Go on a Virtual Safari and Walk with Elephants for World Elephant Day
Because travel has been essentially shut down because of the pandemic, it's nearly impossible to travel and see wildlife in person. But this World Elephant Day (today, August 12), the Shamwari Private Game Reserve wants you to come with them on a virtual safari to celebrate.
Established in 2012, World Elephant Day was created to “bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants,” which are both in danger due to various issues, such as “escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity,” as per the organization’s website. Each year on August 12, they aim to remind the public to “experience elephants in non-exploitive and sustainable environments where elephants can thrive under care and protection” and take the day to “express your concern, share your knowledge, and support solutions for the better care of captive and wild elephants alike.”
The Shamwari Private Game Reserve in South Africa has a plethora of conservation efforts in place to support elephants and other animals in the wild — including an anti-poaching unit, which works to “prevent any incidents while simultaneously actively protecting the fauna and flora of the reserve.”
The Reserve’s video series, Shamwari TV, often features Head Ranger Andrew Kearney on his daily excursions around the reserve. The program introduces viewers to the zebras, giraffes, and lions on the land via up-close-and-personal footage.
In honor of World Elephant Day, the organization is bringing viewers into the fold of what elephants do on a daily basis and letting you walk among them — all from the safety and comfort of your own home — via Zoom.
“Join me on August 12 as we raise awareness through conservation on #WorldElephantDay. They need our support,” says Kearney in a video for the event.
“With an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 [African] elephants being poached every year, their numbers are under threat. Now, with just over 400,000 animals left in the wild, we’re seeing the worst decline in 25 years. We need your support to support places like this as we raise awareness.”
Register to get access to the World Elephant Day special. After registration, you’ll receive an email with information on how to take part. Looking for other ways to help elephants? Here are six ways you can do your part. For more resources, we recommend Conservation Africa and Save the Elephants, or visit World Elephant Day itself. Happy World Elephant Day!