“The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant, except in a picture book?”
– David Attenborough
As our imaginary grandfather David says, we could soon be living in a world where elephants no longer exist. Not only would this be an absolute tragedy for us but it would also have serious ramifications for the planet as well. Here’s why we feel so passionately about saving elephants.
Sumatran elephants have been listed as critically endangered by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 2011. We have lost about 80% of the population over the last 75 years, with only about 2,600 wild Sumatran elephants remaining. If we don’t do something about this, they will be completely extinct within our lifetime.
Elephants have 99 problems and deforestation is only one. Because of this rapid loss of natural habitat, more wild elephants are coming into contact with human settlements and trampling homes, crops and even people. That can lead to elephants being shot or poisoned in retaliation. The tourism industry, poaching and poor government support also contribute to the elephants’ declining numbers.
Why we need to save elephants
1. The environment. Elephants are a key-stone species, which means that without them, ecosystems will collapse. They are often referred to as the “architects of the earth” because of the many critical roles they play by just being themselves. Their migration carves a path for other animals and allows new plant growth. They are also a major player in seed distribution and their dung helps to regenerate the forest.
2. The feels. Elephants are highly intelligent and feel an incredible range of emotions. They experience joy, excitement, pain, compassion — they even grieve, just like humans do. Elephant herds are filled with love, protection and deep family bonds. When a herd member passes away, they mourn the loss of their loved ones, cover them with vegetation and revisit the grave sites in the years that follow. Allowing these sentient beings to go extinct would be a truly devastating loss to the world.
Because what does it say about us if we don’t?
Elephants have been on this earth for more than 5 million years. But in just one generation, we have brought the Sumatran elephant to the brink of extinction. The fact is that the human population is now so large and so pervasive, our involvement is critical to ensure the survival of these amazing creatures. Buying Trunks and helping us to support programs and sanctuaries in Indonesia is an amazing first step you can take. But there’s other ways you can help too.
What you can do?
1. Choose certified sustainable palm oil. In Sumatra, palm oil plantations have caused some of the world’s most rapid rates of deforestation. Nearly 70% of the Sumatran elephant’s habitat has been destroyed in one generation. But boycotting palm oil entirely only worsens the problem, which is why we encourage everyone to choose brands who use certified sustainable palm oil.
2. Avoid elephant tourism. If you want to see an elephant the next time you visit Indonesia, research ethical tours who don’t abuse, capture or exploit elephants for profit. An ethical tour will allow you to see them in the wild without harming them. And absolutely do not ride the elephants.
3. Talk to your friends and family. Most people don’t mean to contribute to animal cruelty and would be horrified to know that an entire species of elephant could be extinct soon. That’s why it’s up to us to start as many conversations as we can with the people in our lives — and buying them Trunks as a gift is a great way to do so!
4. Buy Trunks. We donate the profit from every sale of our undies and other apparel to programs and sanctuaries in Indonesia who are dedicated to saving and protecting the Sumatran elephant.
What we will do?
When you buy a pair of Trunks, you’re helping to support programs that tackle this crisis from three angles:
1. Rescue – helping to rescue elephants from the tourism and entertainment industry to provide them with freedom and a better life.
2. Rehabilitation – providing physical and mental treatment to overcome their previous trauma and injuries.
3. Education – advocating for the ethical treatment and protection of elephants at a government level, as well as with the tourism and entertainment sector, in order to create behavioural change and set a legal precedent.