Trailer for the documentary An Apology to Elephants. Few animals hold more fascination for humans than elephants. For centuries they ve been adored, inspired great works of art, and even been revered as gods, yet they have also been treated with cruelty. An Apology to Elephants explores the abuse of these ancient and intelligent animals and shows how some people are reversing the trend. Narrated and executive produced by Lily Tomlin and directed by Emmy winner Amy Schatz, with narration written by Jane Wagner. As a keystone species, elephants promote biodiversity, helping trees, plants and animals flourish; as highly intelligent, empathetic and social animals, they are unique and remarkable creatures. But humans have poached elephants, chained and trained them in captivity, and destroyed their natural habitats. The first thing we need to know is that the elephants need our help, says Lily Tomlin. An Apology to Elephants spotlights elephants importance to global ecology and the environment. Known as the gardeners of the forest, they clear large trees and branches for food, which makes way for smaller plants and animals to thrive. However, due to the ivory trade and habitat destruction, elephant species are considered either vulnerable or endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and are at risk of extinction within the next ten years. Extinction is part of the pattern of life on the planet, but we re amping up the rate at which extinctions occur, says paleontologist Dr. Ross MacPhee.