World Animal Day Celebrates 81st Year
October 4, 2012

World Animal Day Celebrates 81st Year Today

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

If today feels a little bananas to you, if it´s raining cats and dogs, or if your office is operating more like a zoo, then no need to panic. It´s the 81st annual World Animal Day! According to, this day of celebration began in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy. The very first World Animal Day was celebrated as an extension of the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of all animals.

Today is also meant as a way to heighten awareness of endangered species all around the world as well as pay tribute to those who dedicate their lives to protecting these animals. Just like American Thanksgiving, World Animal Day can be celebrated by all races, creeds, colors and religions. The only requirement is a love (or at least a sincere respect) for all animals, even the frightening ones.

The introduction and subsequent global embrace of the Internet has cast World Animal Day on a much larger stage as people and organizations all over the world have chosen different ways in which to celebrate the occasion. The directors of World Animal Day support these celebrations and encourage us to keep the spirit of the day alive all year long.

For example, Edgar´s Mission, a non-profit rescue farm in Australia will be celebrating with a petting zoo stocked with over 250 rescued animals, a cruelty free market and BBQ, a vegan bake sale and, of course, the obligatory face painting for the kiddos. Edgar´s Mission is missing the official World Animal Day, however, hosting their activities on Sunday, but don´t let that stop you from visiting the “60 peaceable acres” of farm and hearing the groovy tunes of HBR Strongheart.

Is Willowmavin, Kilmore, Australia not within driving distance? Would you prefer to celebrate on the day-of and in the comfort of your vegan pajamas? Web site has put together a collection of online games, each with an animalistic theme. Games such as Magic Safari, Horse Eventing, (and the exciting follow up, Horse Eventing 2) Farmerama and Frogtastic are all available to get you in the World Animal Day mood.

As expected, Zoos are also getting in on the World Animal Day fun, hosting events chock full of fun-tivities and educational insight. The Edmonton Valley Zoo in Edmonton, Alberta for instance, will not only host a scavenger hunt and a Monster Mural, but a build-your-own cupcake center as well! Children of all ages are invited to color in parts of the World Animal Day Monster Mural just before roaming the entire zoo, spotting and identifying as many animals as they can in the scavenger hunt. It´s likely your family will have worked up quite the appetite afterwards, so feel free to treat yourself to an animal themed cupcake, built and designed by you!

Sri Lankan fashion retailer ODEL is taking the opportunity of World Animal Day to celebrate the elephants of their homeland, donating proceeds from sales of T-Shirts, Caps, Bags, Mugs and Key Chains to Ath Athuru Sevana, an elephant transit home in Udawalawe. ODEL retail stores will also have paper mâché Elephants for the children to express the creativity upon.

American animal lovers can swing by Sarasota, Florida and visit the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary for several fun and educational presentations about exotic big cats, as well as get up close and personal with these ferocious felines in their recreated habitats.

Remember, no matter how you choose to celebrate, the World Animal Day initiative only asks that you commemorate your love and respect “for animals by doing something special to highlight their importance in the world.”