|Elephants live as families and show great emotional bonds for one another.|
Did you know that 35,000 elephants, or 96 per day, were killed in Africa in 2012? Sadly that's the truth thanks to demand for ivory and continued illegal poaching across the African continent. And the effects go far beyond just those elephants that are killed... As poachers target the older matriarchs for their large tusks, a generation of young, orphaned African elephants is growing up without guidance. During Tanzania’s drought of 1993, matriarchs that endured a similar event decades earlier knew where to lead their herds for food and water. Groups with matriarchs too young to remember the previous drought lost more than half of their calves that year.
Thankfully there's an easy way for you to lend your voice and help. 96 Elephants is an awesome organization which is using activism, social media, an incredible coalition of zoos across the world and key partnerships with organizations like The Clinton Global Initiative and Walt Disney World to raise awareness and fight for change.
So what can you do!? Join the growing herd!!!
* Click HERE to sign the petition pledging not to buy or sell anything made of ivory and to support government efforts which declare a moratorium on the sale of ivory. (It's so easy and it's a free way to help make change!!)
* Check out other ways to be an advocate HERE (like calling for an ivory ban law in your state, stopping the glorification of ivory sales on tv and more)
* Raise awareness with your kids (or your class if you're a teacher!) by taking an "Elphie". Learn more about the Elphie movement HERE.
And finally, here are some key facts to share as you encourage others to take a stand:
* Few of today’s poachers hunt elephants for subsistence; most are commercially driven, heavily armed criminals.
* Illegal poaching and wildlife trafficking is the fourth largest transnational crime. Ivory—sometimes called “the white gold of jihad”—helps fund the military operations of notorious terrorist groups.
* The tusks are removed in a brutal and cruel fashion, often with an ax while the elephant is still alive.
* The Wildlife Conservation Society working alongside rangers, ecoguards, rural communities, government officials, and even Labrador retrievers to turn the tide for elephants. From radio-collaring elephants on the ground to monitoring their populations overhead, from training and equipping local rangers to deploying ivory-sensitive sniffer dogs at key transit points, WCS is fighting to save elephants every day.