Party for the Planet: The Digger that Makes the Watering Hole

We are celebrating Party for the Planet, a movement to take action for the planet. Each week leading up to Endangered Species Day (May 20), we will be sharing more about elephants’ vital role in the ecosystem, how The Elephant Sanctuary is doing its part, and how you can be a part of helping your community too. We challenge you to connect with your natural habitat and practice conservation in your neighborhood with interactive activities week to week!

Elephants are a keystone species in many different environments, one being the African savanna. In these habitats, elephants will walk great distances during the dry season to find water. However, elephants are also known to dig holes near riverbeds or when they sense rain is coming by using their tusks to dig up dirt, creating watering holes and mud wallows that fill with water from the rain or the watershed below the ground. By digging holes and mud wallows, elephants not only provide themselves with a necessary water supply, but also for other animals in that ecosystem, like gazelles and lions.

How is The Elephant Sanctuary doing its part? The Sanctuary’s three elephant barns utilize a multi-thousand-gallon rainwater catchment system. We have five cisterns for storing rainwater, which holds more than 28,000 gallons! By collecting all rainwater, we can re-use it throughout the year to clean barns and irrigate gardens and landscaping. 

How can you be like an elephant? Rainwater catchment is easy, even in your backyard! If your home has a downspout, you can set large buckets underneath to collect the excess water that pours out as it rains. Then utilize this water to clean, water the yard, or even for a garden! Additionally, for your next family activity, find a large rain barrel or large trash can that the whole family can paint or decorate and leave out during the next rain shower. This is a great way to create an at-home rain barrel system that is fun and efficient.

Check back next week for another tip on how to Party for the Planet with The Sanctuary!

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