On this World Elephant Day pledge to always be #BeElephantEthical! These magnificent giants play a major ‘keystone’ role in their environment, as all animals, plants and the environment are interdependant and connected.
- Elephants live in herds with strong family bonds, consisting of six up to 20 animals.
- The herd is led by a matriarch, with aunties, cousins, daughters and young bulls all living together on a daily basis.
- The females assist each other with birth and babysitting.
- Herds split on the basis of food supply. When meeting up at a favourite watering hole these related family members can be seen to be expressing joy at being reunited.
- Bulls leave the matriarchal herd at around 13 years of age (puberty).
- Adult bulls wander alone or sometimes in a bachelor ‘pod’.
- The older bulls keep the younger ones in their place.
- Without the guidance of adults, the young ones cannot learn how to be functioning animals, which is why it is harmful to take babies away from their mothers and the herd.
- Knowledge of routes to food and water are passed down through generations.
- Elephants mourn their dead.
How to be an ethical elephant supporter:
- Do not ride elephants.
- Do not support animal circuses.
- Do not buy ivory products.
- Support organizations that are working to stop the illegal poaching and trade of elephant ivory and other wildlife products.
- Support organizations that are protecting wild elephant habitat.
- Support organizations that are building natural sanctuaries and alternative habitat for domesticated elephants to live freely.
- Be aware of their habitat. Do not buy coffee that is not fair-trade or shade-grown, nor products with palm-oil. These commercial crops are grown in plantations that have decimated their habitats. Only buy wood products that have been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which promotes responsible management of the world’s forests – the natural habitat for elephants and other wildlife.
Go to Save The Elephants for more info.
Photos: Gabrielle Ozynski