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#WorldElephantDay

It’s #WorldElephantDay, everybody!  I adore elephants.  They’re one of my favorite animals.  So I figured this would make for a perfect post!

So here are some fun facts about elephants:

  • Elephants are the largest living land mammal and females have the longest gestation at 22 months
  • Female elephants stay together in groups led by a matriarch that tells them where to go and when
  • Male elephants stay with the group until they’re around 15 at which time they will form an all male group
  • Elephants and peanuts don’t really go together – they don’t eat them in the wild and they aren’t fed peanuts in zoos
  • Elephants’ closest relative on land is a rock hyrax  (and if you’ve never seen one, they are adorable)

  • Elephants can call one another in a pitch so deep that it creates seismic vibrations that other elephants can pick up through their feet for up to 110 square miles in optimum conditions
  • Elephants are keystone species and play a critical role in the structure of their ecological communities
  • An elephant’s brain weights 11 pounds, making it the largest brain of all land animals
  • Elephants can recognize themselves in a mirror and show signs of self awareness and empathy

  • Elephants can create tools, sometimes modifying branches to use as flyswatters
  • An African Elephant’s tusks can grow to over 11 feet long and can weigh 220 pounds
  • There are more muscles in an elephant’s trunk than in the entire human body and it is strong enough to rip down a tree and delicate enough to pluck a blade of grass
  • Elephants have no natural predators and yet the African Elephant is vulnerable and the Asian Elephant is endangered
  • Humans are the biggest threat to elephants through poaching, habitat destruction, and deforestation
  • Despite the Ivory Ban of 1990 and the effort of many countries since, elephants are still being killed at an alarming rate

Just look at these creatures

Sir David Attenborough said it best (as he usually does) when he said “The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book?”  That’s why World Elephant Day is important.  And there is good news this year!  The price of raw ivory dropped in China more than 50% between 2014 and 2015 according to Save the Elephants latest survey.  And according to National Geographic, the Proportion of Illegally Killed Elephants (PIKE) has dropped to its lowest percentage since 2009.  Yay progress!

But numbers about elephant poaching are notoriously hard to verify and there is still so much to be done.  But when it comes to what an individual can do, the answer is plenty!  After there was so much public outcry about the treatment of elephants in shows, Ringling Brothers agreed to phase elephants out of their circuses by 2018.  The voices were heard.

And there are a lot of fun ways to get involved.  World Elephant Day’s website has a pledge for people to sign in support of their efforts.  You can download the #EleeDraw 2016 coloring page here and post a picture of your creations to Instagram (be sure to use the hashtags #EleeDraw and #WorldElephantDay so everyone will be able to see!).  You can also snag some rad elephant harem pants at a discount today from The Elephant Pants, an African Wildlife Foundation corporate sponsor.  So you can save the elephants and look awesome doing it.  Or you can have fun and doodle while you get the word out, like me!

Keep an eye out for a new elephant themed card in the Etsy shop this weekend!  Happy #WorldElephantDay everybody!!

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Candles

Look for the Helpers

I had intended when I woke up this morning to write about Kira and I going to Doko Fest yesterday.  It was fun.  A lovely, sunny day with my mom and my dog and my best friend, listening to some fantastic music and splitting a watermelon next to a beautiful pond.  It was really idyllic.

But then I heard about Orlando.  And once again, I find myself at a point where I can’t quite grasp that something this horrible has happened.  The worst mass shooting in American history was not what I expected to wake up to.  But who ever expects something like that?  Who would ever think that going into their school, place of worship, or a movie or nightclub with their friends would ever end in tragedy?  My heart is heavy for the families of the victims.  In South Carolina, we found ourselves faced with horrors like this just last year.  And it was amazing how the country stood with us.  Just as #PrayForCharleston took over Twitter, so has #PrayForOrlando.  And while prayers are great, it’s really important for us to do something.

Regardless of what your stances on hot button issues are, at a time like this, the most important thing is love.  To show others that you care.  Mr. Rogers can sum it up far better than me.

When times seem bleak, and hope seems lost, just remember that there is still good in the world.  Look for that brightness in the dark.  Hold onto it.  And share it with others.

For this week, through Saturday June 18th, I want to help you reach out to someone.  These are nothing special, just some quotes that I always loved or a simple hello, but I’ve designed some little greeting cards.
Cards 1
Cards 2

If you reach out to us at DokoMorning@gmail.com, I will send one of these cards to a loved one of yours.  Free of charge.  Just let me know in the email the name and address of the recipient and a one or two sentence message that you’d like written inside.

The cards read:
“You’ll be in my heart from this day on now and forever more. -Phil Collins”
“You will never regret being kind”
“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
“Courage, dear heart. – C.S. Lewis”
and of course, “Hello”

Tell me which you want and let someone know that you love them.  We need to stand strong together as a country and as human beings.  And being kind and being loving will get us one step closer.  #PrayForOrlando and for each other.  Keep their families in your prayers and all of the other families that have lost someone to senseless violence in these dark times.  Thank you.

Update: After a mind blowing first day, we’ve actually gone through all of our free cards! The people that I’ve had the chance to meet through this experience have told me some amazing stories. And the most prevalent theme was love. You’re all amazing! Thanks for participating! And don’t worry if you didn’t catch us in time because we will definitely be doing this again!

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