It's World Elephant Day this Monday (12 August), a day for us to place our awareness on the largest land animals on our planet.
They're grand, they're gorge, they're one of our Big 5, they've been in Africa for millions of years and now they're facing gut-wrenching hardships.
According to the official World Elephant Day
website, the day is intended to bring attention to the urgent plight of African and Asian elephants who are battling an avalanche of deadly factors: extreme illegal poaching for their ivory tusks, the loss of their natural habitats and conflict with humans for resources.
Another big factor is the brutal mistreatment of elephants in captivity. I've been reading a lot about this recently and it's harrowing, especially when they're abused to be "entertainment" for humans.
The day isn't just about awareness - the website also gives tips on how we can actively help our fellow mammals. You'll find these here: Things you can do
National Geographic will be marking the day with four elephant specials on Nat Geo Wild (DStv, channel 182 | StarSat, 221)
They're all airing during the day unfortunately - ridiculous - they should have aired some of them in the evening or repeated them so you'll have to record if you're busy during the day.
These are them:
An Elephant's World
*My Top Pick
Confronted by fire, famine, predators, and poachers, three elephant families overcome adversity in ways that feel almost human in nature.
This documentary follows the journeys of elephant herds in Kenya, India and Mali as they migrate towards food and safety, using knowledge shared over generations.
We get a glimpse into the minds of elephants, seeing that their unique abilities to communicate, educate, and sympathize, provide them with extraordinary skills to survive.
Follows the old elephant matriarch, Mensah, who must now take her young calf and the herd to safety, after the tragic death of her mother. She is their final hope and must lead them into their ancient feeding grounds.
Elephant King of the Kalahari
Botswana is home to more elephants than anywhere else in the world. It's the setting for a titanic battle. Every year, thousands of elephants trek over 7000 miles in search of food and life-giving water.
But the desert is a hostile place, especially as the dry season takes hold, so they must use their strength and cunning to survive. Along the way, they are shadowed by some of the most ruthless predators on earth - lions.
Baby Elephant Rescue
A perilously ill and orphaned elephant calf has been found abandoned. He's the victim of the growing battle for space and resources between people and elephants in Sri Lanka. Will he be rescued in time?
On being with elephants
Jozi Zoo will be open for free on Monday, to celebrate the day and the 40th birthday of elephant Lammie, who lives at the zoo.
At first I was iffy because of the captivity issue but from the sounds of it, the zoo is Aware.
This is what they have to say in their invite:
Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) will observe World Elephant Day on Monday, 12 August 2019 by providing free access to all its visitors.
Residents, students, photographers, artists and the media, are invited to join the celebrations to experience elephants in a sustainable environment where they are loved, cared for and protected, at the Joburg Zoo.
JCPZ will also take the opportunity to pay tribute to Lammie, the female pachyderm* who celebrates her 40th birthday on the eve of World Elephant Day and to officially welcome Mopani and Ramadiba - Joburg Zoo’s two new elephants.
Councillor Nonhlanhla Sifumba, the Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development urged visitors to take advantage of the free access to learn why zoos are important to nurture green conscientious citizens.
Sifumba stated that, “Every child should enjoy a life-altering experience of a face-to-face visit with an elephant. This is to fully value and understand the interdependencies between humans and the planet’s dwindling ecology”.
The event will include talks and exhibitions on environmental education and the medical, nourishment and enrichment programmes that Joburg Zoo provides for its elephants, in line with stringent legislated practices, required for all good zoos.
Pachyderm: a very large mammal with thick skin e.g. elephants,
rhinoceros and hippopotami. I had to Google, didn't know this before.
The African bush elephant
is the largest of the species. They give the boomble humans on TLC reality shows a run for their money because they weigh between 2,500 and 5,500 kilos.