World Elephant Day raises awareness of threats to pachyderms

Photo Galleries

The about one month old female elephant Anjuli and brother Assam play on a heap of sand in their enclosure at the Hagenbeck zoo in Hamburg, northern Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. (Daniel Bockwoldt/dpa via AP) The about one month old female elephant Anjuli and brother Assam play on a heap of sand in their enclosure at the Hagenbeck zoo in Hamburg, northern Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. (Daniel Bockwoldt/dpa via AP)

There are only 500,000 elephants remaining in the world and the population is at constant threat from poaching, habitat loss, and human-wildlife conflict. To raise awareness of their plight, people around the world honor them on August 12, 2015, World Elephant Day.

Significant elephant populations are now confined to well-protected areas. However, less than 20 percent of African elephant habitat is under formal protection, the WWF reports.

Click here for full screen

Photo: World Elephant Day

August 12, 2015 is being celebrated as World Elephant Day. There are 500,000 elephants remaining and the population is at constant threat from poaching, habitat loss, and human-wildlife conflict. Significant elephant populations are now confined to well-protected areas. However, less than 20% of African elephant habitat is under formal protection, reports the WWF.


Visitors look at an elephant in Abidjan's zoo, Ivory Coast, on July 24, 2015. AFP Photo/Si Kambou

Sri Lankan wild elephants walks alongside an electric fence at the southern Udawalawe wildlife sanctuary on August 9, 2015. Udawalawe is an important habitat for Sri Lankan elephants, with many elephants attracted to the park because of the Udawalawe reservoir. AFP Photo/ Lakruwan Wanniarachchi

Indian elephants walk in their enclosure at the zoo in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. Aug. 12, is World Elephant Day, an internationally recognized event that started in 2012 to bring awareness about the slaughter of thousands of elephants in Asia and Africa every year. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Three elephants at Dierenpark Amersfoort, the Netherlands. Photo by jinterwas/Flickr

An Indian elephant sprays himself with water to cool off on a hot day at the zoo in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. Aug. 12, is World Elephant Day, an internationally recognized event that started in 2012 to bring awareness about the slaughter of thousands of elephants in Asia and Africa every year. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Elephants at The Elephant Nature Park in Thailand. Photo by Christian Haugen/Flickr

The about one month old female elephant Anjuli and brother Assam play on a heap of sand in their enclosure at the Hagenbeck zoo in Hamburg, northern Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. (Daniel Bockwoldt/dpa via AP)

Elephants at Amboseli game reserve in Kenya in 2012. (Tony Kurumba/Agence France Presse via Getty Images)

An Indian elephant gets water to cool off on a hot day at the zoo in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. Aug. 12, is World Elephant Day, an internationally recognized event that started in 2012 to bring awareness about the slaughter of thousands of elephants in Asia and Africa every year. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Elephants at the Khao Yai national park, Thailand. Photo by tontantravel/Flickr

Baby Elephant by Eric Kilby/Flickr

An Indian elephant takes a bath in a pool to cool off on a hot day at the zoo in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. Aug. 12, is World Elephant Day, an internationally recognized event that started in 2012 to bring awareness about the slaughter of thousands of elephants in Asia and Africa every year. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

An Indian elephant sprays itself with water to cool off on a hot day at the zoo in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. Aug. 12, is World Elephant Day, an internationally recognized event that started in 2012 to bring awareness about the slaughter of thousands of elephants in Asia and Africa every year. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Elephants roam freely near the railway track that Cecil the lion crossed when he was lured onto a farm in an alleged illegal hunt in Hwange about 700 kilometres south west of Harare, Zimbabwe, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. Cecil had to cross only a set of railroad tracks to go from a protected area to a kill zone. The killing of Cecil by an American hunter triggered outrage far beyond Zimbabwes boarders and has strengthened resolve to enforce regulations governing hunting. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

An Indian elephant reaches for a piece of cabbage placed in a pool on a hot day at the zoo in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. Aug. 12, is World Elephant Day, an internationally recognized event that started in 2012 to bring awareness about the slaughter of thousands of elephants in Asia and Africa every year. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance, as elephants walk in Amboseli National park January 26, 2015. (REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic)