Here we are again, celebrating yet another odd and perhaps, on the surface, ridiculous holiday that most people don't even know exists. September 22 is Elephant Appreciation Day. I know it sounds like an internet hoax but it's a real holiday, more or less.
Back in 1996, September 22 was declared Elephant Appreciation Day by Mission Media, a graphics and publishing firm who got the day included in Chase's Calendar of Events, making the holiday, I guess, official. Mission Media says elephants deserve a day of their own because they are the largest land mammal of our era and are undeservedly threatened with extinction. Sounds good to me, I’m just a bit surprised they didn’t pick a more endangered species like the Alabama Cave Shrimp, the Camiguin Forest Mouse or the Ethiopian Banana Frog. How about the Asian Small-clawed Otter Appreciation Day?
So of course one of the first questions posed to me when I mentioned this over breakfast, “how do you celebrate Elephant Appreciation Day?” Take a trip to the zoo, look at the elephants? Drink Carlsberg Elephant malt liquor? Plan ahead and take an African safari on Elephant Appreciation Day? What can children do to celebrate? For the most part, I haven’t a clue.
But for the kids, I suggest baking a cake in the shape of an elephant, or if you parents are short on time make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut out to look like an elephant. Maybe have the kids draw or paint elephant pictures and look up interesting elephant facts. Did you know, for example, elephants can live for up to 70 years? They walk about 4 mph but can run for short distances up to about 30 mph. Elephants are able to swim for long distances. They spend about 16 hours a day eating, consuming almost 500 pounds of food per day. Elephant's eyes are small and their eyesight is poor but they have the largest brains in the animal kingdom. One more thing, adult African elephants, the ones with the big ears, weigh about 15,400 pounds, whereas the Adult Indian elephants, small ears, weigh a mere 11,000 pounds.