August 12th is World Elephant Day.

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Elephant Woodburning: by me

There are certain animals to which human beings have a closer connection. They are the ones that captivate us, and the ones we rush to see at zoos. Writer Steve Rinella uses the term “charismatic megafauna” to describe these types of creatures.

Perhaps the most beloved is the elephant. It’s hard to say what fascinates people so much. It could be their impressive size, or the abundant intelligence they exude.

There’s a majesty to them.

I remember going to the zoo and seeing them as a kid and being so awestruck. Nothing should be that big.

They’ve informed my artwork through the years. It’s hard to capture the power, grace, and charisma the animals have. The picture above hangs in my sister’s office. It’s still my favorite piece I’ve worked on.

I’m not the only one that appreciates their aesthetic virtue. As of late, elephants are a bit of a fashion trend. Stylized elephants can be found through the internet on shirts, purses, and phone cases.

But, without any help, the elephant won’t be around to inspire people. I would hate for elephant T shirts to be the only thing left of these magnificent creatures.

Hence, World Elephant Day. It helps brings awareness to their plight, an animal often poached for its ivory, and their desperate need for protection.

There are a number of charities that help.

World Wildlife Fund

Elephants Without Borders

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories.

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