Elephants are well known for their large size and excellent memories. With significant emotional intelligence, elephants can develop long-term relationships with elephants and humans alike.
From their keen survival skills and characteristics to their emotional depth, it’s no debate—elephants are truly extraordinary animals.
Between 2010 and 2012, 100,000 elephants were illegally killed for their ivory. The elephant population has declined by 50 percent in the last 35 years. These are frightening numbers for any species—but especially for a species as intelligent, empathetic, and truly fascinating as elephants.
If these numbers make you want to take action, you’re not alone. There are many people striving to help save the elephants, in both big and small ways. Below are five simple actions you can take to make sure we don’t lose elephants forever.
1) Spread the word. Many people don’t know elephants are at risk of extinction. Take every opportunity you get to educate those around you—not just about the evils of illegal poaching for ivory, but the widespread abuse of elephants for the sake of tourism all over the world.
Have a friend traveling to Thailand? Tell them about the abuse elephants endure to train for performances or give rides to visitors. Then let them know about the beautiful and uplifting elephant sanctuaries they can visit instead.
2) Don’t buy ivory. Luckily the U.S. has tight regulations on the importation of ivory products. But that doesn’t mean these products aren’t still available for sale—legally or illegally.
Do not support elephant poaching by purchasing ivory products, even if they’re old and were created at a time when importing new ivory was legal. And don’t buy them when traveling, no matter how beautiful they are.
By flaunting ivory items, you’re sending a message to those around you that these products, often decorative, are more important than saving an entire species.
3) Get involved with an organization devoted to wildlife conservation. There’s something for everyone, whether it’s money or time you give. Purchase clothes that help save the elephants, donate to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), or visit the AWF site to see how you can get involved. Saving this majestic species is a wonderful way to give back.
4) Send a whimsical (but insightful) e-card. Check out this extensive collection of fun e-cards to send to friends and family members on birthdays, special occasions, or times when you want to say “thank you” to someone awesome in your life. You can also send educational fact sheets.
These cards link back to World Wildlife Fund, spreading awareness about their cause to protect different species and keep the world a beautiful place for us to live in and share in harmony.
5) Share this blog post and others written for Elephant Awareness Month on social media. There are around 2.3 billion people in the world active on social media. We can make a difference one Tweet at a time.
Channels like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter have an unquestionable reach. If you see an article about how to save elephants that you like, share it on your social channels and encourage your friends to do the same.
This is an easy way to incorporate wildlife conservation into an activity you already do every day. No need to feel guilty logging hours on your smartphone when you’re posting to save the elephants.
Many people devote their lives and careers to saving the elephants and protecting other species at risk of extinction. You may not have the time, money, or resources to do this. What matters is that you do what you can and speak up to educate every time you get the chance. Many small steps (especially when taken in unity by many) can have an enormous impact.