World Elephant Day: Large-scale poaching and ivory trade remain biggest threats

There are about only 27,312 elephants left in India as per a census report from 2017.

Once I was common throughout Asia and Africa,
and now I'm one of the endangered ones.
Cut down my home, killed my family for something called 'Ivory'.
I hope it was worth it.

The most urgent threat that the elephants are facing these days is the large-scale poaching taking place to fulfill the needs of the illegal ivory trade.

There are various organisations working towards putting an end to these villainous acts, such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) which works with TRAFFIC in managing the global record of ivory seizures.

Representational image.

Representational image. Reuters.

But this is not the only reason for the drop in the number of elephants. As the forest cover has been depleting and is being used for human purposes, there has been an increase in the conflict between people and elephants.

On the outskirts of the Tesso Nilo Forest, in Indonesia, WWF has trained elephants and local people to form a "flying squad" that helps in driving away rogue elephants away from farms and back in their own habitat.

An elephant tusks batch seized from traffickers by Ivorian wildlife agents is pictured in Abidjan, Ivory Coast January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

An elephant tusks batch seized from traffickers by Ivorian wildlife agents is pictured in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Reuters

Looking at the need to start conserving these gigantic creatures, the World Elephant Day was co-founded on 12 August 2012 by Patricia Sims and the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation of Thailand. Since then the global awareness to save elephants has grown.

This day is seen to be as a catalyst to rally in organisations and call out to individuals in order to voice the issues that endanger elephants.

World Elephant Day generates a feeling of unity, allowing everyone to work as a single unit, across borders to create an environment where the elephants feel safe and are protected.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

At the turn of the 20th century, there were a few million African elephants and about 1,00,000 Asian elephants. The current estimates tell that there are only about 4,50,000 - 7,00,000 African elephants and between 35,000 - 40,000 wild Asian elephants.

According to the report in Elephant Census 2018, there are about only 27,312 elephants left in India as per the census which was taken in 2017.

Here are some of the supporters calling out to protect these majestic beasts:




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