World Elephant Day: A Jumbo Affair To Remember

The Elephants from Dalma sanctuary from Jhadkhand riched in Jadibali Forest range in Nilgiri, Balasore

Bhubaneswar: Quoting a popular character from one of the most loved children’s stories, The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, Odisha Tourism on Sunday tweeted urging everyone to join hands to preserve the “creators and preservers of forests”, as the world celebrated ‘Elephant Day’.

World Elephant Day, observed on August 12, is dedicated to the preservation and protection of elephants across the globe.

These pachyderms play a very important role in balancing the ecology. They feed on a mixed variety of trees and disperse the seeds of the same, which eventually leads to the creation of forest in the long run. Some species like wood apple depend entirely on these wild animals for seed dispersion.

Their dung act as fertilizer for the soil in large forest areas. Through their dung, several seeds are also dispersed to faraway lands as these gentle beasts keep moving. This apart, they create corridors in forest, known better as ‘Elephant corridors’ that serve as a direction/guide to other animals and pathway for human beings.

However, the number of elephants in Odisha have been dwindling. According to statistics, from 2,044 elephants in 1979, the number came down to 1976 in 2017. To protect these, , three elephant reserves were established under the Project Elephant, which has not been too much of a help.

Earlier this year, the international organization ‘People for Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA), with the help of Richa Chadda, the brand ambassador for their programme to save elephants, had written to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik seeking his support for the campaign.

This day was celebrated with gaiety at Nandankanan Zoological Park  as well. A one-and-half-year-old elephant calf ‘Mama’ was the major attraction of the day. All the pachyderms there were fed fruits and a quiz competition was conducted so as to create awareness about the importance of these mammals.

The most adorable part of the day, however, was National Geographic’s tweet. They posted a video of baby elephant learning to walk and doing other things that will melt your heart!

Happy #WorldElephantDay!

— National Geographic (@NatGeo) August 12, 2018