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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The Riverbanks Zoo celebrated World Elephant Day Tuesday.

This is the first year the zoo has taken part in the worldwide event designed to bring awareness to the fact that 96 elephants are killed each day in Africa for their ivory.

Guests were encouraged to sign a petition and join in special activities to protect African elephants and ban the sale of ivory.

"The whole goal here is to try to put a stop of the sale of Ivory and to bring attention to the crisis," said Riverbanks Zoo Public Relations Specialist Susan O'Cain. "So we are going to continue to drive that message. We want people to come out and have fun, but we also want to remind them that the whole mission of the zoo is conservation and to help the endangered populations in the wild to thrive and live on."

Guests were also encouraged to wear gray when they went to the park.

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