National Elephant Day

A joyful child interacting with elephants in a lush African safari, wearing a colorful safari hat and exploring nature..
National elephant day illustration

Welcome, fellow elephant enthusiasts, to a day devoted to our trunk-toting buddies - National Elephant Day! It's probably no surprise that this day exists - I mean, who could resist celebrating these incredible creatures for 24 hours? (Don't worry, no one will force you to eat like an elephant today... unless you want to!).

When is Elephant Day?

It's national elephant day on the 12th August.

When is National Elephant Day?

Sifting through vast amounts of data (more than an elephant can lift, believe me!), we found a jittery spike of joyous online elephant-related activity on August 12, 2015 - which we've pinpointed as the day these magnificent mammals take center stage. Yes, folks – mark your calendars – we celebrate National Elephant Day on August 12 each year!

Why Celebrate Elephants?

Now you might be wondering why exactly we should celebrate these gargantuan, wrinkly darlings? Here's why: besides having the largest brains of any land animal (nearly three times larger than a human's!), elephants are known for their incredible memory, strong family bonds, and those long, fascinating trunks that can lift up to 400 lbs. Beat that, humans! Also, they play a vital role in maintaining biodiversity - by uprooting trees, elephants make way for grasses to grow, altering habitats and benefiting smaller species. We sure owe a lot to these gentle giants.

How to Celebrate National Elephant Day

Well, unless you've got an elephant in your backyard (hey, no judgment here), there are numerous ways you can join in on the fun. You could watch documentaries or read up more about them (trust me, they're fascinating creatures!). Feeling artsy? Why not create some elephant themed art or start a social media campaign to spread awareness about elephant conservation? Or, plant a tree to support their habitats. Remember, no gesture is too small when it comes to showing our appreciation for these majestic creatures.

History behind the term 'Elephant'

400 BC

Ancient Indian Origins

The term 'elephant' finds its roots in ancient India, where it was known as 'hasti' in Sanskrit. Elephants held significant cultural and religious importance in ancient Indian society, being associated with deities and considered symbols of power and majesty.

326 BC

Greek Encounter

During the invasion of India by Alexander the Great, Greek armies came across these magnificent creatures for the first time. The Greek term for elephant, 'elephas,' was derived from the Sanskrit 'hasti.' This encounter sparked further interest and recognition of elephants in Greek culture.


Scientific Classification

Carl Linnaeus, the renowned Swedish botanist and taxonomist, formally classified elephants under the genus 'Elephas' in his groundbreaking work 'Systema Naturae.' This classification solidified the usage of the term in scientific circles and facilitated the study and understanding of elephants.


Modern English Usage

The term 'elephant' has been a part of the English language since at least the mid-18th century, but it wasn't until the 19th century that it gained widespread usage. The word 'elephant' gradually replaced earlier English terms like 'oliphant' and 'elefaunt,' becoming the standard name for the majestic pachyderm we know today.

Did you know?

Here's a little nugget for you - When elephants 'see' themselves in a mirror, they recognize their own reflection! No kidding! They've been known to pass the mirror test – a measure of self-awareness – placing them in a small, rather exclusive club that includes humans and some other primates. Now that's what I call elephant-sized intelligence!


awareness fun wildlife conservation elephants

First identified

12th March 2015

Most mentioned on

12th August 2015

Total mentions


Other days


Elephant Day

bald eagle appreciation bald eagle appreciation

Bald Eagle Appreciation Bald Eagle Appreciation Day


Cougar Day


Bobcat Day


Rhino Day

park every

Park Every Day


Wetlands Day

threatened species

Threatened Species Day


Wombat Day


Badger Day