Every year, World Elephant Day is held on August 12 to help raise awareness of critical issues impacting African and Asian elephants, whose numbers have dwindled in recent years due to poaching and other serious threats. The day is marked by millions of people throughout the world and is dedicated to the protection and preservation of elephants throughout the world. The event was first conceived in 2011 by Michael Clark and Patricia Sims, two filmmakers from Canada as well as Sivaporn Dardarananda, the Secretary-General of the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation in Thailand.
The inaugural World Elephant Day was first held on August 12, 2012 and continues to be spearheaded by Sims through her role at the World Elephant Society, founded in November 2015 and is now supported by over 65 wildlife organisations. The goal that numerous elephant conservation organisation is focusing on around the world are: better protection for wild elephants, improving enforcement policies to prevent the illegal poaching and trade of ivory, conserving elephant habitats and better treatment for captive elephants.
According to the event’s website: “World Elephant Day is the vehicle by which organisation and individuals can rally together to give voice to the issues threatening elephants. Its vision of the ‘neutral’ approach allows and facilitates all organisations and citizens to conduct campaigns under the auspices of World Elephant Day, permitting everyone to work together to support this critical global issue which demands cooperation across borders and political lines.” African elephants are listed as ‘vulnerable’ and Asian elephants as ‘endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of threatened species.