You can help in many important ways:
Don’t buy ivory, don’t sell ivory, don’t wear ivory!
You can also express your view to others that there should be no trade in ivory. This is even more important if you have influential friends or contacts in decision-making positions related to this issue! Most nations (169) participate in CITES, The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species, and every two and a half years when the Convention meets the topic of whether to allow the sale of elephant products (mainly ivory) is up for discussion. Make your feelings known!
Be an Eco-Tourist
Finding ways for people and free-ranging elephants to live in harmony is a major challenge. In some countries projects have shown that it is possible to influence positive attitudes towards elephant as long as local communities benefit, through tourism, from the presence of elephants. In this context eco-tourism based on respect for people, nature and local culture can be an important contributor.
Support Conservation Efforts
Another way to help elephants is to give your support to those institutions, projects and individuals who work to better understand and conserve elephants, whether this be through applied conservation or basic research. The Internet, which you as a web-surfer probably already know, is a good source of information on the types of projects that are being undertaken across Africa and Asia. We would of course be happy if you found it worthwhile supporting our efforts through ElephantVoices – you can find more about how to donate here.
Support initiatives and efforts that will improve the situation for captive elephants
The vast majority of captive elephants experience circumstances far below what they need to live a decent life. Fortunately, more and more people are aware that this is so, and are beginning to challenge the status quo. As a result, we are beginning to feel the “winds of change” and some debates are so heated that the elephants may feel the rumblings, too! The zoo industry is beginning to question age-old practices and looking to elephant wild biology to develop environments that allow elephants to be elephants. Zoos have a very long way to go, however, and you can make a difference by encouraging zoos not to keep elephants where the cold winters necessitate elephants being indoors, and where there is insufficient space to allow elephants to live in social groups, and where the management style doesn’t allow them to be in control of their own lives.
You can also make life better for elephants by boycotting circuses that use animals. We strongly believe that the nature of circuses creates an unbearable setting for animals in general and for elephants in particular.