World Elephant Day 2017

Posted on 11 August 2017

A well Known French writer Romain Gary (1914–1980) once wrote to the elephants, as expressed in a letter published in LIFE magazine in 1967 “In my eyes, dear Elephant, sir, you represent to perfection everything that is threatened today with extinction in the name of progress, efficiency, ideology, materialism, or even reason, for a certain abstract, inhuman use of reason and logic are becoming more and more allies of our murderous folly. It seems clear today that we have been merely doing to other species, and to yours in the first place, what we are on the verge of doing to ourselves.”
They are intelligent, they are family oriented, they have great memories and are capable of feeling a wide range of deep emotions; from intense grief to joy bordering on elation as well as empathy and stunning self-awareness. They create complex and supportive societies just like our own! They are the great conservationists of the wilderness. They are the biggest land mammals in in the world! They are the elephants!
They are important to us and to the environment. They maintain ecological harmony by transporting seeds to moles away and excrete them in fertile dung piles. 90% of plants and tree species rely on elephant for spread.
Last year alone tourism and only in Selous Game Reserve, which supports more than 60% of the Tanzania’s elephant population, generated 14 billion Tzs!
So tomorrow on the 12th August we mark the World elephant day. This will be the sixth year the world commemorates this day. This year’s theme is Be Elephant Ethical (BEE). It’s time for all of us to stop and reevaluate what we have accomplished so far in the fight against the plights these huge gentle mammals face.
 The government has done a commendable job in fighting poaching, good decisions and the not so good have been made. Elephant Day is an eye opener for us all that a lot still need to be done to save our elephants. Sadly Challenges are still there:
  • Poaching for ivory still remains near the same level despite China’s positive action to cease its legal ivory trade by the end of this year. Other countries, like Japan, still maintain a legal ivory trade.
  • The ongoing escalation of human population and resource development, which results in the loss of habitat for elephants and increase in Human-Elephant Conflict.
  • Lack of enough resources and working equipment for the rangers and Village Game scouts who are the guardians of elephants and other wildlife.
  • Lack of investment decisions that focus on a long term value on the government’s part
This elephant day talk about elephants, help by communicating to save our natural heritage. On your social networks and digital platforms or wherever the opportunity arises. Let’s not stop until we reach zero poaching, better livelihoods for people living around elephants habitats and safer, undisturbed natural habitats for elephants.
Adult elephant and juveniles
© Fredrick Weyerhaeuser