The sad thing is why we even need to ask the question and why this iconic specie Africa’s elephant requires saving.
We stopped the car to watch the herd. About six of them in the trees feeding. With windows rolled down we enjoyed the scene, these huge beasts pushing through the trees. A large bull was moving closer, but didn’t seem concerned about us until… my father started the engine. He whipped his head around, flapped his ears and started towards us.
There’s nothing quite like this instant shift from quiet calm to adrenaline pumping when in the close proximity of elephants. This incident happened back in 1981 and the memory remains crystal clear.
Why we need Elephants
I am Arineitwe Moses from south western Uganda in the villages near Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in East Africa.
I am a tourist guide and local conservationist.
I have worked with elephants and mountain gorillas for over 8 years as a ranger guide.
My experience with elephants and mountain gorillas is that elephants help a lot as gardeners of the forests and without elephants, gorillas will not have fresh food since they are vegetarians.
Elephants help to mix forests with different plants in different areas feeding on these plants and poop in other different corners of the forest making it easy for all animals get balanced diet.
One day as we went on with gorilla tracking, we found that one of the gorilla families called Rushegura group led by Mwirima which was the silver back at that time was being attacked by a solitary male which was trying to hijack some females was helped by elephants when the group ran following the trails of elephants that made it easy to flee into a different territory which took us two days to locate the group.
Elephants make it easy for both humans and other animals to penetrate the impenetrable forest by making free natural trails.
Elephants keep the forest fresh by balancing the forest growth when new plants grow where they have fed from.
We need Elephants to have healthy animals and healthy forests.
I got this from my experience working as a ranger in the home to elephants and mountain gorillas.
This made me think, besides these more scientific reasons why it is essential for us to save Africa’s Elephants I wanted to know what others thought, so I posed the question on Facebook and Twitter.
Why should we save the African Elephant?
What seem the most pertinent comments are highlight.
Janice Turville Blaylock- Is there a reason why we shouldn’t? They are truly magnificent animals.
Maya Silva- Because of poachers killing them for ivory.
Kimmy Major- They show more love in their families than most humans do
LadyBear WA- They are truly a gentle giant. A massive compassionate creature; with family and friendship strength that I find lacking in so many humans these days.
Lori Crouse- What kind of a question is that Margit? They don’t rape, abuse & murder their own or others. Is that the kind of answer you were looking for? I don’t understand that question. Am I missing something?
Sabine Seven- They don’t need us, actually. But we need them to admire them, to learn from them, to save them.
Lori Crouse- Oh I see! Elephants never abandon their children is another good example. Their existence is vital to the ecosystem. Without them helping to spread seeds, etc. there will be no vegetation.
Lynn Toohey Scott- Because they are just so feeling, intelligent and beautiful.
Dana Flask- They such loving family group….all animals belong on the planet.. They have been hunted and killed just for the ivory… Leave them alone and let them live.
@Tkempt10: @Nikela_Wildlife Personally: I’ve see them up close, was humbled & want a clear conscience. Globally: Bc we have so much to learn from them.
Elizabeth Cardinali- an elephant is the symbol of Africa and without them Africa is doomed, humanity is doomed! When you look into their eyes, you see a soul, emotion that goes beyond words! Killing them means killing all wildlife, and eventually killing ourselves. We cannot survive without them!
King Jaymce Teeka- Elephants are apart of Africa’s heritage,a source of income through tourism especially because they are among the big five,we also need to save them because they are part of nature and deserve to live as much as humans,for posterity and avoiding extinction of elephants amongst many other reasons.
Arineitwe Moses- We need elephants to have balanced forests and steady supply of food for all wild life in the forests with fresh vegetation cover .
Jean Albini- The world would not be the same without them. They have giant hearts and giant souls which put humanity to shame. They should be one of the Wonders of the World – along with Rhino, Lions and all the creatures great and small. The destruction of species breaks my heart!
Susan B. Ramsay- That’s not an easy question to answer. They used to be integral to the environment, opening up forest areas into plains, increasing waterholes, so bringing water to an area. Not sure how long they will be needed to do that.
Daniel Loldepe- 1 the biggest land mammal on earth . 2 they share a lot with us ( family makeup , some body make up i.e. Breast identical to human , they cry , mourn and burry close dead family relative, they cover dead human body with leaves 3 very intelligence like human 4 unickly made and no cousins on earth .
Daniel Loldepe- magnificent?
Rita Ciavola- Because God created !and only God takes away!!
Thelma Standring Keane- The most majestic family oriented gorgeous animals. Without them we would ve poorer
Etay Markman- well. they are my favorite animals(actually second place, asian elephants are first), children like them, they are alot like us in personality, without them many other animals will go extinct.
Thelma Standring Keane- When I read this question the heart answered. I love these beautiful animals. I want to live with them. My greatest desire. A baby hefalump is just the most adorable little being. . I am elephant crazy
Michael Behr- We are the custodians.
Sue Clifford- For one it’s an emotional feeling I can’t put into words. Secondly they are gentle giants that guard the deserts, they love and have families just like we do and better than we do in a lot of ways. Why wouldn’t we want them here I guess is the question. They were here first anyway.
Dawn Dowling- Just knowing they exist enriches my life
Francois Muchachuman- The African Elephants are the spirit and energy of African! BIG AND INTERSTING,INTELLIGENT! GOOD FOR OUR ECOSYSTEM! I DON’T IMAGINE AFRICA WITHOUT ELEPHANTS !
Ingrid Helene Franks- We need Elephants for our ecosystem. Also they are so gentle and have minds close to our own.
Vidyashan Rang- They have as much a right to exist on this planet as we do. So, it is our duty to make sure that they are able to exercise that right.
Tommy Gunn- Because they love one another
Danielle Puentedura- Elephants! Epic beauties that store memories of life and love! They inspire wisdom and compassion.
Nancy Kaitrin- I cannot believe someone is even asking Why……
Gloria Ochoa- I love elephants I never seen one in person .but I will try to help them.I will be there voice.their gentle they love their families . they need to be free.and they need respect.
Gloria Ochoa- Jacquie Richardson They maintain ecosystems, have a great love of family. We have much to learn from them.
Beth Capps- If you are truly passionate about elephants, you should be able to answer this question. Elephants are beautiful, intelligent creatures who not only deserve to share this planet with us but are critically important to the environment. They are a keystone species. This means with no wild elephants, the environment would change drastically. They forage through trees and bushes creating green spaces for other species that graze. They dig water holes which are vital for all species. Their dung revitalizes depleted soil. These are just a few of the reasons why elephants are important. They form close family ties and care for each other. They work as a team to protect the young if there is a threat. They mourn when one of their own passes. Many times I have watched videos of elephants doing these very things. They must survive! Beth Capps – Co-coordinator of the Global March for Elephants & Rhinos in Charlotte NC.
Michael Misanik- They r the largest keystone species in africa and without them thousands of other speices will decline and or go extinct for ever
Sandra Higgins- We need them because it’s their world too and they have every right to be here
Aslı Onay- I am Muslim and in the Coran it is said “animals are creatures without voice, and humans are entitled to care after them”. Humans and animals are equal, Allah created us to live together, otherwise he would have created only humans, we don’t have the right to hurt them. Allah created them and only He can take their lives. We have to protect especially elephants from selfish humans selfish who are seeing them as a mean of earning money or just a leisure by killing them as “sport”. They are magnificent creatures we should love and respect.
Lucy Machado- Margrit Harris – the answer given by Beth Capps is 1 of the best answers in this thread. The importance of the elephant is paramount to the survival of Africa and all of its species. Elephant lives and behaviour mirror that of human lives, although our behaviour is quite lacking in contrast. The elephant’s intelligence is widely known and they have problem-solving capabilities as well as tool usage skills, They are 1 of the very few species which is self-aware and can recognize themselves in a mirror. They are 1 of the few species who show compassion – rescueing other animals in peril. There is no question that the lephant NEEDS to be saved.
Brenda Szasz- And they have the cutest babies in the world !!
Wendy Sides- I don’t want to live in a world without elephants….I simply adore them.
Kristian Keddie- Give me Elephants Rhinos Tigers Bears Sharks etc over Asians any day of the week
Lucy Machado- I too, prefer animals over most people. But this post in not about culture or religion. Please stay focused on the FACTS of why elephants need to be saved!
Kristian Keddie- Because they are beautiful gentle giants
Silverfox RN- Aslı Onay—-If Islam says that human beings should protect and take care of them, how come every year after Ramadan, on Bakrid millions of animals – cows, sheep, camels – are sacrificed?
Silverfox RN- The African governments must realize how their whole lives, economy, ecology are all intertwined with elephants, the catalysts. They need the elephants for their very survival.
Beth Capps- I agree with Lucy this thread is about the elephants. However, for some people their religion is deeply connected with all issues around them. Please do not turn this into a discussion about religion. Remember to be kind and thoughtful. Thank you.
Aslı Onay- Silverfox RN – My aim is not to open a discussion on religions. Your criticism or questioning is a subject of another platform, I don’t want to enter into religious debates or criticisms. I kindly ask you not to enlarge the issue, Here we are talking about why protecting elephants I am responsible of my own acts and I do my best to protect animals. I just shared my belief and the basis of my approach.
Silverfox RN- Aslı Onay—I agree with you that we shouldn’t use this thread to discuss about non-elephant related. I was only responding to your posting. I hope you weren’t offended by my questioning. You are a good man and we all are routing for the elephants.
Aslı Onay- Silverfox RN my post was just an innocent share of feeling, no matter if I was offended or not, it is useless to pursue this discussion, we have to use our energy, feelings, intelligence and all the competencies we have to take care of elephants …
Gloria Ochoa- Thank you both Dede Saxton and Margrit Harris
Gloria Ochoa- thank you Beth Capps
Elizabeth Lisa Perez-Mejia- Beautiful animal. And deserves to live like all wild animals.
Janice Pennington- Being ‘cute’, contributing to tourism etc is not a reason IMO. Animals should have ‘rights’. They have just as much right to be alive and thrive, then human animals do.
Many thanks to all who commented… now, let’s take action and do what we can to help save those elephants.
You can help raise awareness and some funds if you like.
100% of your donation will go to protect elephants from poachers when you include #elephant in the notes.