January 2017

Supporting the care and conservation of elephants in Asian range countries

Welcome to 2017!

The start of a New Year is the time when many of us make resolutions: promises to count those calories, exercise more, spend more time with family, and so many other very worthwhile goals.

At AES, our resolution is to strive even harder to do even more for Asian elephants including for those whose lives are so intertwined with elephants and the field veterinarians, researchers, and park rangers who work daily on behalf of Asian elephants. We hope your list of resolutions will include reading our newsletters to stay current on our activities and continue, or if possible increase, your financial support. You are the ‘drivers’ of what we can accomplish: your support allows us to keep working on behalf of Asian elephants and we sincerely thank you for all YOU have done for Asian elephants through Asian Elephant Support.
We wish you and yours a healthy, happy, and fulfilling New Year,
Linda, April, Vanessa, & Barbara
Getting Along with Elephants

 Workshop in Bardiya National Park, Nepal, addressing the very real life/death decisions local people make on a daily basis when they share living space with elephants.

In 2009, Zoo Outreach Organization conducted a series of Human Elephant Coexistence and conservation education programs training about 120 educators in various elephant range areas of Nepal.  The evaluation of this program found it to be very effective and it was decided similar training was necessary in other parts of Bardiya National Park.  A three-day workshop was organized for November 3 to 6, 2016, with Asian Elephant Support providing the financial means.
Participants included village heads, village council members, teachers, Nepal Armed Forces that deal with inter-border wildlife issues, members from NGOs, volunteers, and forest personnel.  AES advisor Heidi Riddle, Riddles Wildlife & Elephant Sanctuary; Naresh Subedi from the National Trust for Nature Conservation; and B. A. Daniel of Zoo Outreach were the main resource persons.
During the workshop a variety of educational materials developed exclusively for Nepal were used including Getting Along With Elephants, a brochure that includes species information, activities related to Asian culture and the Asian elephant, human-elephant conflict (HEC) case studies and morals, history of HEC in Nepal and other Asian elephant range countries, various mitigation measures, and some important guidelines for people to mitigate HEC in their daily lives.  The materials were thoughtfully designed and created for a carefully selected class of individuals in positions to teach what they have learned to others.
This workshop included 32 participants plus the three instructors.  The survey that participants completed at the end of the three-day workshop is geared to measure their knowledge gained of the presented elephant information.  The highest range difference of ‘before’ and ‘after’ the workshop was 9% to 90%.  The group average score was 38.98% before and 82.35% after.  Each participant received a pledge card to commit to practice teaching what they learned in the next three to four months, while the coordinating institutions committed to follow up with the participant educators to spread the word of HEC with their respective audiences.
Education is a core component of conservation as well as caring for today’s elephants.  We thank YOU, our supporters, for helping us provide quality learning opportunities that will pay themselves forward to even larger audiences. 

International Elephant & Rhino Conservation & Research Symposium

A truly exceptional gathering……

November 14–18, 2016, President Linda Reifschneider attended the IEF/IRF Symposium in Singapore.Hosted with exceptional hospitality by Wildlife Reserves Singapore Group, this was an excellent week of presentations from some of the best of the veterinarians, researchers, and conservationists working to assure a future for all elephant and rhino species.

Linda presented an update on AES’s efforts and was asked to focus on the educational aspect of our work. Looking back at the past couple of years and all that you have helped us make happen, it became apparent that almost everything we do has an educational component:
  • Helping veterinarians, mahouts, researchers, or educators attend a workshop or conference that will help grow their knowledge and confidence is, naturally, all about education.                           
  • When we help Dr. Sarma conduct his elephant health clinics, in addition to attending to any immediate medical needs and supplying preventative medicine, Dr. Sarma is always teaching the elephant owners and mahouts how to better care for the medical needs of their animals as well as how to better identify when they need to call him for help.                                                 
  • We initially helped Mamatha attend a teacher’s conference to advance her teaching skills. She paid it forward via all the lessons she gives within her school curriculum, outside of school sessions, and with the mahouts at three of the Forest Department’s elephant camps.                             
  • The mobile clinic AES helps ElefantAsia run in Laos to bring medical care to every captive elephant in that country also actively helps teach those mahouts and owners how to better care for their charges.

And the learning goes both ways. For every time we reach out to help, we also learn. Whether reading grant requests through the final report of a funding effort, or traveling to participate in a workshop or conference or to visit those we fund in their backyards, our efforts are repaid by growing our knowledge and thus our ability to always put your financial support towards the best of efforts.

Thank you again for your support of our endeavors.

“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

Start Right

In many ways, the year-end holiday season  helps to remind us of our blessings and to have hope for our future. We at AES are certainly grateful for all the ways Asian elephants have been helped in many different areas of the world. All of AES's work is made possible because of generous donations from you, our fellow devoted elephant enthusiasts.
As the new year rings in, please consider becoming a monthly donor to AES. Your recurring monthly gift will allow us to be a reliable resource to help Asian elephants and those who care for them by providing mahout and veterinarian workshops/health clinics, educational and anti-poaching programs, and also provide funds for medical supplies when emergency situations arise. AES is an all-volunteer organization, which means your donations go directly to one of our many projects across their native habitat.
Becoming a monthly donor is easy -- just a few clicks away. Commitments start at just $5.00, and you can cancel, pause, or change your monthly gift anytime. And unlike that morning espresso you might spend $5.00 on, your donation to AES is tax deductible.  Over a year, it can add up to world of difference in the life of an Asian elephant.

A Field Update
from Dr. Kushal Sarma

“I have just returned from a hectic trip. An elephant corridor was mistakenly allotted for an industry. The fallout: a two month old calf falls into a 12’ ditch dug for construction of a shed. The mother tries to rescue the baby and also falls in. Another female comes to their rescue and also falls into the ditch. The third elephant was not injured much and when machinery sliced off one side of the ditch, she was able to move out.

The mother of the calf had head injuries and was unconscious until I arrived. Triamcinolone acetonide, mannitol and neurotropic vitamins did not help. It was determined her lumbar spine was broken and she had a cerebral concussion. She could not be saved. The calf was rescued and sent to a rescue center as he needed to be fed formula.

The following two days I organized health camps for 14 private elephants: 4 in Sonitpur district and 10 tourist elephants at Kalita’s camp at Kaziranga National Park. There were two minor operations as well as the regular deworming and vaccinations.”

While we wish all field updates had happy outcomes, that sadly is not the reality of the Asian elephant in range countries today. We are happy to be able to help Dr. Kushal and all the caring and dedicated veterinarians we work with – who are there to help, regardless the situation – and thank you so very much for your support!
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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.
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.

We do not not solicit donations in the District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Utah.

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