September 22 is Elephant Appreciation Day!
Elephant Appreciation Day was created in 1996 by Wayne Hepburn, the publisher and president of Mission Media, Inc, out of his fascination with elephants – an interest that began when his 12-year-old daughter gave him an elephant paperweight in 1970. Find out more about the origin of Elephant Appreciation Day.
Elephants are more than just the largest living land animals known for their strong trunks and ivory tusks. They are also social, compassionate, intelligent and self-aware animals that grieve over the loss of a companion, possess strong memorization skills, and – like humans, apes and dolphins – recognize that their reflection in a mirror is their own self.
However, subspecies of the African elephant are in danger and subspecies of the Asian elephant are moving closer to extinction due to poaching for ivory and meat, loss of habitat, and conflict with humans. Go to worldwildlife.org to find out more about threats to elephants and World Wild Life’s efforts towards conserving both African and Asian elephant populations.