World Elephant Day

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Marilyn Bridges, Elephants, Zambia (2013.111.15)

Every day is a day, and many days are many days. Today, August 12th is World Elephant Day. “On August 12, 2012, the inaugural World Elephant Day was launched to bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants. The elephant is loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, yet we balance on the brink of seeing the last of this magnificent creature.” (worldelephantday.org).

One of the most barbaric and tragic wildlife crimes is the slaughter of elephants for their ivory tusks for the ivory trade. “Tens of thousands of elephants are killed every year for their ivory tusks” (worldwildlife.org). “In 2011 alone, an estimated twenty-five thousand African elephants were killed for their ivory; this comes to almost seventy a day, or nearly three an hour.” (Elizabeth Kolbert, New Yorker, July 7, 2014).

Because of humans and the ivory trade, elephants are galloping toward extinction. In 2016 one elephant is killed for their tusks every 15 minutes, that’s 35,000 elephants a year (elephantsdc.org). Elephants could be extinct in less than ten years.

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Arthur Rothstein, “With a 500mm telephoto lens, I caught this herd of elephants in a remote area of Kenya. Poaching and environmental hazards are making this a rare sight.” 1970 (216.1989)

The ICP archives are now located in Jersey City, NJ and today, August 12, 2016, there is a New Jersey Ivory Crush at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, New Jersey. Why New Jersey?

“In 2014, New Jersey became the first state in the U.S. to pass a comprehensive ban on the commercial domestic sale of ivory and rhino horn [] The Humane Society of the United States joins Elephants DC as event sponsor of the New Jersey Ivory Crush […] New Jersey has paved the way in the effort to save elephants from extinction […] Join us on World Elephant Day in Jersey City and support the enactment of a total and complete ivory sales ban worldwide, once and for all. Extinction is real. Our silence isn’t.” (“New Jersey lawmakers uniting with Germany, Gabon and Kenya at the New Jersey Ivory Crush on World Elephant Day” press release.)

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Lala Deen Dayal, Saran Bessafra Temple, ca. 1880s (121.1980)

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