August 12 is World Elephant Day and the folks at Wildlife SOS (WSOS), an NGO that works towards the protection of wildlife, have made a list of 10 reasons to love the gentle pachyderms.
Elephants are feminists
Elephant live in herds that are matriarchal. The matriarch rules, and no one messes with them.
At WSOS's Elephant Conservation and Care Centre (ECCC) in Mathura, Asha, a female elephant, was adopted as the matriarch by a herd. She leads them during their walks and even keeps an eye on blind elephants Lakhi and Suzy. And her trumpet is enough for all of them to gather around her.
Gang of girls at ECCC; Image courtesy: WSOS
Theyâ€™re the original BFFs
They make great companions. At ECCC Maya, the generally stoic female, is best friends with Phoolkali, who is blind. And the duo are inseparable.
And they are very good at that. WSOS explains, "They use dust and mud to keep their skin safe from irritants and the sun, and have been known in the wild to induce labour in pregnant elephants by self-medicating with natural herbs! They can turn a tree into a scratching post, a tyre into a toy and use branches to itch otherwise hard-to- reach places!" That's cool.
They believe in the strength of unity and are always ready to help members of their herd.
Elephants are fast learners
Their intelligence and quick learning ability means they pick up things very fast. However, this is also the reason it is sadder when then they are abused and ill-treated.
Worldâ€™s Best Parents
"In the wild, elephants are incredibly protective and nurturing of their young, even adopting orphaned calves and looking out for babies that arenâ€™t their own," says WSOS. Baby elephants are often poached from the wild for captivity and several such elephants have found a family at the ECCC.
No network problems here
Elephants are said to be able to communicate over extremely long distances. According to WSOS, they can communicate through smell, touch, taste, and low frequency vibrations. "When circus elephant Rhea was reunited with her two best friends Mia and Sita at ECCC, the three girls spent hours catching up, patting each other down, rumbling and smelling each other."
Elephants are environmentalists
Did you know that? â€śElephant movement in the wild contributes greatly to dispersion of seeds, the creation of small water holes, clearing of old forest, and regeneration of new forest cover!â€ť
Jumbos are fun animals. They are curious, energetic and have a playful spirit- both children and adults.
Elephants donâ€™t forget, but they do forgive
The large mammals have a huge heart (not just literally). WSOS states that their experience shows that elephants do not hold grudges. This despite many of the elephants in their rescue centre having been abused for years at a stretch. The rescued elephants at WSOS "are kind and gentle with their new caretakers and even with the visitors and volunteers that come by to see them, slowly learning to trust people."
Now that you know why elephants are supercool, share the story and wish everyone a Happy Elephant Day!