World Elephant Day marked for the sixth consecutive year


World Elephant Day was marked on Saturday. The UN asks the world community to take action to prevent elephants suffering the same fate as mammoths in their day.


The last mammoths lived on Vrangeløya, an island in the North Sea off the northeastern coast of Siberia’s mainland,approximately 4,000 years ago.


The animals were wiped out by genetic diseases which caused them to lose their sense of smell, avoid socialising, and their coats were destroyed, UNEP’s Environment Program said.

On the occasion of World Elephant Day, the UN urged the world community to take action to secure the stock of today’s elephants, both African and Asian, and ensure genetic diversity. During only the past seven years, Between 20 and 30,000 elephants have been killed by poachers, estimated the UN.

However, there are positive signs that the stock is growing in some places, especially in southern Africa, though the majestic animals are threatened there in another way.

Forestry, mining, and agriculture create problems in the elephant’s natural places of shelter, both in Africa and Asia. This contributes to fragmentation of dissemination areas, which in turn creates isolation.

The elephants no longer find each other as easily as previously, and it becomes easier for poachers to set traps, the UN pointed out.

The idea of establishing a World Elephant Day came up in 2011, among the Canadian filmmakers, Patricia Sims and Michael Clark, and also Sivaporn Dardarananda, who heads the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation in Thailand.

On August the 12th, 2012, the day was officially established, and is supported today by over 65 officially recognised wildlife and environmental organizations.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today