WORLD ELEPHANT DAY: Project helping protect elephants |Photos

Dubbo residents should celebrate elephants by sharing their favourite stories and photos in honour of World Elephant Day, says wildlife expert Bobby-Jo Vial.

World Elephant Day on August 12 encourages residents to help conserve and protect elephants.

Ms Vial, who is currently working in Africa, said being in such close proximity to the animals had shown her how strong their family bonds were, especially when it came to their little ones.

However, poaching, snaring and habitat loss were reducing elephant numbers in the wild, Ms Vial said.

“The current statistics suggest that one elephant is being poached for its ivory every 15 minutes,” she said.

“Wire snaring is also a major issue for elephants. Snaring doesn't discriminate, it may be set to capture smaller antelope for bush meat but unfortunately many different species get caught in snares including elephants.”

Ms Vial said the biggest difference people could make was by supporting grassroots conservation projects. Her and Bradd Johnston have started an elephant charity called The Askari Project which raises money to fuel an aircraft which monitors elephants in Kenya.

“The aircraft provides the ‘eyes in the sky’ and can monitor the health of Tsavo's elephants but can also be on the look out for poaching activity,” Ms Vial said.