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December 2014

Supporting the care and conservation of elephants in Asian range countries.
Awareness & Conservation Workshops in Bhutan & India
 
Part of the AES mission statement is “to increase awareness and offer support for human-elephant coexistence to help protect the needs and future of the Asian elephants”.  Over the past couple of years, AES has supported Mamatha Sathyanarayana,  a high school Biology teacher from Mysore, India.   Along with her teaching responsibilities, she is also involved with wildlife conservation. She facilitates workshops about wildlife co-existence (elephants, in particular)  for the local village children.  In October 2014 we had the opportunity to support Mamatha to attend and facilitate educational workshops in Bhutan. The North East India and Bhutan border is home to a sizable population of Asian elephants.  Elephants on the Line (EoL) is an organization that is collaborating between Bhutan, India and US partners to address the major human-elephant conflict issues in this area.   In 2014 the focus of EoL is the Udalguri District of Assam, India, which has one of the highest HEC rates in all of Asia. The following is Mamatha’s account of the workshops:

Elephants on the Line Education Workshops
Bhutan and Assam, India, October 2014
 
Elephants on the Line (EoL) is a trans-boundary, community based project that has been initiated to help local communities in Northern Assam and Southern Bhutan deal with human elephant conflict by providing awareness activities and encouraging villagers to voluntarily participate in conservation activities. From October 3-5, a two-day education workshop was held at the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan. The workshop was organized by the EoL project and was attended by about 20 staff from the Bhutan Forest Department, as well as some volunteers from the Assam EoL project.  

Mamatha

Role playing exercise
 

During the workshop there were presentations about the status of elephants in Bhutan and in Assam, elephant behavior, causes of Human-Elephant conflict (HEC), and addressing conflict through coexistence.  I led the workshop components that specifically addressed coexistence and used various activities to share information and engage participants.  The activities included having participants develop short dramas, participate in a role play situation, and learning how to use energizers to refocus participants’ attention and teach. While at the Park all participants also enjoyed an evening session about elephant husbandry and care with the camp elephants that are used to patrol the park.

From Oct 6-8, a second workshop was held in Orang National Park, Assam (India).  The area affected is Udalguri District; there have been many human casualties from HEC as well as some elephant casualties in this region. In this workshop all of the participants were local villagers who are directly affected by HEC.  The workshop started with presentations about the causes of HEC, as well as the use of maps and GPS units to identify elephant habitat.  We also presented a few activities related to coexistence and the participants were very engaged. 
 
Workshop participants
AES would like to thank Mamatha for her hard work for Asian elephants in India.  We are proud to support local people that are so dedicated to saving this amazing species and finding ways for elephants and humans to co-exist. 

Teaching the Next Generation the Value of Elephant Conservation

On November 11, 2014 Director Vanessa Gagne took a trip to Evans Middle School in McKinney, Texas.  She was invited to speak there by their science education coordinator.  The purpose of her presentation was to highlight the current lessons in the 6th grade science curriculum using elephants as a teaching tool.  She began with how modern elephants evolved, the different types of modern elephants, and tied it all together with how the children can make a difference in the conservation of these amazing creatures.  

Vanessa gave six, 45 minute presentations that school day to some really engaged and bright-eyed kids.  She was fortunate to be able to take elephant tail hair with her for the students to touch and she talked about adaptation for the purpose of function; the hair on our heads is made out of the same stuff!  

All in all the kids were very receptive and asked a ton of questions; she barely had time to go to the next slide in most cases.  Vanessa reports that it was so rewarding to teach the next generation about not just the conservation of elephants, but of all animals and plants worldwide.  

Vanessa presenting
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It's New Year's Resolution Time
(Here's one that will be easy to keep!)

If you find yourself thinking, “Gosh, I’d like to fund the work of Asian Elephant Support, but I just can’t afford to give $50 or $100 right now,” we definitely understand.  And, we have the solution:  MONTHLY GIVING - where modest monthly donations fit into your budget while providing important support for us, not to mention the tax deduction and a ‘feel good’ feeling for you!

By using our Pay Pal account to become a MONTHLY GIVING DONOR, as little as $5 or $10 per month (one or two $4.99 meals at Steak & Shake!) helps us immensely.  When attempting to gauge what projects we can afford to fund, having a base of monthly donors allows us to better budget our resources for elephant efforts. Once set up, it only needs attention when your credit card information changes (new expiration date, etc.) and you receive one tax letter for the entire year’s giving.

And this can be one New Year’s Resolution you will find painless to keep!

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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.
 “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
THANK YOU
 
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 (www.asianelephantsupport.org) 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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