July 2016

Supporting the care and conservation of elephants in Asian range countries.
Myanmar Elephant Hospital 
The Myanmar Elephant Hospital is situated in the Bago (East) region in the central part of the country, located 138 miles from the city of Yangon and 40 miles from the city of Taungoo. The hospital was constructed by the Myanmar Timber Enterprise (MTE) under the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry.
 Myanmar Elephant Hospital
There are four MTE elephant agencies in Bago (East) and three agencies in Bago (West) for a total of approximately 400 captive elephants in the region. Besides these elephants, the hospital will help other elephants from the Nay Pyi Taw and Ayeyarwaddy regions, as well as privately owned elephants.
The area surrounding the hospital has approximately 6,000 acres of forest for elephants, and some wild elephants use this forest. The hospital land sits on both sides of a small river.
The objectives of the Myanmar Elephant Hospital are:
1. To provide good elephant health care,
2. To enable elephant research with local and international experts and other range countries in Asia,
3. To provide care for old or disabled captive elephants,
4. To promote elephant conservation and forest protection.
In the Myanmar Elephant Hospital area, there are 30 houses for Mahouts (elephant handlers) and their families, and one main hospital building.
Mahout housing

In addition to the buildings, more than 500 different plants (multiple species) have been planted around the hospital grounds. Nurseries for trees and plants will be established so that the area can be replanted every year. Fodder plants for elephant food will be grown on site.
During the first phase of construction, Asian Elephant Support provided funds to purchase building supplies and equipment, and to install a water resource system for the hospital building and the mahout living area consisting of wells and pipes. Solar panels for electricity for the hospital and mahout houses have been donated by the local community.


Water system

A Busy February & March for Way Kambas ERUs
With our continued support, the Elephant Response Units (ERUs) in Sumatra, Indonesia have had a busy February and March. Their work not only helps to alleviate elephant-human conflict but also helps protect the Way Kambas National Park from illegal activities and ensure the survival of present Sumatran elephant populations.

 ERUs patrolling with wild elephants in the distance
The Bungur, Tegal Yoso, and Mraghayu ERUs conduct regular monitoring patrols inside and along the National Park borders. While on patrol during these two months, the ERUs removed and destroyed five wildlife snares inside the park as well as a bridge for logging camps. Six instances of illegal logging were also reported to the National Parks Department. Multiple plots of illegal grass cutting for grazing were noted and one group of cattle was found with no sign of ownership. Three dead elephants were found within park borders which included an adult male, adult female, and one calf.

                 Mahout with disabled snare
February was an active month for wild elephants in and around the park. Elephant tracks are a good way of verifying elephant activity and were found over fifteen times during the two months inside the park. Groups of elephants that were directly observed ranged in size from 5-30 elephants. A herd of 8 elephants with two female calves were observed in February by the Tegal Yoso ERU and once again the following month by the Bungur ERU.

                     5 month old wild calf
The direct involvement of local community members with the ERUs is vital to ensuring the community has a shared sense of investment in and responsibility for the future of wild elephants. A huge thank you goes to the ERU teams, forest police, and the local communities who are coming together to help save the critically endangered Sumatran elephant. Thanks to all of our donors for helping make these patrols possible.

Click here for a more comprehensive field update from the months of February and March.  
India Visit with Mamatha Sathyanarayana
Upon the conclusion of the Elephant and Tiger Veterinary Workshop in Kerala (see June newsletter), Linda and three other workshop attendees detoured through Bandipur National Park on their way back to Mysore. Safari, India style – and, yes, they saw a tiger! - plus a lot of other endemic birds and wildlife including the much endangered Gauer and Sambar deer…  Lovely creatures that may disappear into extinction without people even knowing what has been lost.
In Mysore, they met up with Mamatha, the teacher, who has been doing such excellent work with her classes, outside school activities, and now the mahouts in three Forest Department elephant camps. It is always delightful, as well as important, to meet and grow closer to those we entrust with the funding our donors provide. Everyone would love her enthusiasm and ability to educate about the value and needs of the Asian elephant.

In two days, Mamatha showed Linda as much of Mysore and the surrounding area as possible. Linda noticed all the decoratively carved lorries, painted oxcarts, and even bicycles loaded with sugar cane all heading toward Mysore, so her tour started with a small jaggery factory. This is where sugarcane is pressed, boiled until the liquid is reduced, and the soft, damp jaggery is poured into molds to dry. The sugar ranges in color from pale yellow to bright orange and is soft and very addictive! 
While Linda had visited the grand palace in Mysore on her first visit there (and will never forget the huge and beautiful murals on the walls of the grand ballroom), Mamatha made sure she got a good dose of Mysore’s history by visiting several of the ancient ruins as well as visiting where the Dalai Lama is now domiciled. The two women stopped by Mamatha's University and had lunch with the principal; visited her father and mother (who sent Linda off with a package of sweets and a hand-knitted scarf), and her art teacher and her husband, who is a professor of botany. Linda recommends for everyone to check out the Infosys Campus in Mysore; it is truly amazing!  They shopped until Linda’s suitcase was bulging with spices, sweets, and 50+ miniature carved wood elephants that will be offered at AES outreach programs.
But, Linda travels for elephants and so, in addition to their visit to the Mudamalai Elephant Camp, the true highlight for her was our visit to Dubare Elephant Camp. Mamatha is working with the mahouts at Dubare as well as two other Forest Department elephant camps. (The other two were too remote for us to visit on this trip… Always good to have a reason for another visit!) Mamatha teaches the mahouts some English, but mostly helps them understand the historical importance of the animal they work with daily.  She also emphasizes the future they are facing and how important being a mahout is; they are the ones best able to tell visitors about their charges! Linda saw some of the AES-embroidered shirts, hats, and draw string bags in use that Mamatha has distributed during her classes.  The camp managers as well as the mahouts are glad for her visits and extended lessons.

Dubare is one of the more easily visited camps and has about 3,000 visitors a year. There is a boat concession on the river by the camp and it requires a boat to get across the broad but shallow river (unless one wants to rock hop!) to the camp  The have bulls, cows, and calves; elephants of all ages. This is a working camp and several of the adults were out on kunkie duty (helping to persuade wild elephants entering villages to return to the forest lands). Those in camp ‘work’ from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Some give rides on well-padded saddles stuffed with hay and coconut fiber, some take baths, and there is a soccer field but no games were scheduled for this day. Some ‘work’ by accepting food from visitors; packages of hay assembled by their mahout into a nest stuffed with paddy and occasionally a piece of jaggery and then wrapped and tied with more hay. This is the way elephants should be fed  with good, nutritious food and not stuffed with fruits and sugarcane.  Linda counted several young calves, definite proof that when the elephants are turned loose for the remainder of the day and night they make good use of that time!
Linda also had a nice visit with the manager who showed her the stockade where new arrivals were housed until evaluated for any needed medical care and/or training, as well as the tree and benches where Mamatha teaches her classes. Lots of smiles and nods were exchanged, along with a few “hellos” with mahouts; Linda ended up the day in docent mode talking with a group of college students who were eager to talk elephants… As well as practice their English!

India is an amazing country and Asian Elephant Support must continue to find additional ways to help the Asian elephant prosper, as well as help the people and elephants to safely share their land. We thank you, our supporters, for helping us help them!

Annual Board Meeting

This past June AES board members gathered in North Texas at the home of Secretary Vanessa Gagne.  We began our meeting Friday, working to iron out all sorts of plans for the upcoming year through to 2017.  Keep an ear out for exciting news about our CPK fundraiser next year!  

Saturday we finished up our official business and were able to have a nice get together with some elephant friends we only see at the EMA conference.

Lastly, on Sunday, we visited the Fort Worth Zoo to meet with their elephant department staff and see some Asian elephants.  We were so happy to be together in person not only to conduct AES business, but to catch up with our colleagues.  We are thankful for our friends, supporters, and the elephants that drive us to work harder for their cause. 




Giving Corner
How often have you said to your kid, "Get off that couch and go play outside!" or "Put down that [name any electronic gizmo]…?" Instead, why not encourage your kid to become a mini-entrepreneur? Have them find a few items they no longer cherish, and with your assistance, create an eBay store — their own online yard sale. Together, you'll gain some space, reconnect with your offspring, and help them learn responsibility, money, and time management.

And then?  You can teach them generosity by encouraging them to donate a percentage to your favorite charity, AES!  Learn more here




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.

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Test Your 


The Pleistocene era had two elephant species, both descended from the Steppe Mammoth: the Woolly Mammoth to the far north and the Columbian Mammoth.  

The Woolly Mammoth inhabited Canada from the St. Lawrence north, whereas the Columbian Mammoth lived from the northern United States down to modern day Costa Rica.  



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We will love only what we understand.

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



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