February 2016

Supporting the care and conservation of elephants in Asian range countries.
Elephant Response Units Update 

Way Kambas National Park (WKNP) is located at the southern tip of Sumatra on the eastern coast of Lampung province. It is one of the oldest reserves in Indonesia and occupies 1,300 sq km.  Home to the critically endangered Sumatran elephant and many other endangered species, WKNP is a treasure that needs to be protected.  

AES has had the opportunity to support the Conservation Response Units (CRU’s), also referred to as Elephant Response Units (ERU’s), over the last several years.  This includes recently donating funds to supply the CRU elephants with much needed food during an exceptionally long dry season. With the help of the communities surrounding the Park, these CRU teams do monthly patrols in the forest to monitor for illegal wildlife activity and to monitor wild elephant populations. They also educate the people in the communities on the importance of preserving the forests and help mitigate human-elephant conflicts.

A herd of 15 Sumatran elephants including one calf observed by the ERU in November 2015
We want to share with you a special look into the activities of the CRU’s in WKNP. Please visit here to see a monthly report outlining the activities.

And rest assured, your donations are making a difference for Asian elephants!


Chains have become an integral part of regular, everyday elephant management.  Elephants in human care benefit from the use of chains because they allow for their keepers to work more closely with them.  For example, while an elephant may have a life-long bond and trust its keeper, it doesn’t necessarily feel that way about a veterinarian who needs to perform an examination.  Adding a restraint gives the veterinarian the opportunity to thoroughly examine the elephant.

Another example of utilizing chains is during transport.  Elephants, as you know, weigh many tons and need the extra stabilization while in motion in a motor vehicle, just like people need seat belts.  For many seasoned elephant keepers, tethering your elephants is an essential part of the birthing process.  With an endangered species like the Asian elephant, every baby is a valuable part of the survival of the species, therefore it is our responsibility to make sure nothing goes wrong.  There have been too many examples of loose, unassisted, and/or herd births where the babies get injured or killed by hormonal, excited mothers. Chaining can help eliminate this risk and ensure a safe environment for both mom and offspring.  

Some establishments have much different living quarters for their elephants than what you would see in Western facilities.  As an example let's look at Elephantstay in Ayuttaya, Thailand.  It may be advantageous for them to chain up their cows during feeding time so that each elephant gets their portion.  The dominant elephant wouldn’t be able to go over and eat all the other herd members’ food!

These are just some of the important ways that chains can help people do the best that they can for the elephants they care for everyday.  However, over at Elephantstay chains are used around the neck or on the foot.  To get an idea of how lightweight a chain is in comparison to the overall mass of an elephant, please take a look at this chart written by Belynda Zolotto, Assistant to Communications Director at Elephantstay.  That being said, let’s take a look at the positive uses of chains in the Elephantstay elephant management program.  

It is oh-so-thrilling to meet someone new who shares your interest. Recently, AES was introduced to a kindred spirit who shares our love of elephants. The Elephant Pants is an e-store that has embarked on a mission (like AES) to help save elephants, and “feel damn good while doing it”.
Started in 2014, The Elephant Pants has donated a portion of their sales to the African Wildlife Foundation totaling over $190,000! Their donations help to fund educational programs about the ivory trade, support park rangers with supplies and training, and keep land open for wildlife instead of developers.
While their focus has primarily been on Africa, they have an Asian connection too. All of their products are created in Chiang Mai, Thailand. They have their own factory and a team of talented seamstress who are paid double the standard wages, are provided health care, and have a great work environment.
Our new found kindred-spirit wants to help us help Asian elephants. The Elephant Pants has offered to donate $2.00 of every item pair of Drona pants sold between February 15th and March 15th, 2016 to AES. Please go to their website to learn more about them and check out the very cool Drona pants!

Pizza for Pachyderms!!

Would you like to help support the care and conservation of elephants in Asian range countries? Do you live near a California Pizza Kitchen? (. . . or know someone who does?)

AES is currently looking for volunteers to be local representatives for our 6th annual California Pizza Kitchen fundraiser. This year’s event will be held the week of April 18th through the 23rd.  It’s easy, doesn’t require a lot of work, and you get to eat delicious pizza for a great cause! Click here to see if there is a CPK near you!  If there is already a participating location in your area, we still need volunteers to help spread the word! Just pass out the flyers to all your friends and family!

Currently we have locations in Alabama, California, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Washington DC. Over the next couple of weeks we will be updating our website as more locations and the flyers become available. 

You can make a difference!

To sign up to be a local representative, volunteer at a participating location, or to receive more information, contact us at elephants
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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.

Test Your Elephant Knowledge!
Did you know that through the process of evolution, due to island biogeography, there were many species of prehistoric dwarf elephants? Fossils have been found in the Mediterranean Islands, Indonesia, and the Channel Islands of California.  
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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