Is this ground tusking coupled with head-waggling?  He must want to play!  Elephant Voices, who also shot this video of a male at the Olare Orok Conservancy in 2011, has compiled an extensive database of elephant gestures and their meaning for anybody who’d like to understand our big gray friends a little better.  

In addition to studying and lobbying for elephants in Africa for 30+ years, Elephant Voices co-founder Dr. Joyce Poole is lending her expertise to Global Sanctuary for Elephants, co-founded by Scott Blais with Dr. Poole and others, which is an organization currently working to build a sanctuary for retired captive elephants in Brazil.  This proposed sanctuary will be modeled on the progressive and humane elephant-keeping principles of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, which Scott also co-founded in 1995, which aims to give elephants retirement from captive zoo or circus life and the freedom to just be elephants for the first time.

All of these elephant projects need our support, so if you’re looking for a way to celebrate World Elephant Day on August 12 (besides floppy running and ground tusking) donating or bringing attention to these worthy causes is a great place to start!