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Elephant Appreciation Day – Why are elephants endangered?

Posted by: Sarah Ryan
Posted on: 22 Sep 2016
Posted in

Animals, Conservation

It’s Elephant appreciation day, and we always love to celebrate the amazing animals around our park! Like many of the species living here at the safari, our African Elephants are amongst some of the highest profile endangered species in the world.

There are only an estimated 470,000 wild elephants left in Africa – this might seem like a lot, but it’s really not! As many as 30,000 elephants are killed by poachers each year, and with one of the longest reproductive cycles in the animal kingdom, they struggle to recover their numbers. We only have our baby bumps for nine months but the gestation period for an African Elephant is 22 months, that means it takes nearly two years to replace even 1 adult elephant lost – that’s not to mention how long it takes for the little ones to reach maturity!

The ivory trade is one of the biggest threats elephants face, with poachers hunting them down to profit from the sale of their beautiful tusks on the black market. International laws make it illegal worldwide to sell any ivory products created after 1947 – but despite this the trade continues, even right here in the UK on high street market stalls!

Right now, campaigners are working towards the goal of banning ivory trade in the UK without evidence that the carving is at least 70 years old – even Prince William, a patron of the wildlife charity, Tusk, is getting on board with the movement!

You can help elephants, rhinos and other endangered species too! We’d recommend not buying any products that could be ivory or rhino horn – especially when holidaying abroad or travelling. Animals like elephants, rhino, orangutan and tigers rely on their forest homes for a safe and secure future. Ensure any timber or paper products you buy are FSC certified and spread the word! Talk about conservation with friends and family, and share messages on your social media encouraging others to get involved!

Sarah Ryan

Article by: Sarah Ryan

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