January 2015

Supporting the care and conservation of elephants in Asian range countries.
AES President's 2014 Trip to Thailand

President Linda Reifschneider traveled to Thailand in November and met with our advisor, Richard Lair, at The Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang.  Even though we are always just ‘an email away’ from contact with all of our advisors, a long and relaxed visit in person is so good - to catch up on the Asian elephant scene from activities he is involved in, as well as seeing some of the TECC elephants Linda knows from past visits.
Linda with AES Advisor, Richard Lair
While in Chiang Mai, Linda was fortunate to attend a talk given by Josh Plotnik, who Linda first met in the mid-2000s when he started his initial research.  AES funded his organization, Think Elephants International, in 2012 for the purchase of a computer and television for a classroom in Thailand.  At his talk, Josh reported  they now have 20 classrooms in Thailand participating in their program,  10 in Bangkok and 10 in a rural setting.  It is good to know the value of research that  is being taught to the next generation - and what better model to use than the Asian elephant!

In addition to visiting three elephant camps in the Maetang River basin, Linda ended up at the Royal Kraal in Ayutthaya, where she had some very good conversations with Ewa and Michelle, as well as the volunteers and visitors participating in the Elephantstay program.  AES has helped fund this program after two devastating floods.  During this visit, she had the privilege of being able to make merit for Plai Supalert, a one week old male calf.  Thai people make merit as it is believed to better one’s Karma: what you give in this life you will receive in the next life. Thai people believe that in the next life elephants will become people, which is also why they are so highly regarded..  Linda also told Pang Baitoy, the calf’s mom and a fourth time mother, how wonderful and appreciated she is.  
Linda wishes to extend a special thanks to Julia Ferdinand for always making her travels in Thailand convenient, efficient, and much more fun.
The Elephant Conservation Center, Laos
The Elephant Conservation Center (ECC) in Sayaboury, Laos, has become a haven for logging elephant mahouts.  It offers veterinary care among many other needed services to mahouts and their elephants.  Laos is a major contributor to the logging industry, however, it has been severely impacted by illegal logging over the past century.  Now that so much old growth forest has been decimated, it’s not just the trees that have been impacted, but the humans and elephants as well.  With the population of Asian elephants in their range countries declining, the ECC in Laos is a beacon of hope in sustaining their numbers and allowing mahouts to remain culturally relevant.  Check out this video to learn about the importance of the ECC to elephants in Laos.

Asian Elephant Support (AES), in conjunction with ElefantAsia, has been fortunate to work with and contribute toward the success of the ECC.  In the past, AES has been able to fund the purchase of dart guns, medicine for their mobile vet unit, a portable scale, and more recently provide for the education and salary of their employee Kan.  Visit our website to learn more about our collaboration with the ECC. 
Dedication + Volunteering = A Great Experience

Whitney Jones was Asian Elephant Support’s first official volunteer.  She’s dedicated to doing what she can to help the Asian elephant make its difficult trek into the next century and, to that end, she spent the month of November 2014, volunteering at the Elephant Conservation Center (ECC) in Sayaboury, Laos.  As one of the efforts AES has funded on various occasions, we wanted to share another person’s experience with our readers.  The following is Whitney’s recollections of her days in Laos:

The ECC was absolutely amazing.  I fell in love and did not want to leave.

The people:  Emma, the vet, was fantastic, so enthusiastic and kind.  Kan, who AES sponsored at the mahout workshop in Sumatra in 2013, was who I interacted with the most. I got to observe as he treated a big bull with a large abscess on his back.  Kan also taught the bull's mahout how to care for the wound when the elephant went back to the logging camp.  Kan also took excellent care of the elephant restraint, hospital, and everything around it.  He was a delight to talk with and very patient with volunteers, including myself, who were having difficulties with some of our tasks — digging up banana trees (and failing miserably at the task) or digging out old fence posts (at a pace about one-tenth as efficient as him!).
During my stay at the ECC, the only ‘baby’ there was Noy.  He’s about 3.5 years old and will do his traditional Lao training in December and then he’ll receive his real name.  (All elephant calves are initially called “Noy” which means ‘little’. )  
While I was there, Mae Khram Dee arrived.  She is 21 months pregnant and is part of the ECC’s baby bonus program. This program encourages owners to breed their females and then bring them to the ECC, preferably before delivery, and allow the mother and calf to stay on maternity leave for 2 to 3 years, with the Center providing the mahout’s salary and all the needs of the elephants.  The owner receives a hand plow, either for growing crops (or he can sell it if he prefers) as compensation while his elephant is off work.  In addition, Mae Boo Nam is about 15 months pregnant and Mae Khram On may also be pregnant.  A fortunate turn of events has our adviser, Dr. Ellen Wiedner, visiting the ECC in January 2015 with an ultrasound and other supplies, so she’ll hopefully be examining the two ‘ladies in waiting’.  
I had a grand time.  It was a great learning experience and I felt I was really helpful as they actually started calling me the chief of volunteers after about my first week.  That felt really good.  I guess they could see my dedication and love for elephants.  And, yes, I definitely plan to return!
Upcoming Events

Coming soon to a

California Pizza Kitchen

near you!

5th Annual CPK Fundraiser

We need people to help host and support our annual fundraiser.

It’s an easy and delicious way YOU can help support the care and conservation of elephants in Asian range countries!

For more information contact us at elephants@

Connect With Us!
Email Us

Purchase an AES T-Shirt!
Proceeds from t-shirts sales will be used to fulfill our mission. 

Outreach Presentation at the Houston Zoo
On December 2nd, 2014, AES president Linda Reifschneider was invited to give a presentation in Houston by Daryl Hoffman, the Curator of Large Mammals at the Houston Zoo.  

The audience was enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and an engaging question and answer session followed.  It is always a privilege to visit Houston Zoo’s elephant barn as they have an amazing group of Asian elephants.   Their keepers are capable, dedicated and most welcoming to and supportive of our efforts.  

We at AES appreciate and applaud the work they do with Baylor College of Medicine to advance the treatment of Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus (EEHV) patients while working toward the answers that will eliminate this disease.  Thank you, Houston Zoo, for all that you do for Asian elephants!

Pictured above shows the process of turning elephant dung into paper at the ECC. 

 “For in the end, we will conserve only what we love.
We will love only what we understand.

We will understand only what we are taught.” 
-Baba Dioum


AES Mission

~ Provide financial support for the care and conservation of elephants in Asian range countries that meet our criteria for care of captive elephants and for conservation of the species.

~ Increase awareness of the needs and future of the Asian elephant.

~ Increase awareness of the humane treatment of elephants living in captivity.

~ Provide educational opportunities to those persons who care for captive Asian elephants in range countries.

Like to Make a Contribution?
Donate Today!
We  wish to extend a very sincere thank you to each donor who has voted their support with a financial gift. We value that confidence and will always do our best for the animals we all care for so deeply.

 Please visit our website ( and follow us on Facebook (Asian Elephant Support).  If you have questions, please  contact us.   We appreciate your support. Please consider a donation to help Asian elephants and those who care for them.


Copyright © 2014 Asian Elephant Support, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have requested to receive our monthly newsletter or have donated to our organization.

Our mailing address is:
Asian Elephant Support
4764 Brookton Way
St. Louis, MO 63128

Add us to your address book

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences