October 2014

Supporting the care and conservation of elephants in Asian range countries.

Elephant Day 2014 in Assam, India

Half way around the world, Dr. Kushal Sarma also celebrated Elephant Day. He held the event at the Assam Agricultural University on September 21st. The event had to be scheduled early due to school closures, but we don’t think the elephants minded, at least not the two that took part in this celebration, as they were treated to sugarcane, banana stems, and soaked gram (a popular legume found in many Indian dishes)!

The celebration started with a demonstration of elephant healthcare procedures followed by an exhibition of elephant literature, lectures, and a video. The program started at 7 a.m. and lasted until 1:30 p.m. and included tea and snacks for the participants.  The four mahouts received Asian Elephant Support shirts and the 35 participating veterinary students received a copy of Dr. Kushal’s book, Elephant Care, as well as a participation certificate.

Thank you Dr. Kushal, for providing your students this extra learning opportunity!
Elephant healthcare demonstration
Elephant Day participants
35th Annual EMA Conference Toledo, Ohio 
This year the Elephant Manager's Association conference was held in Toledo, Ohio and hosted by the Toledo Zoo.  Ben Whitebread, their elephant manager, and his crew put together a wonderful program full of a wide variety of topics to both educate and entertain.  AES was well represented at the conference with three directors and one chairperson in attendance.  AES president Linda Reifschneider presented on behalf of AES, while Vice President, April Yoder presented on behalf of the EMA Conservation Committee (another hat she wears). You may remember in the past an effort in collaboration with the EMA to provide hoof knives for mahouts in Assam, India.  This year AES is supporting the EMA/IEF effort to raise funds for the knives which will be sent to Myanmar this go around.

We were also pleased to become reacquainted with the two co-founders of Wildlife SOS, Geeta Sheshamani and Kartick Satyanarayan, who work diligently in India to rescue and rehabilitate not just elephants, but sloth bears among many other animals in need.  We discussed the possibility of collaborating with SOS Wildlife in the future and will be looking for ways to work together to improve the care and conservation of elephants in India. 

All in all the trip was full of friends and colleagues, old and new, the chance to visit two elephant programs at both Toledo and Cleveland, and two days full of engaging presentations.  Again, we'd like to thank the Toledo Zoo and all of those who made this conference possible.    
President Linda Reifschneider presenting 
Directors Vanessa Gagne, Linda Reifschneider, and April Yoder
 “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
Happy Halloween! 
Use the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's Halloween candy smart phone app to help protect elephant habitat! Halloween candy containing unsustainably harvested palm oil contributes to habitat loss for orangutans, elephants, and other species in Indonesia and Malaysia. Please use this app to purchase candy that contains sustainably harvested palm oil so you can be sure your purchases do not contribute to the decline of Asian elephant habitat.

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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Asian Wildlife Conservation Day 
Gretchen Rumsey-Richardson
August 9th was Asian Wildlife Conservation Day at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington. This day was dedicated to bringing awareness to the many animals of Asia who are in need of protection.

I have been volunteering for AES for about 4 years and live near Seattle, and I had the honor of setting up a table for AES at the event. I brought along my two helpers: my husband, Monte, and our 10-week old baby, Ari! We were very excited that our table was set up next to the elephant exhibit, because people coming to see Chai, Bamboo and Wototo also got to learn a little bit about what AES does (and Ari got to see his first elephant!).

We had some great conversations with people who truly care about the future of Asian elephants. The Woodland Park Zoo is doing great work to help secure a future for Asian elephants and we were honored to take part in the day’s festivities. We would like to extend a thank you to the Zoo for hosting us, and an even bigger thank you to Bobbi Miller, Fred Koontz and Pat Mulay for everything they did to help us feel welcome.  
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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.


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