National Elephant Appreciation Day is a great time to give these majestic and beautiful creatures the respect they deserve. Elephants are the largest land mammals on Earth, so it’s only right that they have a day completely dedicated to them. Sadly, humans are increasingly placing the elephant’s future at risk. So, whether you’re a lifelong elephant lover or not, take time on September 22 to learn about these amazing pachyderms.
National Elephant Appreciation Day - History
National Elephant Appreciation Day began
Publisher Wayne Hepburn started it all after an elephant paperweight gift sparked his interest.
P.T. Barnum bought Jumbo the elephant
The London Zoological Society sold Jumbo the Elephant to circus developer P.T. Barnum for £2,000 — igniting a major controversy.
An elephant fit for a Pope
Portugese king Manuel I sent Pope Leo X an elephant as an elaborate gift .
Elephants helped win a battle
When Pyrrhus invaded southern Italy, he used elephants to help him win a very bloody battle.
How to Observe National Elephant Appreciation Day
1. Visit elephants in the zoo
If you're lucky, you might get to watch the elephants during feeding time or have the opportunity to ask about what life is like for zoo elephants.
2. Do elephant arts and crafts
Pop over to your nearest craft store, and you'll be well on your way to creating adorable masks, handprint art, and even cute T-shirts.
3. Read about elephants
Make it a point to grab a book that will help you brush up on your elephant trivia.
4 More Reasons To Save The Elephants
1. Spilled something? Call an elephant to help you pick it up
There's so much dexterity in an elephant's trunk —it can pick up the tiniest of particles.
2. Elephant babies show their independence
Baby elephants, blind shortly after birth, can nonetheless stand up and function quite well.
3. Old man elephant
Elephants have life expectancies of 50 to 70 years.
4. The mice myth
They're not afraid of mice; some African communities actually use elephants to help keep field mice out of crops.
Why National Elephant Appreciation Day is Important
A. They're endangered
Hunting has severely reduced the number of elephants left in the world. Thankfully, organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund and the International Elephant Foundation are working hard to protect African and Asian elephants.
B. They're emotional
Pay attention to an elephant for a little while, and it'll be easy to feel connected. Elephants are able to display fear, joy, excitement, and even grief. They're also very social, meaning they're more like humans than you may have realized.
C. Elephants respect their elders
Elephant "respect" comes through age and wisdom — not aggression. Many elephants follow around the oldest female because she knows where to find food and shelter.