August 2015

Supporting the care and conservation of elephants in Asian range countries.
Honey Bees and Hungry Elephants
An interview with Kylie Butler of The Elephants and Bees Project
AES secretary Vanessa Gagne first heard of Dr. Lucy King’s honey bee fence research a few years ago in an article in the Journal of the Elephant Manager’s Association.  Upon reading about Dr. King’s revolutionary approach to mitigating human/elephant conflict using beehive fences to protect crops, Vanessa was inspired to become a beekeeper as well, a hobby she shares with her husband in their backyard in suburbia.  Dr. King began her work in Africa gaining the trust of farmers, townspeople, and local authorities and governments.  In fact, she has been able to take the same concept to South East Asia and has begun working in Sri Lanka.  Her PhD student, Kylie Butler, is in charge of the Elephants and Bees Project over there.  Vanessa was able to catch up with Kylie and ask her a few questions about the progress in Sri Lanka thus far.  Please click here to read the Q&A.

We at AES would like to extend our sincerest thanks to both Kylie and Dr. King for their time and enthusiasm in sharing information with us about The Elephants and Bees Project.  Through the continued sharing of knowledge in all areas of husbandry, conservation, and research we have the potential to keep elephants around for many generations to come.  To learn more about The Elephant and Bees Project please visit their website
A Weighing Challenge

"Surprise!"  Sometimes that's good to hear, and lifts one up; other times, it's heavy and worrisome. At  AES, it can be both in the same day. Recently we received a request from Dr. Stremme, a veterinarian in Sumatra. He is in need of a scale, as weighing an elephant can be a challenge! Yet having an accurate weight makes administering medicine much safer for the elephant. This is a request we would love to fulfill. Alas, these scales cost (with shipping) around $3000.00, this was a "worrisome surprise."
Dr. Stremme feeding an orphaned calf. 
Then "SURPRISE!", the uplifting kind:  We were contacted by "Ms. Anonymous" (her words). She offered to match any monies raised, up to $1,500.00, over the next couple of months!

Then "SURPRISE!", (heavy kind again.)  What can we do to raise $1,500.00? Our thinking caps went on and we started brainstorming. We could have a bake sale, trivia night, bowling for elephants (borrowing from our rhinoceros friends), or have another yummy event with our friends at California Pizza Kitchen.  Or, we could try a new restaurant, as many others also have fundraising programs.  What are we to do?

Then "SURPRISE!", (another uplifting one.)   An email from friends of AES, the "Santa Barbara Zoo Liz's" (Liz Wilson, Elephant Manager, and Liz Beem, Sr., Elephant Keeper). They had such a good time hosting their area CPK event, they wanted to do another! But wait!  There was more!  They also wanted to do a wine night!  No heavy whining from us -- those are the uplifting surprises we love to hear! You'll hear more about their ventures soon!
Setting up elephant scale.
So, overall the Surprises are uplifting.  But perhaps you would like to make an uplifting surprise soar!

Would you step up and help us to purchase a scale for Dr. Stemme by hosting a fundraising event? What creative ideas can you put into motion to help? Perhaps you could hold a trivia night, or bowling night with your friends and family. How about a bike, walk or run-athon? Ebay sales? Garage or yard sale? Pet costume party? Perhaps you could organize and host a restaurant program, and have it catered for your co-workers to join in? Remember, for each dollar you raise, Ms. Anonymous will match it!

I'm thinking of making some fancy elephant-shaped cookies to take to work. A flyer would explain; for a $2.00 donation, they could have a cookie and help purchase the scale!  Yummy!Ms. Anonymous has set a deadline of midnight on Sunday, November 1, 2015. We must let her know how much was raised and, on November 2nd, she will make her matching donation.  Our goal is to provide Dr. Stremme with a scale, and to do that, we need your assistance.  Let AES know what you are doing and we'll try to help! Help us to help elephants! GO TEAM!
Woodland Park Zoo is lucky to have over 700 volunteers!  Here is a glimpse of some of their dedicated hard workers.  
Photo courtesy of Paul Shea
Trumpets to...
Woodland Park Zoo Volunteers!
It isn’t easy to say goodbye, wish you well, when dear friends of many years move elsewhere.  But the volunteers at Woodland Park Zoo are an exceptional group of people!  When their two Asian elephants, Bamboo and Chai, headed to the Oklahoma City Zoo, the Woodland Park Zoo volunteers wanted to do something positive to honor ‘the girls’ and reaffirm their commitment to Asian elephants.  

They held a basket silent auction this spring and raised $1945.50 for Dr. Christopher Stremme’s work for and with Asian elephants in Sumatra.  Woodland Park Zoo has been a friend and supporter of Dr. Stremme’s work for several years, so his ability and dedication is well known and appreciated.  And, both Dr. Stremme and we at Asian Elephant Support sincerely appreciate and thank the Woodland Park Zoo volunteers for their selfless effort and this most generous gift.  

And we understand that Bamboo and Chai are settling in well and enjoying their new four- and two-legged friends at the Oklahoma City Zoo.
Bamboo and Chai in their yard at Woodland Park Zoo.  The two now reside at Oklahoma City Zoo and are fully integrated into the new multigenerational herd.  
Photo courtesy of Ryan Hawk.  
Giving Corner
Last Call to Adopt a Knitty!

5 of our 8 hand made elephants have found a forever home.  Won't you please adopt out the remaining 3?  Remember, all proceeds go to helping Asian elephants in their range countries.  If you love to knit and are interested in making and donating some knitties, please contact us and we'd be happy to share the pattern.  

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Meet Me in St. Louie, Louie!
Our 2015 Annual Board Meeting was held June 12th-14th, at our President’s home in St. Louis, MO.  AES directors reside in the St. Louis, Dallas, and Norfolk, VA, areas and monthly meetings are held by conference call,  so the annual in-person meeting is always a special time to work in person as well as enjoy each other’s company.  Directors arrived early Friday enabling a good half day’s work session, a full day’s work on Saturday, and a wrap-up session Sunday morning.  April and Vanessa took Sunday afternoon to visit Grant’s Farm and their African elephant program, while Barbara helped Linda set up for Sunday evening’s dinner which included keepers from both Grant’s Farm and Saint Louis Zoo’s elephant barns and our St. Louis CPK volunteers.  While the purpose of the annual meeting is to work together in person (and we did that most successfully!), we all know that ‘all work and no play…….!’ so we also addressed that issue in fine company among the core of friends here in St. Louis who help us help elephants.  



Test your elephant knowledge!
June's Question/Answer:
Which Asian elephants have ivory tusks?
Answer:  Only some male elephants have tusks; there are tuskless males called makhnas.  Some females may have what is called a "tush," but since it lacks a pulp cavity it is not considered a true tusk.

August's Question:
When do baby elephants learn to use their trunks?

Look for the answer in next month's newsletter!

Like to Make a Contribution?
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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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