There's a Guinness World Record for origami elephants. The story behind it is delightful.

The Wildlife Conservation Society and the Bronx Zoo just set a weird, colorful world record in the name of elephant conservation.

A lot of wild elephants are in danger. Habitat loss and ivory poaching have been pushing their numbers lower and lower.

In an effort to support elephant conservation, the Bronx Zoo and the Wildlife Conservation Society's 96 elephants campaign joined together. They wanted to make an impactful statement by collecting as many origami elephants as possible to show that people really do care about these animals.


They put out the call on social media with the #JoinTheFold and #ElephantOrigamiChallenge hashtags and campaigns.

The world responded with a truly gigantic outpouring of elephant love.

Photo from Julie Larsen Maher/WCS.

How gigantic was this? The zoo received a grand total of over 204,000 papercraft pachyderms from all around the world.

It was a veritable origami menagerie.

Image via WCS/YouTube.

Some of the elephants were quite small.

Photo from Julie Larsen Maher/WCS.

Others were pretty dang big.

Photo from Julie Larsen Maher/WCS.

They weren't all the same style either! Turns out, there's a bunch of different ways to make your own little papercraft pachyderm.

They came in from as far as Iran, Kazakhstan, and Egypt.

Image via WCS/YouTube.

The zoo received origami elephants from more than 40 different countries and all 50 U.S. states. Participants included 45 other zoos, a class of deaf students, and a 109-year-old woman — all sending in their colorful additions to the project.

Using this amazing outpouring of love, the zoo put together a 78,564-strong elephant display.

Photo from Julie Larsen Maher/WCS.

It even got into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest origami elephant herd ever!

"63,582... 63,583... 63,584...." Photo from Julie Larsen Maher/WCS.

They more than doubled the previous record, which was set by the London/Whipsnade Zoo at a now relatively measly 33,764 elephants. The Bronx Zoo's full display won't be open to the public, but they say they're planning on incorporating them into a holiday exhibit.

The zoo and Wildlife Conservation Society hope the exhibit will inspire people to help save elephants.

The exhibit was organized by the Wildlife Conservation Society's 96 elephants campaign, named for the 96 elephants reportedly lost every day to poaching. The Wildlife Conservation Society hopes this simple gesture can help send a message: We're dedicated to saving these animals.

If you want to make some origami elephants of your own, you can check out 96 elephants to learn how. If you want to show even more support for elephants, you can check out the campaign or some of the many other conservation organizations.

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What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

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Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

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However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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