Written By: Christi Reiter
Happy World Elephant Day!
Elephants are incredibly intelligent and strong, but did you know they also play a huge role in the African savanna ecosystem? Elephants are known as a "keystone species", which means they shape the ecosystem that other African animal friends, like bird, monkey and hoofstock species rely on for survival.
Elephants can knock down trees easily which provides necessary resources to smaller animals who can't clear the trees themselves. They can also cut paths into thick forest habitats with ease, transform landscapes and use their tusks to dig wallows which provide food and water to other animals. Without elephants in Africa, a lot of other animals living there would struggle to survive!
Right now, due to illegal hunting and human conflict in Africa, our elephant friends really need your help! There are lots of ways you can lend a hand (or trunk):
- Be a smart shopper- do not purchase ivory!
- Educate others
- Visit your local zoo
- Donate time and/or resources to elephant conservation.
Organizations like 96elephants.org are great because they help support elephant-friendly initiatives. These initiatives include, funding beehives or solar powered lights for farmers who frequently have conflict with wild elephants raiding their crops, they also help provide monitoring systems and support to rangers on the ground.
Do your part and #BeHerd. For more information visit 96elephants.org.