All About Elephants
Elephants are the largest land animals on Earth. There are two species of elephants; the Asian elephant and the African elephant. They live on separate continents and have many unique features. There are several subspecies in both elephant categories. African elephants live in sub-Saharan Aftica, the rain forests of Central and West Africa and the Sahel desert in Mali. Asian elephants live in Nepal, India and Southeast Asia in scrub forests and rain forests.
An elephant’s trunk has more than 100,000 muscles. They use it to breathe, pick things up, make noises, drink and smell. The same way that humans tend to be right-handed or left-handed, elephants too can be right-tusked or left tusked. Tusks are used for protection, foraging, digging, striping bark for food and moving objects out of the way.
Elephants are extremely capable of human-like emotions such as excitement, loss, grieving and even crying. They remember and mourn their loved ones that pass, even years after their death. When the well-known Lawrence Anthony, widely known as the “elephant whisperer” died in 2012 in his home in the Thula Thula game reserve in South African KwaZulu, two hers of wild South Aftrican elephants traveled through the Zululand bush and loitered for two days outside the home of the conservationist who had saved their lives.
Like human toddlers, great apes, magpies and dolphins, elephants can recognize themselves in a mirror.
Although their skin can be upwards of an inch thick, elephants are very susceptible to sunburn, so they take great care to protect themselves by covering themselves in sand and mud.
Elephants LOVE water. They like to swim, dive into water and find great joy in fighting waves. They also enjoy the buoyancy they get rom the water, giving their joints a break.
Why are elephants in danger?
Elephant numbers have dropped by 62% over the last decade, and they could be mostly extinct by the end of the next decade. An estimated 100 African elephants are killed each day by poachers seeking ivory, meat and body parts, leaving only 400,000 remaining. An insatiable lust for ivory products in the Asian market makes the illegal ivory trade extremely profitable, and has led to the slaughter of tens of thousands of African elephants. Between 2010 and 2014, the price of ivory in China has tripled, driving illicit poaching through the roof. If the elephants are to survive, the demand for ivory must be drastically reduced. As of 2011, the world is losing more elephants than the population can reproduce, threatening the future of African elephants across the continent. Bull elephants with big tusks are the main targets and their numbers have been diminished to less than half of the females. Female African elephants have tusks and are also killed, which has a terrible effect on the stability of elephant societies, leaving an increasing number of orphaned baby elephants.
The Asian elephant, whose habitat ranges over 13 countries across Asia, is an endangered species with less than 40,000 remaining worldwide – less than a tenth of the African elephant population. Wild Asian elephants suffer severe habitat loss in some of the most densely human-populated regions on the planet. Their traditional territories and migration routes have been fragmented by development, highways and industrial mono-crops such as palm oil and rubber tree plantations, which has destroyed millions of hectares of forest ecosystems. With no access to their natural habitat, elephants are forced into deadly confrontations with humans where neither species wins. Asian elephants are also poached for their ivory tusks, meat and body parts while baby elephants are captured from the wild and sold into the tourism industry. Worldwide, Asian elephants are trained, traded and used for entertainment in tourist parks and circuses, and also for illegal logging activities. These captive elephants are often mistreated, abused and confined to sub-standard facilities without adequate veterinarian care.
Elephants are running out of space and time. Before we know it they will be gone — unless we collectively stop the senseless poaching and consumer demand for ivory, and allocate protected natural habitat in countries where elephants and other wildlife can thrive now, and in the future.
Because without elephants, just what kind of world would it be?
How Can We Help?
Total Imagination events is committed to helping protect our talisman and one of the most sensitive, intelligent and interesting creatures on our planet by promoting awareness and participation in elephant conservation and protection efforts and by donating a percentage of our annual gross profits to the non profit organizations.
We encourage you to engage in the conversation of one of our planets most majestic creatures by helping to promote the awareness of the severity of the situation and by donating to one of these incredible non profit organizations.
Here are a few ways you can help:
Sign the Petition
Take Action Now by demanding lawmakers ban ivory sales in your state. This is a critical step in reducing ivory sales in the United States.
Spread the Word & Stay Informed
African Wildlife Foundation:
Google +: https://plus.google.com/+AfricanWildlifeFoundation/posts
Save The Elephants:
Elephants Without Borders
Elephant Care International, A Carol Buckley Project
Don't Support Elephant Exploitation for Amusement
- If you really knew what takes place behind the scenes of some commonly attended entertainment events, would you still be amused?
- Don’t attend circuses that exhibit elephants (or other animals for that matter) Learn about what really happens to elephants in circuses.
- Don’t engage in Elephant exploitation in your tourism. i.e. Don’t book an “elephant backed” safari. In both Asian tourism markets as well as the recent spread to African elephant tourism markets, the elephant backed safari is inhumane and torturous for the animals. Learn More Here: http://www.elephantvoices.org/elephants-in-captivity-7/-in-tourism.html
Bust Out Your Checkbook. We did.
We have investigated the top charities to donate funds to in an effort to protect endangered elephants globally, as well as provide US based sanctuaries that rescue and rehabilitate captive elephants necessary funding. There are many reputable non-profit organizations to donate to, but here are a few of our favorites:
- Save The Elephants http://savetheelephants.org
- The Elephant Sanctuary http://www.elephants.com
- Elephants Without Borders http://www.elephantswithoutborders.org
- Elephant Voices: http://www.elephantvoices.org
- African Wildlife Foundation: https://www.awf.org
- Elephant Care International, A Carol Buckley Project http://www.elephantaidinternational.org