World Elephant Day was created to honor elephants, to spread awareness about the critical threats they are facing, and to support positive solutions that will help ensure their survival. It was established in 2012 by the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation and Patricia Sims - the President and Founder or the World Elephant Society.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the African Forest Elephant as "Critically Endangered", and the African savanna elephant as "Endangered". This follows dramatic population declines due to poaching for ivory and loss of habitat. According to recent assessments, total population of African elephants (forest and savannah) have fallen by over 90% in the last century and Asian elephants by 50% in the same timeframe. An estimated 415,000 African elephants remain in the wild today and approximately 40,000 Asiatic elephants.