Photo album dedicated to the World Day of elephants

New album is posted in our Photo Gallery that presents items from the museum Collection exposition. These are the images of elephants made from a variety of materials.

On September 22, many countries mark the ecological holiday - World Day of elephants, which was established at the initiative of the nature conservation organizations, ecologists and caring people that are concerned about the decline in the number of these animals.

Elephants are the largest land mammals on the planet; they belong to the elephant family (Elephantidae), the order of proboscis (Proboscidea). They are intelligent, self-aware and highly organized animals, the only ones that have survived to this day, representatives of the ancient group of proboscis that previously inhabited much of the land area. Currently, in nature, elephants live in tropical forests and savannas in Southeast Asia and Africa.

Since ancient times, elephants have been revered by many nations, in various cultures they are a symbol of sovereign rulers’ power and mightiness, wisdom and tranquility, kindness and prosperity. In all Buddhist countries, elephants are revered as a symbol of longevity, discretion and prudence.

They also played a significant role in the mundane life of people. It is known that in ancient times, elephants were engaged in military campaigns and battles, assisted in the construction work and transportation of goods, were indispensable helpers for peasants. Even nowadays, the well-being of a number of countries where tourism is one of the key sectors of the economy, directly depends on the elephants that attract tourists to the country. For example, in Thailand and India, elephants take part in all holidays and festive events, creating a unique atmosphere. The play polo, participate in races, draw and entertain tourists ...

However, a human being is the major enemy of an elephant. After all, the main reasons for their decline in the number are the manhunt on those animals for the sake of tusks and meat, extermination of those animals due to damage to crops, deforestation - the natural habitat of elephants, and generally the deterioration of the environment.

Nowadays, African elephants are on the verge of extinction. Despite the fact that in many countries, killing an elephant is punishable by death, and conservation areas have been created to protect them, the problem still remains. Indian elephants are not hunted for tusks (only male species have them), but even those are very short. Hence, the situation is no easier. Since India is considered the most populous place in the world, elephants are simply forced out of their natural habitat, often dooming to death from lack of food and water.

Zoos are not the solution as well. After all, they are far from being comfortable for animals, the appropriate care and kind attitude does not follow the elephants everywhere. Primarily, in captivity, elephants practically do not breed, and their lifespan is reduced significantly (the average lifespan in the wild is 60-70 years).

Currently, only two species have survived: the Indian elephant, which reaches a height of 2.5 meters and weighs 3-5 tons, and the larger representative is the African elephant, with the weight of 5-7 tons, its height can reach up to 4 meters. Today in Africa there are about 500-600 thousand elephants, in Asia - about 30 thousand individuals, and these figures are constantly decreasing. Indian elephants are listed in the Red Book of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as "endangered" and African elephants are listed there as "in a state of near endangered." In 1989, by UN decision, the international trade of ivory (tusks), which is used for jewelry and crafts, was completely banned.

Therefore, the main goal of the World Day of elephants is to disseminate information about the need to protect and preserve the population of African and Indian (or Asian) elephants, and to draw the attention of the public to the problem of illegal extermination of elephants and improper keeping of these animals in captivity.

Despite the fact that the World Day of elephants does not yet have an official status, many environmental and nature conservation organizations all over the world traditionally take part in organizing events dedicated to this day. Educational events, flash mobs, exhibitions and conferences are held on this day, people are told about elephants, about their life in nature and in captivity, about the problems of preserving these majestic animals.