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Experience nature's wonders with these beautiful photos for World Wildlife Day

Elk are seen In Prestonsburg, Ky., at Jenny Wiley State Park, which offers guided elk tours from September to early March. From 1997 to 2003, 1,513 elk were transported into Kentucky, as part of a restoration project by the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife. There are now 11,000 of the reintroduced herd spanning a territory of 16 counties.
Elk are seen In Prestonsburg, Ky., at Jenny Wiley State Park, which offers guided elk tours from September to early March. From 1997 to 2003, 1,513 elk were transported into Kentucky, as part of a restoration project by the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife. There are now 11,000 of the reintroduced herd spanning a territory of 16 counties.

Today is World Wildlife Day — a dedicated time for celebrating wild animals and plants which can be observed by getting outside or taking time to appreciate photos of beautiful scenes in nature, to name a few ways.

What is World Wildlife Day?

At the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Dec. 20, 2013, the United Nations World Wildlife Day was established to take place annually on March 3 to recognize the unique roles and contributions of wildlife to people and the planet.

March 3 is also the day that the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed in 1973.

This year’s World Wildlife Day theme explores digital innovation in wildlife conservation.

“Advanced tracking systems, real-time data analytics and artificial intelligence-driven solutions are empowering conservationists with unprecedented tools to help identify, monitor, track and ultimately preserve our wildlife,” said CITES Secretary-General, Ivonne Higuero, in a message for World Wildlife Day. “However, as we leverage our growing technological capacities, we must also revitalize our commitments to sustainable development.”

Experience nature's wonders through these beautiful photos in honor of World Wildlife Day.

Invasive species and climate change: A perfect match? These animals thrive amid global warming.

Wild horses graze on a super bloom of Mexican poppies near Bush Highway in the Tonto National Forest in Chandler, Ariz.
Wild horses graze on a super bloom of Mexican poppies near Bush Highway in the Tonto National Forest in Chandler, Ariz.
A pair of rescued foxes sleep inside of a shelter at the Ark wildlife rescue facility in Hilliard, Fla. They are among 40 captive-born foxes rescued from fur farms by SaveAFox in Minnesota.
A pair of rescued foxes sleep inside of a shelter at the Ark wildlife rescue facility in Hilliard, Fla. They are among 40 captive-born foxes rescued from fur farms by SaveAFox in Minnesota.
A Sumatran tiger cub during a check-up at the Nashville Zoo in Nashville, Tenn. According to the World Wildlife Fund, this subspecies was once found across several parts of the Sunda islands in Indonesia. Today, they are found only on the island Sumatra, now that tigers in Java and Bali are extinct.
A Sumatran tiger cub during a check-up at the Nashville Zoo in Nashville, Tenn. According to the World Wildlife Fund, this subspecies was once found across several parts of the Sunda islands in Indonesia. Today, they are found only on the island Sumatra, now that tigers in Java and Bali are extinct.
A Florida Scrub Jay, listed as a threatened federal species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1987, is seen Feb. 1, 2024, at Florida’s Wabasso Scrub Conservation Area. The jays have steadily declined in numbers because of their vulnerability of habitat with development across the state of the well-draining sandy scrub environment where they live.
Bison stand in pens during a bison auction at the OKC Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City.
Bison stand in pens during a bison auction at the OKC Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City.
A one-month-old male elephant calf to first-time mother, 17-year-old African elephant Zaraha, at the Indianapolis Zoo on Oct. 4, 2023. The birth of this calf is the first elephant in the world (African or Asian) to be born through artificial insemination to a mother who was also born through the same procedure. This follows the tradition at the zoo with successful efforts in African elephant reproduction. The first and second African elephants in the world were conceived and successfully born through artificial insemination at the Indianapolis Zoo in 2000.
Wild Black berries bloom on the trails of Sandy Creek Nature Center in Athens, Ga., which features 225 acres of woodlands and wetlands with over 4 miles of trails.
Wild Black berries bloom on the trails of Sandy Creek Nature Center in Athens, Ga., which features 225 acres of woodlands and wetlands with over 4 miles of trails.
A raccoon peeks out from behind the trunk of a cedar after being spooked up the tree while scavenging with its family in a yard near Brownsville, Wash.
A raccoon peeks out from behind the trunk of a cedar after being spooked up the tree while scavenging with its family in a yard near Brownsville, Wash.
An owl at the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, in Jupiter, Fla., which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of Florida’s wildlife and natural resources. The Sanctuary serves nearly 6,000 patients each year with a goal of releasing healthy animals back into the wild.
An owl at the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, in Jupiter, Fla., which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of Florida’s wildlife and natural resources. The Sanctuary serves nearly 6,000 patients each year with a goal of releasing healthy animals back into the wild.
A Portuguese Man o’ war is seen among sargassum at Phipps Ocean Park in Palm Beach, Fla. According to the National Ocean Service, the Man o’ War is a species of siphonophore, a group of animals closely related to jellyfish. They are found mostly in tropical and subtropical seas and sometimes float in groups of 1,000 or more.
A Portuguese Man o’ war is seen among sargassum at Phipps Ocean Park in Palm Beach, Fla. According to the National Ocean Service, the Man o’ War is a species of siphonophore, a group of animals closely related to jellyfish. They are found mostly in tropical and subtropical seas and sometimes float in groups of 1,000 or more.
Wild teasel sprouting near a trench in East Lansing, Mich., at Azaadiikaa Park, formerly Abbot Road Park. It was renamed on Indigenous Peoples' Day in 2022 to an Indigenous name.
Wild teasel sprouting near a trench in East Lansing, Mich., at Azaadiikaa Park, formerly Abbot Road Park. It was renamed on Indigenous Peoples' Day in 2022 to an Indigenous name.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: World Wildlife Day 2024 is nearing: See with breathtaking nature pics