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The endangered elephants of Africa have an unlikely hero: Billy Joel.

20 years from now, this scene could be looking a LOT different.There's a big ol' chance that there won't be elephants at Pride Rock!**and also on the actual, real, nonfiction continent of Africa.

When I was a kid, I was very worried about elephants going extinct.

But then I thought they were OK! Turns out, NO. I was wrong to not remain vigilant.

But turns out another relic of my childhood ...


... has been on the case all along!

Legendary musician Billy Joel has reminded me that the elephant problem is still very real.

Mr. Pianoman loves to tickle the ivories, but he's NOT COOL with murdering the ivories. The ivory in elephant tusks is the reason for a lot of elephant deaths.

Billy Joel has a stronger relationship with ivory and elephants than most folks because ... pianos!

Pianos traditionally were made with ivory keys. And if there is one thing Billy Joel is an expert on, it's gotta be pianos.

He says music should never be used as an excuse to destroy a species.

He made this statement on his website:

"I am a piano player. And I realize that ivory piano keys are preferred by some pianists.

But a preference for ivory keys does not justify the slaughter of 96 elephants every day.There are other materials which can be substituted for piano keys. But magnificent creatures like these can never be replaced.

Music must never be used as an excuse to destroy an endangered species.Music should be a celebration of life — not an instrument of death."



Elephant populations in Africa have declined by 60% since 1978.

Their habitats are disappearing, and they're being hunted and slaughtered for their tusks. (Don't Google it! It will make you sad.) 96 elephants die each day!

Even more scary, biologists are now saying that if the hunting and slaughter of elephants continues at this rate, elephants could be extinct in 20 years in Africa.

Elephants could be extinct in Africa in 20 years.

Yep.

The majestic and awesome animals who scientists are certain feel deep emotion when they are grieving and who literally mourn when they lose a family member could be gone.

There are things you can do.

Call your congressperson, visit 96elephants.org, go hug an elephant... And perhaps the easiest and most effective way? Just talk about it. Knowledge is power!

More people simply need to know that elephants are on the verge of extinction in Africa. These elephants need more people to know they're at risk.

20 years is not that far away.

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Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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