The African forest elephant and Africa’s savanna elephant are considered critically endangered and endangered respectively. According to the IUCN, the two were previously grouped together and said to be vulnerable.
The IUCN, which estimates the worldwide extinction risks to the world's animals. According to them, the population of African forest elephants has decreased by more than 86 percent during a 31-year period, while the population of savanna elephants has decreased by more than 60 percent over a 50-year period. Counting both the species together Africa now has a total of 415,000 elephants.
At Nairobi in Kenya, a wildlife trust raises orphaned calves before they can let them go back into the wild. The head keeper Edwin Lusichi said that they were protecting them as they were orphaned and it was something that shouldn’t have happened to these poor creatures.
The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which was founded in 1977 claims to have raised about 263 orphaned calves. Over the years, they've been able to raise and rehabilitate over 260 orphaned elephants back into the wild so that they can once again enjoy a free existence and assimilate back into the wild herd claims, CEO Angela Sheldrick.
The lives of both species of elephants have been threatened since 2008 because of an increase in hunting which spiked again in 2011. Sheldrick also claims that the number of orphaned elephants has now reduced in recent years as poaching is less. But they do have a significant number of elephants in the trust which are admitted there due to human-wildlife conflict.
World Elephant Day is celebrated on Thursday, August 12th, and is an international festival dedicated to the preservation and protection of elephants around the world. Lusichi, the head keeper, claims that every day is World Elephant Day for them.