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August 12 is World Elephant Day, and this year Wildlife SOS is asking you to paint your toenails gray—and then show them off.  The non-profit charity, which is focused on rescuing and rehabilitating distressed wildlife across India, is working to bring attention to a specific problem: the condition of the feet of elephants who are kept in captivity.

Geeta Seshamani, the co-founder and Secretary of Wildlife SOS said in an emailed release, “There are many elephants that we have brought to our Elephant Hospital for treatment and when we look at their feet we find glass, rocks and nails embedded in them. There is no telling how long they have been there causing severe pain.”  The organization estimates that there are over 2,500 elephants in captivity in India.  They are used for begging, processions, weddings, entertainment, and tourism, and they are forced to walk on scorching hot city streets and sharp debris.  Captors often house elephants on concrete floors and chain their feet, which breeds disease.

If you want to spread awareness about this issue, here’s how Wildlife SOS asks you to participate:

  • Choose your favorite nail polish in any grey tone
  • Paint your toes grey – or get someone else to! Get creative!
  • On August 10-12, take a photo of your feet and post on your social media channels
  • Tag @wildlifesos and #toegrey and #worldelephantday
  • Go to to find out more or to Donate a pedicure to an elephant in need
  • Wiggle your toes and feel good about making the world a better place for elephants!

Sign this petition to end the cruel practice of elephant rides — for the captive elephants caught in this sad life today and for the wild elephants who will be poached tomorrow if nothing is done.

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