Saturday, August 12, 2023

Today is World Elephant Day!

Today is a special day, it is World Elephant Day! I personally love elephants - especially Pygmy Elephants (which, yes, are a real thing), so a day to focus on and celebrate these amazing animals is certainly a day worth celebrating! Let's start with some fun elephant facts, did you know . . .

  • The African Bush Elephant (a.k.a. African Savanna  Elephant) is the largest elephant: It’s actually the largest living terrestrial animal on the planet.
  • The African Forest Elephant (also known as a Pygmy Elephant) was considered a subspecies of the African Bush Elephant, but it is now reclassified as a distinct species which was separated two to seven million years ago. They’re smaller and have more rounded ears and hairier trunks than their cousins.
  • The Indian Elephant is found in 10 Southeast Asian countries, but the majority (around 30,000) are found in four areas of India. 
  • An elephant’s trunk weighs around 400 pounds and contains around 100,000 different muscles. But, due to the special physical features like finger-like appendages at the tip, they’re also nimble enough to pluck a single blade of grass.
  • Elephants are incapable of jumping, but they can run at a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour. Yet even when they are moving at their fastest, they still keep at least one foot on the ground at all times.
  • Elephants from the same herd will often use touch to greet each other, either wrapping their trunks around each other or giving each other friendly “hello” taps on the body.
  • In addition to the familiar trumpet blast sound they’re known for, Elephants also purr much like cats do.
  • Elephant herds are matriarchal, with older females taking turns taking care of the calves and protecting them while traveling from place to place. If a herd has "grandma ellies", the babies are more likely to survive.
  • Elephants are instinctively afraid of bees.
You will find more elephant fun facts at this link.

Yes, elephants are amazing, but why do we have a World Elephant Day? "Personifying prehistoric beauty, theological relevance, and environmental importance, this August 12, we honor one of Earth’s most magnificent creatures with World Elephant Day. Over the last decade, the number of elephants has significantly dropped by 62% and they could be mostly extinct by the end of the next decade.

It is estimated that, every day, 100 African elephants are killed by poachers. The desire for ivory in Asian markets has led to the slaughter of thousands of elephants. World Elephant Day was created to raise awareness and create change to save these majestic creatures." You can read more about this at the following link.

You will find more information about elephants and how to help protect these wonderful creatures at the World Wildlife Fund link - check it out and consider doing something to help elephants.

How might you celebrate World Elephant Day? Consider the following - 
  • "Adopt" an elephant - learn about it at this link.
  • Have an elephant party and serve food elephants enjoy - such as fruit. Elephants eat lots of fruit, so serve some familiar fruit along with some not-so-familiar fruit at your party.
  • Elephants care about their families, so gather your family and be sure to get a photo - and give lots of hugs, too!
Enjoy celebrating elephants - they are truly an amazing animal!

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