Save the Elephant Day – April 16, 2023

Save the Elephant Day is observed across the world on April 16 every year. Its purpose is to raise awareness about the predicament of elephants, whose population has continued to decline quite noticeably.

History of Save the Elephant Day

Elephants are the largest existing land animals and are spread across Africa and Asia. Recent studies estimate that there are now just over 400,000 elephants across the African continent and although the situation differs from country to country, it can not be denied that the giant mammals are in decline on a continent-wide scale. Human activities such as poaching for ivory remain a significant reason for the decline.

Save the Elephant Day seeks to change this upsetting trend by educating people about elephants and the predicament they face, encouraging everyone to do their bit in helping to save elephants from extinction.

Organizations across the world have worked together to tackle some of the major threats elephant populations face. In 1989, the international commercial trade of ivory was banned. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) secured an agreement among its member states to ban the international ivory trade.

In 2016, China, which is the world’s largest ivory market, called for the ban of all ivory sales within the country. On December 20, 2018, the U.K. Ivory Act 2018 received royal assent after being passed by the British Parliament. The act may be extended to include hippos, walruses, and narwhals in the future.

In 2012, Save the Elephant Day was established by the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation in Thailand, together with Patricia Sims, a Canadian filmmaker. The launch of this worldwide initiative in the year 2012 saw the release of the “Return to the Forest,” a documentary film narrated by “Star Trek” actor William Shatner.

Save the Elephant Day timeline

1989
International Commercial Trade of Ivory is Banned

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) secures an agreement among its member states to ban the international ivory trade.

2016
China Bans Ivory Sales

China, the world's largest ivory market, bans all ivory sales within the country.

2018
The U.K. Ivory Act

On December 20, the U.K. Ivory Act 2018, receives royal assent after being passed by the British Parliament.

2012
The Day is Established

The Elephant Reintroduction Foundation in Thailand creates Save the Elephant Day.

Save the Elephant Day FAQs

Why is World Elephant Day celebrated?

World Elephant Day is celebrated on August 12 every year to help protect elephants by raising awareness about the difficult conditions they experience.

Is Save the Elephants legit?

Yes, Save the Elephants is a U.K.-registered charity based in Kenya and was founded in September 1993 by Iain Douglas-Hamilton.

What is the Save the Elephants Foundation?

The Save the Elephants foundation works to secure the future of elephants.

How to Observe Save the Elephant Day

  1. Create awareness on social media

    Share useful information about saving the elephants on your social media platforms. You can also join sensitization campaigns to inform the general public about the need to help save endangered elephant populations.

  2. Do not purchase ivory products

    Help discourage the poaching of elephants by not buying any ivory merchandise. If there are no demands for elephant tusks then poachers won’t have a market.

  3. Support organizations

    Support organizations that are working to stop the illegal poaching and trade of elephant ivory and other wildlife products. You can help by donating to their cause or by volunteering.

5 Important Facts About Elephants

  1. Elephants help to shape ecosystems

    Elephants are essential for supporting ecosystems and are considered a core species for the role they play.

  2. Species are distinguished by their ears

    The ears of African elephants are much larger than Asian elephants.

  3. Elephant tusks are teeth

    Elephant tusks are enlarged incisor teeth that first appear when elephants are about two years old.

  4. Many African elephants have been wiped out

    About 90% of African elephants have been wiped out in the previous century due to the ivory trade.

  5. Elephants have very thick skin

    An elephant’s skin is up to 1.6 inches thick in most places.

Why Save the Elephant Day is Important

  1. It helps to stop the illegal wildlife elephant trade

    We get a chance to play our part in stopping the illegal wildlife elephant trade. We support community scouts, rangers, sniffer dogs, and wildlife trade monitoring networks to deter poachers and cut out the demand from would-be buyers.

  2. It sensitizes the public

    We create awareness about the predicament of elephants. We also help to discourage the public from purchasing items made from ivory.

  3. It raises funds

    By encouraging people to donate to the Save the Elephants movement, we can help protect them. Fundraising events are also organized to help protect the remaining estimated 497,000 elephants in the world.

Save the Elephant Day dates

YearDateDay
2022April 16Saturday
2023April 16Sunday
2024April 16Tuesday
2025April 16Wednesday
2026April 16Thursday

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