Friday, August 11, 2017

Still Life with Robin: What to Do on World Elephant Day, Saturday, August 12

Photo by Bernard Dupont (France) via Wikimedia/Creative Commons
by Peggy Robin

[Still Life with Robin normally comes out on Saturdays, but I’m posting a bit early, so that people can plan to attend events taking place throughout the day tomorrow, Saturday, August 12.]

You may not see this event listed on your wall calendar, but go ahead and mark it down, and be sure to set it down in your computer calendar as a recurring annual event: every August 12 is World Elephant Day. It’s been observed since 2012, so today’s celebration is merely the fifth anniversary. This day is dedicated to awareness and celebration of the majestic but highly endangered species, and I wish I could report that since 2012 much progress has been made in protecting elephants; but if anything the opposite is true. In 2016 the elephant census recorded a drastic 30 percent decline in the worldwide population [See: ]

World Elephant Day has activities planned around the globe [], but here are the main things to do in DC:

Join the World Elephant March:

[From the website] ….For the fifth year, join friends around the world calling for the end of the ivory trade and rhino horn trade while advocating to save endangered species from extinction.

Assembly Time: Begins at 11 a.m. at the Lincoln Memorial for photos & live video on why elephants matter to you on the planet ... Right near the corner of Henry Bacon Drive & Constitution Avenue.

March Start Time: At noon, we shall begin our peaceful march with starting point of the Lincoln Memorial, up on Henry Bacon Drive where police escort begins on one lane of the street; left on 15th to Pennsylvania ave; left on Pennsylvania Ave. before the White House for a peaceful rally at Lafayette Square with distinguished speakers from around the world.

Why the elephants need the voice of the American people more than ever:  ... Join us as we show the world that the vast majority of Americans do not support perpetual trade in elephants, no matter the excuse.

World Elephant Day at the Zoo

....Or you can stay right in the neighborhood and celebrate World Elephant Day with Mahararani , Kamala, and Ambika, the elephants at the Smithsonian National Zoo:
11 AM: Training Demo at the Elephant Outpost with Maharani and Kamala.
11:30 AM: Ambika’s Birthday Celebration with the Elephant Family
2 PM: Training Demo in the Elephant Community Center
2:45 PM: Ambika’s Personal Birthday Celebration (With Special Gifts) 

Can’t be there? You can always peek in on our pachyderm friends via the Elephant Cam:

There are hands-on art events at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art:

* Create a paper elephant to take home or to share as part of a community artwork.
* Visit the art cart and get hands-on experience with objects from the museum’s teaching collection.
* Learn proverbs highlighting the special attributes of the African elephant.
* Photo op: Take an “elfie” with a beaded Cameroonian elephant mask and share it @nmafa using #worldelephantday.
* At 11 AM, 12 PM and 2:30 PM join a docent-led gallery tour featuring ivory masterworks.
* At 12 PM and 1 PM enjoy performances from local D.C. storyteller Diane Macklin.
* At 1 PM view a screening of PBS’s documentary Soul of the Elephant.

All activities are free and open to the public.

The National Museum of African Art is at 950 Independence Avenue SW

And if you would just like to take this occasion to learn some basic facts about elephants, spend a little time on these sites:

As a reward, at the end of the day, here's a trio of playful elephant videos:

Happy World Elephant Day to all!

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local, most often on Saturday, but occasionally on the day before or the day after.

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