Save our soulmates: 6 ways to help the elephants on World Elephant Day

This World Elephant Day take a moment to think about our big grey friends and discover some experiences that allows you to take in their beauty and help conservation efforts (and there's no elephant riding in sight).

Elephants need our help. Our gentle giant friends have seen their numbers decimated in the last decade. Numbers have dropped by 62% since 2007 and it’s estimated that 100 elephants are killed by poachers a day. The existing elephant population that’s left cannot repopulate faster than they’re being killed – so what can you do to help?

Stop clicking and starting contributing. These once in a lifetime experiences give back to elephant conservation all over the world.

Track wild elephants on foot

Discover the World has a Namibian experience where you can travel with the Elephant Human Relations Aid research team and track wild elephants on foot and meet the farmers who help the local herds. Desert elephants are only found here and in Mali, making this extra special. Part of the cost goes back to the research team to help them expand their efforts.

Watch one of the largest elephant gatherings on earth

Every year between July and October up to 200 wild elephants get together in Sri Lanka on the edge of Minneriya National Park. Watch them bathe and socialise from a vantage point and take in the rich Sri Lankan jungle. Nearby sustainable hideaway Diyabubula has five villas made from old railway sleepers and living trees to create all natural accommodation. It’s owned and designed by Sri Lankan artist Laki Senanayake and features stunning water gardens.

Meet Mosha, the elephant inspiration for the Elephant Parade

Elephants are part of Thailand’s DNA and Mosha is the three legged elephant who has become the star of the Asian Elephant Hospital, the world’s first hospital for ‘ellies’. After stepping on a landmine as a baby she was the first elephant to be fitted with a prosthetic leg. Her story inspired the Elephant Parade, a social enterprise and world’s largest art exhibition of decorated elephant statues, which tours the globe to raise money for elephant conservation.

Meet Mosha and paint your own elephant parade statue during a stay at the akyra Manor Chiang Mai, which has a one day Elephant Care package.

Learn how to be an elephant friendly traveller

Intrepid Travel will be hosting an event to celebrate World Elephant Day that focuses on how to be an animal friendly traveller. Join TV presenter Alesha Dixon, who is an ambassador for charity World Animal Protection, and discover how wildlife tourism is changing for the better and what you can do to help. World Animal Protection help governments and communities end the use of wild animals in tourism.

It takes place at Intrepid Travel’s HQ on 10 August at 6.45pm. Spaces are limited so book a ticket here.

Work at an elephant sanctuary

Oyster Worldwide has a programme where you can work with rescued Asian elephants in a sanctuary in Thailand. So far 15 elephants have been rescued from misuse in Bangkok and been rehomed amongst 20 hectares of jungle. Volunteers stay on site and muck in with the harvesting, feeding and bathing under the watchful eye of the professional mahouts. Stays can range from one week to three months all through the year.

Can’t afford any of that? Drink Elephant Gin

Award-winning Elephant Gin donates 15% of its proceeds to African elephant conservation efforts and was set up specifically to help the elephants that the founders fell in love with while undertaking conservation work. There’s also a Navy-strength Elephant Strength gin on its way. Steady now.

So why are we talking about elephants? It’s World Elephant Day on 12 August which shines a light on the issues elephants are facing and focuses attention on their survival. There are events, marches, activities and all sorts taking place.