Since 2010, Canadian filmmakers Patricia Sims and Michael Clark have documented the plight of the endangered Asian elephant in Thailand. When Elephants Were Young is the result of their five-year quest to explore new strategies for the future of human-elephant relations and the survival of all elephants.
During the course of filming, Patricia Sims and Michael Clark were introduced to the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation, a unique Thai non-profit organization and Royal initiative of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand. The Elephant Reintroduction Foundation commissioned them to make the short documentary Return to the Forest, about the organization's mission to release and re-adapt elephants to their natural forest habitat.
Working with the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation, Patricia and Michael developed the concept for World Elephant Day. It was officially founded, supported and launched by Patricia and the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation on August 12, 2012. Since that time, Patricia continues to lead and manage World Elephant Day, which is now supported by over 100 wildlife organizations and countless individuals in countries around the globe.