
In the words of Dr. Seuss, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
So, thank you. Thank you for caring, for listening, for spreading awareness, for loving elephants.
(photo of Mara)