Elephants

"My Kenyan Friend" Prints by Artist Kathryn Adele Schumacher

Elephant Artist Print by Kathryn Adele Schumacher

After traveling to Kenya on one of our Adventure Trips, and meeting this beautiful elephant, artist Kathryn Adele Schumacher created this stunning portrait in pastels to commemorate her time there.

We saw tons of elephants— but that particular one struck me as I photographed him. He was so docile and approached us in the jeep like we were old friends. I loved his eyes.

Singer opened my eyes to the beauty of Africa and it’s enchanting nature. I first went with her back in 2011 and then I went with her again in 2013. I’ve seen five different countries and cannot wait to go back.
— Kathryn Adele Schumacher

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.

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Elephant Rescue: Bringing Yai Boon Home to Elephant Nature Park

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

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.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

We are with an overworked old skinny girl. Her name is Yai Boon. She is about 70 years old . We cannot move her yet from her previous place due to the long Buddhist holiday in Thailand and the officials do not work. We await permission for transport and other required paper work .

Yai Boon worked at the same place as our old girl, Yai Bua. They stayed chained in the same place, working together for 4 years. Yai Bua was rescued on February 6th, 2016. At that time Yai Boon was still healthy and the owner would not let her go. They continued to use her for riding until two weeks ago when she collapsed. We sent the vet to check. Her condition was very malnourished and dehydrated. Our vet is now treating her to ensure that she is strong enough to transport to her new home. Soon Yai Boon will be free.
— Lek Chailert, Save Elephant Foundation
Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

After two days of veterinary care, IV fluids and B vitamins, as well as better food , Yao Boon is ready to go on her journey. Our team decorated the truck to help her walk curious and less intimidated onto her final transport. She had a few second thoughts and then finally walked onto the truck. Yai Boon is on her way home now. On behalf of Yai Boon and her future friends in the Park, we would like to thanks to Allene Lapides, a generous resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico, who helped us to rescue Yai Boon. She no longer has to work, and now she can enjoy the freedom life that she deserves. Thanks to Singleton Rankin of World Woman Work together with members of Santa Fe community who always support our project. You have helped to change Yai Boon’s life forever.
— Lek Chailert, Save Elephant Foundation
Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Please pray for Yai Boon. Long Hours on the road for our old girl, she get exhausted, heavy rain during journey, our team have to stop often to let Yai Boon to get a short nap. About 3-4 hours to go. Be strong old lady. You will be home soon.
— Lek Chailert, Save Elephant Foundation
Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Yai Boon is home. What is not much of a journey for one, can be a great hardship for another. It was a tiring trip for Yai Boon. I was actually concerned for her ability to travel the whole way once we were in motion. She walked so strongly on Terra Firma, but the truck motion was a challenge for her. She is very undernourished. Her health is fragile because of it. Our vet and team monitored her the whole time, especially Darrick who never left her side, comforting her from beginning to end. Yai Boon is weak in body, but strong in mind. She carries on her struggle for freedom. Every one needs help at that.

Thank you to all friends who sent your journeying mercies to Yai Boon. Thank you so much to Allene Lapides and Singleton Rankin who have given the opportunity for Yai Boon to rest, and taste both joy and freedom.
— Lek Chailert, Save Elephant Foundation

The Elephant Queen Movie in Sicily

The Elephant Queen
photo courtesy of Victoria Stone

photo courtesy of Victoria Stone

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/

Elephant Rescue: Mee Boon Comes Home to Elephant Nature Park

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

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.

A couple of months ago I heard the story of a blind elephant working in a tourist camp. I went to visit her to assess her physical status and living conditions. Mee Boon had been in this camp for about five years. Prior to this, she worked in logging camps. It was then that she lost sight in her left eye from an unknown injury.
Her last owner said that Mee Boon could still see with her right eye when she was bought, but a few months later her right eye also lost vision. It became difficult for Mee Boon to walk around. She walked slowly and was quite afraid. She was no longer good for their business because the area where they worked was mountainous terrain, and the elephant must be able to walk up and down steep hills and go to the creek and a water fall. Mee Boon could no longer do that. So, for years, she just stood in the same small place, doing nothing.
They announced recently that they were wanting someone to help her out from their place.
I would like to thank Allene Lapides from Santa Fe, New Mexico, who donated the funds to take Mee Boon out of her suffering. Thanks to the group of Trunks Up Santa Fe, to Singleton Rankin and all her team who have helped to bring a new life to this beautiful girl.
From this day, we are privileged to provide care for Mee Boon. We will find a way for her to join with others, and to know the joy of relaxed living embraced by the deep bonds of friendship with her own kind.
— Lek Chailert, Save Elephant Foundation
Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

On the Mee Boon’s journey to Elephant Nature Park, Lek Chailert wrote this:

Mee Boon is taking a journey to her freedom. To rescue an elephant, to have an elephant get onto a truck can be the most difficult part of the adventure. Many elephants have a terrible memory of being moved from one place of work to the next, often accompanied by further hardship on arrival, as a new owner would assert control. The smell of a truck can incite fear and panic, making loading a challenge. We don’t want our elephants to be distressed or fearful. We take time, and also prepare the truck to be more welcoming, so that the elephant can have some comfort when embarking the truck. We made a jungle truck for Mee Boon, and it took only a couple of minutes for her to readily walk in. We have secured her support rails for transport now and are ready to take her home.
— Lek Chailert, Save Elephant Foundation
Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation.

Lek Chailert of Save Elephant Foundation comes to Santa Fe

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.

Luncheon with Lek Chailert at Shelby House Santa Fe, photo courtesy of Lek Chailert

Luncheon with Lek Chailert at Shelby House Santa Fe, photo courtesy of Lek Chailert

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!

With Lek at the Violet Crown in Santa Fe, photo courtesy of Lek Chailert

With Lek at the Violet Crown in Santa Fe, photo courtesy of Lek Chailert

Lek at the Violet Crown in Santa Fe, photo courtesy of Lek Chailert

Lek at the Violet Crown in Santa Fe, photo courtesy of Lek Chailert

Lek at the Violet Crown in Santa Fe, photo courtesy of Lek Chailert

Lek at the Violet Crown in Santa Fe, photo courtesy of Lek Chailert

Lek at the Violet Crown in Santa Fe, photo courtesy of Lek Chailert

Lek at the Violet Crown in Santa Fe, photo courtesy of Lek Chailert

With Lek in Santa Fe, photo by Beau Wattana

With Lek in Santa Fe, photo by Beau Wattana

Save The Elephants and Mama Tembo in Samburu Kenya

photo by Jane Wynyard with Save the Elephants

photo by Jane Wynyard with Save the Elephants

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.

Mama Tembo Save the Elephants Kenya

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.

Grow Back For Prosperity Santa Fe Event and October Updates

"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

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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.

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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.

Lek Chailert in NYC

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.


Singer Rankin

Elephant Orphan Project with Save the Elephants

Veterinarians and Orphan Project researchers have sedated a Samburu elephant while attaching a new radio collar.

Veterinarians and Orphan Project researchers have sedated a Samburu elephant while attaching a new radio collar.

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)

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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.

August 2018 Challenge Grant for Myanmar Elephants

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

myanmar elephants

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
Total $5,400

Myanmar Elephants

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.

Myanmar Elephants

Hero Women of Congo

About 55 elephants are killed every day for their ivory. A rhino is killed every eight hours for its horn. About 317 000 live birds are trafficked annually. A ranger is killed in the line of duty, on average, every three days.
— World Wildlife Fund

Soutine age 14, with her trunk resting on the radio collar was one of the first orphans in the WorldWomenWork funded “Orphan Project” with Save the Elephants. Among other findings, Soutine shows the resiliency of young elephants who without their Matriarchs to teach them have to learn on their own. We observed lion marks on the baby, age 3 weeks, and subsequently the baby was caught in a raging current in the Ewaso River and Soutine by her side managed to guide her to shore... She is a good Mother.
What a success story!

Hero Women of Congo

HERO WOMEN OF CONGO 

Angelique (Below) one of 6 children, ran away from home to avoid being married in her early teens. “My country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, has always been at war, so the population is often in an insecure situation and poor. Because of these wars, women and girls are raped and many people are dead. I did not want to be illiterate like my Mother.”

Through the help of our donors, WWW has funded Angelique's tuition for nursing school, So that she may return to her region and help other girls and women.

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We have also donated six sewing machines and four additional scholarships were awarded, $500 each, to this women’s group.


Elephants and women have much in common. Their families are torn apart for many reasons.
They both cope with the loss of their matriarchs from brutal killing and rape for power and money. Soutine, her baby, and these girls from the Congo need our compassion and love.

Singer Rankin and Lek Chailert

When we met Bua Loi, she was in chains with a broken leg from logging, had been forcibly bred, then her baby was taken away and she was forced to beg on the streets of Bangkok. We bought Bua Loi with Lek (Far Right) and brought her to the Elephant Nature Park in Kuet Chiang in Northen Thailand.
~
Lek is the Saint of Elephants and the most inspirational person I have ever met...
With great thanks for all that you do for WWW
    -Singer Rankin

Learn more about Save Elephant Foundation and The Elephant Nature Park.