Created in 1996 by Mission Media, a graphics and publishing company, the day’s origins are largely based on owner Wayne Hepburn’s personal fascination with elephants. His interest, in turn, began when he received an elephant paperweight as a gift from his daughter. Despite its somewhat ridiculous back story, the day has received some official recognition.
That said, elephants are certainly worthy of some appreciation from all of us. They are, after all, the largest land mammals in the world and sadly, many species of elephants face the threat of extinction, due to environmental factors and the ivory trade.
Pending extinction of African elephants is a global crisis that needs to be solved today. Driven by the illegal trade, 30 percent of the continent’s elephants have been slaughtered in seven years. On current trends, when today’s children reach adulthood, African elephants will be extinct in the wild. The elephant poaching crisis exists because there is insufficient funding for implementation of effective, professional and organized law enforcement in the majority of African elephant range-states. Wildlife Alliance is a global leader in Direct Protection of Forests and Wildlife and has a successful track-record of focused interventions halting species extinctions. Our solution focuses on tackling corruption and implementing direct on-the-ground law enforcement by motivated and well managed rangers across six countries at the forefront of the poaching crisis. We will demonstrate success in halting elephant poaching, allowing conservation to leverage funding for continent-wide implementation, thus securing the future of Africa’s elephants.