In 1980, there were an estimated 1.2 million African elephants. Today, there are less than 420,000. This is largely due to the demand for ivory.
Last month, President Obama announced a proposal to ban the sale of ivory in the United States. The ban would be a huge victory for elephants, considering that the United States is the second largest ivory consumer nation behind China.
As a coalition partner with more than 150 institutions, the Zoo is working with the 96 Elephants campaign to collect letters in support of the strongest possible ivory ban. This week, which coincides with World Elephant Day on Wednesday, August 12, we will be encouraging guests that visit the Elephant Wild Discover Zone at the Zoo to write letters. If you can’t make it to Zoo, but want to take part in the letter writing campaign, you can download the 96 Elephant Letter and send it in.
We also encourage you to #GoGrey on World Elephant Day. Wear grey, take an #elphie (that is, a selfie) and post it to social media to help spread the word.
Lastly, just by coming to the Zoo on World Elephant Day or any other day, you are helping us save species across the globe. So pack your trunk and lead your herd on out to the Zoo!