Today, on August 3rd, we come across another Elephant Awareness Day in Los Angeles. Let’s take a minute to look back on what happened this past year for the elephants of our world! In March, Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey announced that they will be retiring elephant acts by 2018. After years of pressure from animal rights activists, Ringling Bros. decided to phase out the use of elephants in “The Greatest Show on Earth.” Executive Vice President Alana Feld explained the company’s decision as a result of “… a mood shift among our consumers.” This shift opens a brighter future for animals working in entertainment as it confirms that the public is becoming increasingly aware and concerned for the welfare of animals in captivity. Los Angeles played a key role in this victory after passing a ban on the use of bullhooks in the city, forcing Ringling to either change their ways of treatment or no longer bring elephants to L.A. Barack Obama shined a light on the slaughter of African elephants for the illegal ivory trade when he enacted stricter laws to prohibit the sale of ivory in the United States. This legislation will put an end to almost all imports, exports, and sales of ivory across state lines. In further efforts to show American support for African elephants, a historic “ivory crush” took place in New York’s Time’s Square earlier this summer. The destruction of over one ton of confiscated illegal ivory symbolizes the passion with which Americans are willing to fight to put an end to the illegal trade. With an average of 50,000 African elephants being poached each year, and the population dwindling to shocking numbers, it is hard to still have hope for the future of our beloved creatures. The recent support from governments around the world and powerful organizations shows that we are moving in the right direction to saving our elephants, but will we be able to move fast enough? Almost anyone I talk to, about the state of elephants in our world today, expresses disbelief and horror. I see an ignition of passion in their eyes, and a yearning to step in and help. When I can get people to feel what I feel about what’s happening to elephants in our world, I have renewed hope. Awareness is key in the quest to save our elephants. Many Americans are still blind to the reality that we could lose our African elephant population in less than 15 years. So today, on Elephant Awareness Day, share the news of what’s been happening for elephants in the past year. You never know what a little awareness can do!
Filed in: Elephant Awareness Day