February 2015

Supporting the care and conservation of elephants in Asian range countries.
Mahouts in Myanmar Benefit from Our Caring
In collaboration with two other elephant organizations, Asian Elephant Support (AES) recently supported the daily work of mahouts at an elephant timber camp in Myanmar via a donation to the mahouts of much needed equipment: backpacks for use during patrols.
An AES partner organization, the International Elephant Foundation (IEF), supports staff training at the Myaing Hay Wun camp. During a recent visit in early December, IEF provided training to the camp staff in GPS use and field navigation with colleagues from Sumatra-Indonesia who have expertise in GPS training: Edy Sunardi, Manager Tangkahan Conservation Response Units (CRU), and Zul Asfi, Field Project Manager, Veterinary Society for Sumatran Wildlife Conservation (VESSWIC). Edy and Zul instructed the Myanmar mahouts (via presentations and hands on practical work) in GPS use, field navigation, and data collection (i.e. wildlife monitoring, illegal activities, human-elephant conflict, etc.) while on patrol. The Myanmar staff were very interested and involved in the training. In the evenings presentations were given to the mahouts on various topics such as elephant management in western elephant facilities, and the work of the elephant patrols (Conservation Response Units) in Sumatra.
In addition to the backpacks presented by AES, the mahout staff at the camp also received uniforms and GPS units from IEF, as well as elephant foot care tools from the Elephant Managers Association. The Myanmar mahouts were very appreciative of the donated items and the training, and they look forward to continuing an exchange of information with elephant colleagues, both in Asia and the west.
Your donations make this important support possible.  Please consider making a gift today.  Thank you!
Sonepur Elephant Health Camp
(November 2014)
Sonepur is a small town in the State of Bihar in eastern India.  Every year, in November or December, the town holds its annual Mela, a fair held at the confluence of the Ganges and Gandak rivers.  The Sonepur Mela is Asia’s largest cattle fair, the main attraction being the trading of livestock such as horses, bullocks, buffaloes, camels, dogs, and birds.  Elephants are also a special attraction at the Mela and some of the largest numbers are traded here.  

Since 2001, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) has offered an elephant health camp at the Mela, conducted in association with the Department of Environment and Forests, Bihar, and with financial support from various organizations.  In 2014, AES was pleased to support this effort.  The number of elephants being brought to the Mela reflects the overall diminishing number of Asian elephants.  Until the late 1980s, as many as 800-1,000 elephants would be brought to the Mela for trading and display. Since 2001, the number has been under 100 and the last five years the number has held steady around 40 elephants.  More stringent regulations on elephant ownership and transit may also contribute to this decline in attendance.

WTI deworms all elephants at the Mela and offers other medicines and treatments, such as foot care, as needed.  The average age of the mahouts in attendance was 40.89 including the eldest at 70 with around 50 years of experience and the youngest at 22 with already 10 years of experience.  All mahouts have handled more than one elephant in their career, with around 63% of them handling between 5 and 20 elephants.  On the average, elephants get a new mahout every three years; not a sufficient length of time for good bonding between the elephant and mahout per WTI.  The mahouts spend from 6 to 24 hours daily with their elephants, a good third of them spending the entire day with their elephant.  The Mela affords WTI the important opportunity to introduce mahouts and owners to western medicines and husbandry procedures. And the data collected is helpful in assessing and tracking the elephants that are changing ownership during this annual fair.
 “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
Upcoming Events

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 that does?)

AES is currently looking for volunteers to be local representatives for our 5th annual CPK fundraiser. This year’s event will be held the week of April 20th.  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, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia. 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@asianelephant

Connect With Us!
Email Us
Purchase an AES T-Shirt!
Proceeds from t-shirts sales will be used to fulfill our mission. 
Calling All Knitters!

We are looking for some talented people to help us turn out a herd of really cute little knitted elephants for fundraising at the annual Elephant Managers Association and for other outreach events.

We'd also be beholding to any of you who are like our president who jumped into the craft, bought yarn, and years later still has it safely stored for 'someday'. If you have needles itching to be clicking or yard you'd like to repurpose, please email Linda.  

Do we hear thundering footsteps? ☺

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.
Like to Make a Contribution?
Donate Today!
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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