Today is World Elephant Day, launched in 2012 to bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African Elephants. The Elephant is loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, yet we balance on the brink of seeing the last of this magnificent creature.
Nick Brandt, Elephant with Baby on Ground, Amboseli 2012, @ Nick Brandt Courtesy of Atlas Gallery, London. From the completion of Nick Brandt’s trilogy: On This Earth, A Shadow Falls, Across the Ravaged Land, (Abrams Books, 2013), which documents the disappearing natural world and animals of East Africa. The third and final volume of Brandt’s trilogy reveals the darker side of his vision of East Africa’s animal kingdom and the juxtaposition of mankind.
Nick Brandt, Ranger With Tusks Of Killed Elephant, Amboseli 2011, @ Nick Brandt Courtesy of Atlas Gallery, London. From On This Earth, A Shadow Falls, Across the Ravaged Land, (Abrams Books, 2013). Brandt’s powerful photos of animals in all their majesty continue to resonate with human sentiment, as there is immense beauty with a sense of tragedy and destruction in many of the images.
The escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are just some of the threats to both African and Asian Elephants. Working towards better protection for wild Elephants, improving enforcement policies to prevent the illegal poaching and trade of ivory, conserving Elephant habitats, better treatment for captive Elephants and, when appropriate, reintroducing captive Elephants into natural, protected sanctuaries are the goals that numerous Elephant conservation organizations are focusing on around the world.
World Elephant Day asks you to experience Elephants in non-exploitive and sustainable environments where Elephants can thrive under care and protection. On World Elephant Day, express your concern, share your knowledge and support solutions for the better care of captive and wild Elephants alike.
Two incredible organizations doing important work are photographer Nick Brandt and conservationist Richard Bonham’s Big Life Foundation and The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust -both dedicated to the protection and preservation of Africa’s Wilderness and its denizens, particularly endangered species such as Elephants. Using innovative conservation strategies to address the greatest threats, reduce the loss of wildlife to poaching, defeat the ivory trade, mitigate human-wildlife conflict, protect the great predators, and manage scarce and fragile natural resources.