World Elephant Day

By Cecily Morgan

They say that an elephant never forgets. However, if their population continues to dwindle, these magnificent creatures are at risk of being forgotten. Estimates put the number of African elephants left roaming the earth at just 400, 000 and the number of Asian elephants at a shocking 40, 000, leading to their classification as “vulnerable” and “endangered”, respectively, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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Think back to 2006 – the year Pluto was downgraded from planet to dwarf planet and Daniel Craig made his debut as James Bond. Doesn’t feel like 12 whole years has passed, does it? That time again and elephants could be an extinct species, according to experts.

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To raise awareness of our elephants’ plight, World Elephant Day was launched in 2012 and has been celebrated on 12th August every year since. It aims to inform people of the dangers that our elephants face and how we can prevent the population from plummeting further.

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Exceeding the street value of gold, ivory is now considered as one of the world’s most sought-after substances. This mounting demand means that poaching poses a constant threat to elephant populations. However, the elephants’ ivory is not the only reason they are heartlessly hunted; they are also poached for their meat, leather, and body parts. The sickening act of elephant poaching is viewed as a low-risk, high-profit endeavour for some hunters, and has thus escalated into an epidemic for this beautiful species.

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Deforestation coincides with poaching as one of the most major threats to elephants. An increase in mining and agricultural activities on their land has led to the fragmentation of the populations, facilitating poaching by leaving the creatures isolated and vulnerable. This isolation also impedes reproduction, heightening the risk of extinction even further.

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Helping these majestic animals may seem difficult when you’re thousands of miles away, but that’s the point of World Elephant Day – making the world realise that the protection of elephants cannot be dismissed as somebody else’s responsibility. We can all, and must all, do our bit to help them. You don’t have to be in Africa or Asia to lobby politicians, educate your friends and family, and support charities who help elephants.

Supporting these charities can be as simple as buying a pair of socks. Profits from our beautiful Elephant socks help fund the International Elephant Foundation’s amazing work in the Indonesian island of Sumatra. For every pair of Elephant socks that’s purchased, Critically Endangered Socks works with the IEF to care for the Sumatran elephants in the Way Kambas National Park for two whole days. Rosy pink and emblazoned with stitched elephants, you can never forget the significance of these gorgeous socks.

So, if you want to help ensure that future generations can enjoy watching Dumbo, safe in the knowledge that such magical creatures are still alive and trumpeting, spare a thought for elephants this World Elephant Day, and buy a pair of Critically Endangered Socks whilst you’re at it.