Why We Care About Elephants

picture of two female elephants

Can you imagine a world without elephants?

Soon, if we don’t act, the world’s number of Asian elephants in the wild will be gone. Only an estimated 30,000 remain worldwide due to dangers in their environment, such as:

  • Poaching
  • Human encroachment
  • Habitat destruction

Needless to say, the Asian elephant is on the Endangered Species List. Through the Zoo’s conservation programs, however, elephants in our care play an essential role in the survival of the species in Africa and Asia.

In short, we’d like to help make the word “extinct” extinct!

How do zoo elephants help preserve wild elephants?

  • Seeing elephants in zoos helps people emotionally connect to them in a way that can't be experienced through books or technology.
  • Elephants are powerful conservation ambassadors. Educating zoo visitors helps change behavior that positively impacts elephant conservation.
  • Studying elephants in zoos provides vital information about their reproductive physiology, low frequency and olfactory communication, and cognitive ability.
  • Breeding enhances animal welfare. It is very enriching and natural for elephants to experience a birth, rear young and live in a multi-generational herd.

Is there hope for saving Asian elephants?

  • AZA-accredited institutions, like the OKC Zoo, work to support and generate millions in funding for elephant conservation projects.
  • The Zoo supports vital conservation work in Asia, such as the PanEco Foundation in Sumatra, that protects elephants and their habitats, resolves human⁄elephant conflict and incorporates the talents of the people who live in their midst.
  • By working to save the native habitat of elephants, the Zoo also helps dozens of other species through our conservation efforts.

How can I help save Asian elephants?

The passion of Oklahoma’s citizens for elephants spans the decades, beginning with the love affair over Judy the elephant in 1949 and continuing with the overwhelming adoration for Malee, the first elephant born at the Zoo in 2011. Because of this community-wide affection and action, today’s state-of-the-art Elephant Habitat covers more than 9.5 acres. The $13 million project was possible due to 1/8 of a cent sales tax approved by Oklahoma City citizens in 1990, foundations, corporations and ZooFriends’ memberships.

YOU can make a lasting impact, too! Every penny counts!

Love elephants? Turn your passion into action!

Click here to donate to Elephant Conservation today!