Elephants are the elegant beasts that rule the jungles and grasslands in various parts of the world. These animals are the biggest mammals on land. They have a huge body and four pillar-like legs to walk and run. Due to domestication, poaching, and loss of habitat, we are currently losing the population of elephants across the world.
To save the elephants, we need to raise awareness. The world should know their importance and it can be done by celebrating World Elephant Day. In this blog, we will find out the history of this day and a few facts about elephants.
The first ancestor of elephants did not have trunks. The Moeritherium were the oldest ancestors existing at least 40 million years ago. The trunk started to evolve based on the requirements of breathing underwater. You will be surprised to know that the trunk was developed for snorkelling purposes. The modern elephants use trunks to collect and eat food.
Archaeologists have found nearly 160 extinct species related to elephants. These species had trunks, huge bodies, and tusks like the modern elephants and even bigger. The prehistoric elephant species name is Gomphotherium. It existed 20 million years ago.
When climate change started to hasten, food and habitat became a privilege for these big creatures. This is the time when the earth was roamed by mastodons and mammoths. They were bigger in size than modern elephants. Our ancestors hunted them for meat and fur. Later, they tamed them to carry weight and hunt other animals.
To this day, elephants are domesticated for various purposes. This is in short the history of elephants.
Elephants And Their History
The history of elephants tells us how significant these animals are for the historic and modern ecosystem. They are social animals and have remarkable memories. In modern times, we burst in human population and deforestation has led to the extinction of many such species.
Our man-made reasons are depleting the population of these animals across the world. Poachers kill elephants for their tusks. The tusks are used to make ivory, a very valuable material in the world of art, decoration, and alternative medicines.
The oldest known ivory jewellery dates back 41,500 years. It was found in Poland by archaeologists. Ivory is considered the symbol of luxury and richness. This is why elephants are killed for our greed.
To stop this, the World Elephant Society and the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation jointly celebrate World Elephant Day on 12th August. This campaign is led by the founding president of the World Elephant Society Patricia Sims.
The celebration of Save The Elephant Day raises awareness among us. It tells us how elephants are important for our ecosystem. It also explains how to save these beautiful animals from extinction. The outreach program is conducted through events in different institutions across the world.
This foundation also allows individuals to participate in this worldwide celebration of this day. They can make documentaries based on particular themes related to elephants. They can individually raise awareness regarding saving and helping elephants. Individuals can also participate by exposing how elephants are exploited in various human institutions such as temples and circuses.
Elephants, as mentioned earlier, are the biggest mammals roaming and ruling the jungle. They live in herds. A group of elephants is termed as memory. They are very intelligent and know how to protect their habitats.
The importance of elephants can be expressed in the following points.
Elephants are voracious eaters. They can completely empty grasslands within days. Thus, they create empty spaces for new plants to grow. These gaps in vegetation are very important for the ecosystem. These gaps can be used by smaller animals as paths. They also serve as the birthplace of plants.
Elephants also act as a medium of seed dispersal. When they eat, they tend to thrash twigs of shrubs and small plants. Due to their invasive eating process, seeds get dispersed over long distances. Seeds also get dispersed by their faeces. You will be surprised to know that many plant species depend on elephants for the dispersal of seeds.
The elephant dung is a great source of nitrogen for plants to grow. They also travel for miles and spread natural fertilisers in this way.
Elephants are also natural diggers. When drought hits, they use their tusks to dig holes where water can accumulate. It helps the herds of elephants and other animals to survive.
Elephants in African Savannah have learned to survive and share lands with people. Strong emotions are built among the people who survive with these animals together.
These points perfectly depict the elephant's significance. Elephants indeed are needed for the balance of our ecosystem.
On the auspicious World Elephant Day, we can pledge to spread awareness among people. Elephants often are killed when they enter human habitations. It happens as their habitats are shrinking day by day. We need to raise awareness regarding human encroachment on their natural habitats.
They do not have the power to understand the difference and tend to enter our villages and cities. People injure elephants when they try to eat or destroy crops and assets. We need to understand the difference and save these animals from imminent extinction.
The best way to keep them flourishing is by creating sanctuaries and protecting the forests. Domesticating and exploiting elephants should stop immediately. This is how we can save the depleting population of elephants from sure extinction. Let us pledge to make these animals rule the jungles the way they did.