One of the world's most gallant animals, the elephant, is being celebrated this month. World Elephant Day today seeks to raise as much appreciation for their lives as possible, encouraging people worldwide to see the many ways elephants are making the world a better place.
Sean Hensman, Manager at Adventures With Elephants, joined us to talk about why World Elephant Day is so important.
According to the Wildlife Conservation Society - 96 elephants are killed every day in Africa. Why is it so important we celebrate World Elephant Day?
Elephants are known as a keystone species, which means that entire ecosystems are dependent on them for their survival. The role a keystone species plays in its ecosystem is analogous to the role of a keystone in an arch. While the keystone is under the least pressure of any of the stones in an arch, the arch still collapses without it. Similarly, an ecosystem may experience a dramatic shift if a keystone species is removed, even though that species was a small part of the ecosystem by measures of biomass or productivity.
A fascinating discovery in Kenya showed that elephants can recognise different tribes from their human languages and scents, and know which ones belong to people with a history of confrontation with elephants - how is this ability being explored by your researchers?
The Rory Hensman Elephant Research Unit wants to see how the elephants compare to dogs, and if one day we could use them to help wildlife and humanity by detecting diseases such as foot and mouth disease, checking areas suspected to have landmines and possibly even early cancer detection.
As part of World Elephant Day you'll be hosting underprivileged children from a nearby orphanage later in the week - what can you tell us about that?
As part of the celebration Adventures with Elephants will be hosting underprivileged children from a nearby orphanage to enjoy an educational interaction with these tusked creatures later in the week.
Adventures with Elephants offers wonderful hands-on elephant interactions, elephant back rides, swims on the elephants, and tailor made activities. Here people can learn about elephants in a unique way, in a natural setting. Our friendly, experienced and qualified elephant handlers will share their in-depth knowledge and passion for their charges with guests, in this unrivalled and extraordinary experience.
As we celebrate World Elephant Day, it’s ever more important that we recognise and appreciate these majestic creatures, and do everything we can to protect them. Find out how you can help by visiting worldelephantday.org.
If you'd like to find out more about Adventures With Elephants, check out their website.