You may remember Yai Boon, a 70 year old, skinny and overworked elephant, who was rescued last month by Lek Chailert and brought to Elephant Nature Park. We were overjoyed to get an update on her condition from Lek this week, who says that she is doing much better.
Kathryn Adele Schumacher has generously donated 10 prints of her award-winning elephant portrait to WorldWomenWork, and we have them available in our shop. They have professionally cut mats and are ready to frame. All proceeds from the sale of these prints will go directly to fund our projects, like Save the Elephants, which Kathryn Adele Schumacher got to visit in Kenya during her trip there.
Kathryn Adele Schumacher is a collage artist and painter based in Maine and Florida. Visit her website for more info about her work kathrynschumacherartist.com.
At our fundraising events with Lek Chailert in April, we raised $100,000 to support Lek’s efforts to rescue abused elephants. Last month, blind elephant Mee Boon was rescued. Today, I am overjoyed to learn that as a direct result of our fundraising efforts, Yai Boon, a 70 year old elephant, has also been rescued and is now recovering at Elephant Nature Park. Lek Chailert and Save Elephant Foundation documented the rescue on their instagram and facebook pages, and the words and images documenting the rescue below are theirs. Thank you so much for your support, we could not have done this without you.
I recently traveled to Sicily to meet up with Save the Elephants founder Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton and to attend the screening of the new documentary The Elephant Queen at the Taormina Film Festival. The film festival takes place on the Italian coast in an ancient Greek amphitheater.
The Elephant Queen was just released this year, and has been shown at a number of film festivals. It will be available later on Apple’s new streaming service. The new documentary is directed by Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble of Deeble and Stone, and narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave). It tells the story of an elephant called Athena, queen of her herd, as she leads her herd on a dangerous journey in search of a new watering hole, as theirs is drying up. It is powerful and beautiful. You can get a preview by watching the trailer below.
Mark Deeble also has some great writing on his blog. He tells the story of finding an elephant tusk and realizing that he knew the elephant it had belonged to here: https://markdeeble.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/the-story-of-a-tusk-kg-voi-river-30514/
He also writes about the importance of time and place in recording audio for wildlife films. Have a read and listen here: https://markdeeble.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/the-elephant-movie-the-sound-of-it/
At our fundraising events with Lek Chailert in April, we raised $100,000 to support Lek’s efforts to rescue abused elephants. With these funds, Lek Chailert and Save Elephant Foundation were able to rescue blind elephant Mee Boon and bring her to her new home at Elephant Nature Park. Below is her story, which they shared on the Elephant Nature Park facebook page, and the words and images documenting the rescue below are theirs. Thank you so much for your support, we could not have done this without you.
On the Mee Boon’s journey to Elephant Nature Park, Lek Chailert wrote this:
Last month we had the best visitor! Lek Chailert, of Save Elephant Foundation and Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand, came to Santa Fe. We had three wonderful educational and fundraising events while she was here. There was a luncheon at Shelby House with a beautiful vegan Thai & Vietnamese-inspired menu prepared by Hue-Chan Karels of Open Kitchen Events.
Then we had an amazing dinner, followed by a screening and lecture at Violet Crown. In total, about $100,000 was raised for Lek’s efforts to save abused elephants. Thank you so much for all of your support. We could not do this without you!
Mapayon of the Mama Tembos Says: "We feel like we are educators and that we can tell people about elephants and wildlife. Before we were scared of elephants, but now we have learned so much about them and we are grateful."
The pride that these Mamas feel protecting elephants from human beings and gigantic infrastructure projects is inspirational. They are a group of 9 working with Save the Elephants helping to save the largest land mammal; the elephant!
They have had tough lives. Imagine raising 7 children after your partner has left you or been killed in a tribal conflict. They patrol walking 10km a day in the scorching African sun.
Soutine is one of the Samburu orphans studied in the "Orphan Project" We came upon her last winter standing with her 3 week old baby to the side of her family, the Artists, not being completely accepted. This leads to the ability of some young orphan mother's being more able to raise their offspring than others. This river crossing happened after we left and shows Soutine's incredible tenacity in this scary situation.
"This corrupt, illegal war on wildlife makes losers of us all. The annihilation of wildlife by organised criminal gangs is violent, bloody, corrupt and insidious. It robs communities of their resources, their independence, their opportunities and their dignity. It strips their homes of beauty and diversity. It may even cost some people their lives. And we are all losers as the creatures with which we share this planet are pillaged to extinction." - Dominic Jermey
Click here to read the full Guardian article
The elephant situation in Myanmar is desperate. Elephants are being killed not only for ivory but also for their skin "blood ivory" WorldWomnenWork is pleased to bring this presentation to Santa Fe on Oct. 23rd.
Aung Myo Chit is the founder of the Myanmar nonprofit Grow Back For Prosperity. He is head of Smithsonian Myanmar and has over 15 years experience working with wild and domesticated elephants in Myanmar and leads the Irrawaddy River Dolphin Project. He holds advanced degrees in conservation biology from the University of California, Davis, and James Cook University Australia.
Jon Miceler is a US based conservationist with over 20 years of rural development experience in Myanmar. He is the founder of US based Inner Asia Conservation and was managing director of WWF's Eastern Himalaya Program. Miceler holds an advanced degree in environmental science from Yale University and the University of Colorado, Boulder.
WorldWomenWork presented some of its collection of beautiful things for sale to benefit the conservation efforts of Lek Chailert, Save Elephant Foundation, Thailand, in New York on Sept. 25th at a special evening for Asian Elephants.
Lek was born in northern Thailand. Her love of elephants began when her grandfather, a traditional healer, received an elephant named Tong Kam, in return for saving the life of a young man. The bond that developed between lek and Tong sparked a love and respect for elephants that has shaped the course of her life. The Foundation is dedicated to providing care, assistance and LOVE to Thailand's captive elephants.
TODAY there are over 3000 elephants in CAPTIVITY and only a few 100 left in the WILD.
WorldWomenWork is fighting for all endangered Elephants, Lions and Grevy's Zebra. It is our duty. The world would be a tragic soulless place without them. Please join us. Without you, WWW is nothing!
Thank you for caring and being a part of our passion.
An estimated 100 African elephants are killed by poachers every day for their ivory and body parts. The victims of poaching reaches far beyond the life that has been taken. The impact of an elephant’s death extends to the family, the herd, and the ecosystem. The Elephant Orphan Project through Save the Elephants in Samburu, Kenya has been monitoring elephants in the Samburu National Reserve for over 15 years. Their research helps us understand the behavior, family ties, and interactions of orphans who have lost their matriarchs to poaching.
How do herds learn important survival skills without a leader? How do their migration patterns change? How does trauma affect behaviors and relationships among the remaining pack? These are the types of questions the Orphan Project is hoping to answer.
Over the course of 2014-15, the Orphan Project has developed a greater insight into the workings of elephant families, and the changes that can occur due to physical and psychological stress. During a recent exchange, Shifra Goldenberg, a PhD Candidate working under George Wittemyer, chair of STE’s scientific board, provided us with this update:
It has been over two years since the first orphaned elephants were radio collared. Their movements have been fascinating. Many seem to be ranging within much smaller subsets of their mothers’ previous ranges, some have completely shifted their ranges. These shifts seem to be connected to social strategies after poaching, associating with new groups, picking up the movement patterns of those groups. In some cases, the ranges are so different from those of their mothers that you would never guess they were from their original families. The collar data are revealing just how flexible these elephants are. Looking at their movement patterns together with their relationships with other families and information on survival and reproduction will give us a better idea of the lasting effects of poaching.
WorldWomenWork has spent the past few years and over $300,000 supporting the Elephant Orphan Project by providing all of the elephant radio collars, administrative support, operations, and research salaries. This year in 2018, we hope to give $400,000. This is the most we have ever given to one organization. With your contributions, we can help The Orphan Project continue their work. Even the smallest contribution makes a difference.
The Orphan Project runs entirely on donations like yours. Next year, we would like to provide the funds for the following operational costs:
10 Radio Collars for Corridor Movement ($2500 each)
10 Collaring operation costs (vet fees, meds, ect. – $1000 per operation)
10 Downloading and database management ($800 per collar)
Field work budget (vehicle repair and fuel) ($15,000/year)
Field researcher support (cost of living $8000/year)
International Travel (2 @ $2500)
University support for graduate student & publishing in peer-reviewed journals ($2000 per paper)
This picture depicts two orphan sisters and their children crossing the Ewaso Nyiro in the dry season. They are from the American Indians family. Their mother, Aztec, died in 2009, likely from drought. In front, sniffing out for what may lie ahead, is Cree. Cree is 16 years old, but was only 10 when her mother died. Following Cree is Zuni. Zuni is 12 years old, but was only 6 when her mother died. Although the full ramifications of being orphaned are not yet understood, it is inspiring that Cree and Zuni were able to recover enough to bear offspring. Cree has a three year old calf, bringing up the rear in the photo. This calf is tuskless – a lucky occurrence for an elephant in today’s world. Zuni had her first calf in March, who is following her.
Your generosity made it possible for a grand presentation of all the items on the list below for 30 elephants and their families in May of 2018. They were accepted at first with bewilderment as there is no precedent of this kind of philanthropy in northern Myanmar. We have shown the government what it means to connect with these magnificent animals
2018 WWW Challenge Grant $2500
WWW's Walking with Elephants Myanmar Adventure Feb. 2017 has initiated a new project for us which we are proud to be a part of, knowing that tangible results and hope for many will result with our participation. These ex-logging elephants are in danger of being totally abandoned as the government does not have the money to pay for upkeep of both elephants and Mahouts who are being forced to seek employment elsewhere. The elephants will lose health care and proper food, ultimately succumbing to death via conflict with humans or being sold into dreadful slave labor.
Living next to our elephants gave us the opportunity to witness the strong bond between families and elephants. Here is the list of what is needed to help protect these magnificent creatures and families...a quickly disappearing way of life.
Medicine And Food For One Young Elephant 10 to 55 years:
Tamarind balls and salt - $7.00
De-worming and vitamins - $75.00
Rice bran and Paddy - $12.00
Monthly upkeep for one elephant - $94.00
Total For One Elephant Per Year - $1128.00
One Mahout Family's Needs For One Year:
Mosquito nets and blankets - $8.00
Children's school supplies - $10.00
Children's uniforms - $15.00
Children's backpacks - $10.00
Uniforms - $32.00
Total for 1 Family Per Year $75.00
This is just a small percentage of the 5000 elephants without a job.
PLEASE help us meet this challenge. It is the least we can do! We must never forget the precarious situation for elephants in Myanmar. There maybe as few as 1500 wild elephants left. Not only are they being poached for their ivory and meat but also for their skins to be made into a face powder for the Vietnamese.
BIOGAS UNITS TO EMPOWER WOMEN AND GIRLS
adjacent to Elephant Camps
A concrete structure buried in the ground over which sits a toilet for human use and below animal dung may be added creating clean methane gas, a precious blue cooking flame piped into the house. GIRLS AND MOTHERS no longer need to search for wood, smoke induced diseases are eliminated, cattle are kept near the house reducing forest damage and tiger conflict. Girls and women are free to study and learn skills that lift them out of poverty.
CLEAN COOKING FUEL ENHANCES TIGER CONSERVATION
2 Biogas Units each $700 = $1400
4 households benefit from 2
One time cost for technician from Nepal to help set up the units air food lodging for 3 weeks. $3,500
Transportation of materials $500
Please we ask for your generosity once again. These elephants and mahout families are part of the WWW family. What a powerful and compassionate way to show that we care!. We were the first group to do a walking trip with elephants in Myanmar. There will never be a basket on an elephant's back again, there will be no riding. 10 mahouts and a forestry official are being sent to Thailand to Lek Chailert's Elephant Nature Park thru the generousity of a WWW donor to learn the loving and kind ways of the perfect elephant world.