Celebrate World Elephant Day on August 12, 2018!

National Wildlife Federation and Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions congratulate Ben Radke, age 12, from Ozark, AR for winning the Every Elephant Counts Contest!  Ben will travel to Botswana to share his idea, “Elephant Pride and Bus Rides” to halt elephant decline, and meet Naledi, the baby elephant who inspired the contest.

Ben wrote, “About 3,600 people live in my town. What would it mean for my town if 96 to 100 people were killed in one day? The schools wouldn’t be able to function, and families would collapse. What would happen to the kids whose parents died? Their lives would be destroyed! And this is exactly what has been happening to the elephants!”

We are losing 96 elephants a day, or 25,000 to 30,000 annually. Data from Paul Allen’s 2016 Great Elephant Census found that we have lost 30% of the African savanna elephant population in less than 7 years. Learn more about Ben’s winning idea. 

Thank You to Our Judges!

Make the pledge to help protect African elephants and tell us why elephants are important to you.


Meet The Winner

Watch as we surprise Ben at his 6th grade class in Arkansas.
Watch The Video

Join the Herd!

“Elephants are role models for humanity, and a world without elephants is not the world we should be leaving to future generations.”

– Tina, parent, CA

They are big, beautiful creatures, the biggest land animal. One of my favorite parts about elephants is their long, pretty eyelashes, and it makes me sad to hear that many are killed each day, but I know that if we work together, we can do amazing things.

– Grace, student, TX

Elephants are a HUGE (both important, popular, and size based) vision for representing the serious crisis we are all facing on this planet. As intelligent, compassionate, and stunning creatures, elephants speak to us, either of trauma or of health and love. By finding ways to protect elephants (firstly because they are themselves worthy of life), we are finding ways to save ecosystems, smaller (and more invisible) plants and animals, and finding ways to preserve and build the health and sustainability of Africa for its people!

– Emily, educator, MN

“Elephants play a huge role in nature by helping lots of animals survive and also help spread seeds for more nature, which can help both people and nature by making food and wood. They make pathways for smaller animals, make more vegetation grow, and can even help to make more decorations through reusable things like more flower decorations. It is important to me for such kind creatures to be able to live!”

– Kai, student, MN

“Elephants are the largest land mammal yet are gentle. I love that they form family bonds, and mourn their dead. I know they are highly intelligent and curious. I want them always to live and walk this earth.”

– Mary, adult, NY

Elephants are fabulous creatures that we cannot let go extinct. I would feel sickened if I awoke one morning and heard that elephants were now extinct. That is why I feel poaching needs to stop.

– River, student, WY

Elephants are important to me because they are a keystone species and provide such biodiversity. They protect and cultivate their habitat. Which makes us have to ask the question: Where would we be without them?

I think that they are beautiful, powerful animals and I believe that all animals are important, and are on earth to serve a purpose in our environment and ecosystem.

Elephants are important in their savanna habitat and we need elephants here to uphold their environmental job, to learn from, to love, to help us understand why we need to protect all animals, and a slew of other reasons that I don’t have room to list.

No animal deserves to go extinct because we can’t get our own problems in check. We need to step up to protect elephants, and all animals for that matter.

– Kalina🐘,student – TN

Elephants, they are part of life and well they deserve to live and not be poached for money. They are part of earth and so are we. Why do we treat them bad and poach them? What did they do to us? Let’s make a difference! 

– Maya, student, MS

“Elephants are important to me because ALL animals are important. All animals have a special purpose in this world and it is up to us to save them all from humans. It is sad to think that as the “smartest” on Earth we continue to kill them for reasons that are meaningless. We need to protect them and the land they live on. I am sad to hear they may become extinct in my generation.”

– Ella, student, GA

“They are majestic, beautiful, and part of the web. When any part is lost, the whole suffers.”

– Lynn, parent, OH

Elephants are fabulous creatures that we can not let go extinct. I would feel sickened if I awoke one morning and heard that elephants were now extinct. That is why I feel poaching needs to stop.

– Faye, student, MD

They are incredible animals. They have big impact on environment around them. Very emotional creatures too.

– Melissa, parent, CA

Elephants are important to me because they are dying all over Africa. I believe I need to help make a difference, especially for and because of Naledi.

– Molly, student, IN

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Naledi is an African elephant. Her name means ‘star’ in Setswana because she was born on a very starry night in Botswana. Her mother died when she was just 6 weeks old. A dedicated team of people had to step in to give her comfort and save her life. Her story is amazing and inspiring!

Meet Naledi here!