Thank you for helping us continue this important annual tradition for elephants. Please read the list and share it now to ensure their suffering isn't in vain.
Rescued Elephants Trade Chains for Cozy Jackets Thanks to Kind People. Wildlife SOS Conservation and Care Center is a non-profit organization in Northern India that is currently home to 20 rescued elephants who are either blind, lame or recovering from an injury. Among the organization’s many heartwarming rescues, you may remember the story of Rhea, an elephant who lived in chains for 53 years before Wildlife SOS saved her. While many of the sanctuary’s residents have come from horrific backgrounds, they are all able to find peace in the care of these amazing people.
Adding to the frequent baths, nutritious food, and medical care that they provide for the elephants, the Wildlife SOS team is now even giving the elephants in their care jackets! Yep, you read that right. In order to help the elephants brave the freezing temperatures of North India, Wildlife SOS has fashioned jumbo jackets that perfectly suit the rescued and handicapped elephants.
“It is important to keep our elephants protected from the bitter cold during this extreme winter, as they are weak and vulnerable having suffered so much abuse making them susceptible to ailments such as pneumonia. The cold also aggravates their arthritis which is a common issue that our rescued elephants have to deal with,” Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-Founder and CEO of Wildlife SOS, explained in a statement.
Thankfully, Wildlife SOS is helping these individuals put their sad pasts behind them and embrace a new and happy life in their sanctuary. If you would like to help Wildlife SOS, you can donate via their website. All image source: Wildlife SOS
Stunning Photos Showcase the Suffering of Animals in Zoos, Aquariums, and More. Photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur understands the power of an image. For over a decade, she has been fighting to raise awareness of the plight of animals in captivity by using her camera to capture powerful photos that reveal just how sad life for these creatures can be. Zoos and aquariums, which are often thought of as places where humans can learn about animals, are not a happy place for animals to live. In these facilities, animals are forced to live in climates that they are not suited to, in enclosures that are a sorry substitution for the home they would have in the wild or a sanctuary, and they often show signs of a mental condition known as zoochosis.
McArthur has also authored We Animals, a book that “investigates animals in the human environment: whether they’re being used for food, fashion, and entertainment, or research, or are being rescued to spend their remaining years in sanctuaries” through striking photography. In 2016, McArther’s upcoming book, Captive, a book that aims to shed light on how we as humans fail to see the pain of animals in zoos and aquariums, was fully funded on Indiegogo and is set to release later this year. To accompany the release, McArther has launched, A Year of Captivity, a companion social media project to Captive. This image-driven social media campaign, which can be found on both Facebook and Instagram, seeks to promote the book while raising public awareness for captive animals by showing photos of animals in zoos and aquariums across the world. Here are a few of the striking images that are being shared across social platforms.
A brown bear in Croatia presses itself up against the bars of a small, concrete pen, bored out if its mind. Many animals in zoos have little to no enrichment. Imagine spending your life in a tiny room with nothing to occupy your mind.
As a captive lion cries out in frustration, a tourist snaps a photo, unaware of how these animals suffer.
According to A Year of Captivity, “this was the fourth baby to be born to a female elephant who rejected all of her calves.” Sadly, all four baby elephants passed away as a result of being rejected by their mother. Death and disease are all too common in captive elephant populations.
Every day in 2017, A Year of Captivity will be releasing photos, like this one below, to drive home the point that these animals deserve to be free.
Through her photos, like this one of captive flamingos juxtaposed against a background of a lush environment, McArthur highlights just how unaware we are of the difference between captivity and life in the wild.
The first step in ending the cruel practice of keeping animals in captivity is education. By using powerful photos, McArthur seeks to confront humans with the not-so-happy side of captivity. To keep up with the campaign, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
If you’re interested in getting a copy of JoAnne McArthur’s Captive, you can do so here. If you want to pick up her previous book, We Animals, visit the official website. Lead image source: Jo-Anne McArthur / Zoocheck
Stop Making Elephants Wash Cars for Tourists
Goal: Stop Wildlife Safari from offering car washes performed by elephants.
Wildlife Safari, a zoo in Oregon, offers customers a chance at a car wash performed by elephants. It is incredibly cruel and degrading to force these intelligent animals to perform tricks for the entertainment of humans. For a mere twenty-five dollars, customers can have an elephant wash their car while they watch and giggle. While the customer is laughing at the experience, the elephant is under severe stress and constant worry of the bullhook — a long, sharp tool that uses pain to coerce elephants into performing tricks.
Sign this petition and demand the zoo stop offering elephant car washes to customers. Captivity leads to a stressful enough existence for these intelligent and social animals, but forcing them to perform tricks is even more inhumane.
The Rhino Orphanage is a non-profit organization located in South Africa that is dedicated to caring for orphaned and injured baby rhinos, with the goal of releasing them back to the wild. Even though their focus is on rhinos, they, of course, won’t say no to helping elephants. And that’s exactly what they did recently.
When a baby elephant was found stuck in mud, The Rhino Orphanage jumped in to help. The baby elephant has now been named Jabu, aptly meaning happiness. Jabu could not stand when he arrived because he was exhausted from struggling to get out the mud.
We are so thankful to The Rhino Orphanage for helping Jabu! It comes as no surprise to see how smart and playful this little elephant is and we can’t wait to see him grow and develop. Unfortunately, not everyone in the world sees elephants as the beautiful, smart individuals that they are. The reality is one elephant is killed every 15 minutes in Africa, with a staggering number of 100 killed every day for their tusks due to the illegal ivory trade. There are only 650,000 elephants remaining on the planet and they are in real danger of extinction.
If we can learn to see these wonderful animals as socially complex creatures and not commodities, we could make a change. Join us by sharing this post with your friends and family! Image Source: The Rhine Orphanage/Facebook
Compassionate Villagers Dedicate 4 Weeks (or More) to Knit Massive Sweaters for Elephants.
Wildlife SOS Conservation and Care Center is a non-profit organization in Northern India which is currently home to 20 rescued elephants who are either blind, lame or recovering from an injury. The elephants have all endured horrific pasts, either serving as begging elephants for the tourism industry or designated to perform tricks in the circus. Given their previous trauma, most of the elephants have injuries and other ailments that leave them highly susceptible to cold nights. Luckily, villagers in the region have come up with a brilliant – and very colorful solution – knitting huge wooly jumpers and leg wear so that the elephants can be kept warm!
Women in a village near the Wildlife SOS sanctuary began knitting the huge jumpers last year after hearing about the need from sanctuary staff. The giant jumpers take four weeks each to complete.
Elephant jumpers. Badly treated rescued elephants at the Wildlife SOS sanctuary outside Agra India with their newly knitted jumpers are on show for the first time, they are all effected by the cold after their ordeal at the hands of owners. Suzy, (front) Phoolkali and Laxmi (rear) show off their jumpers.
Thankfully, Wildlife SOS is helping these individuals put their sad pasts behind them and embrace a new and happy life in their sanctuary. Image Source: Roger Allen
Starving Baby Elephant Who Suffered Gun Shot Wound Shows the Cost of Our Cheap Snacks. The ivory trade is often what we associate with elephants’ endangered status, but there are other equally destructive culprits. For Sumatran elephants, a species found in the forests of Southeast Asia, that offender may be resting a little closer to home in our kitchen cabinets. That’s because this species of elephant is subject to persecution and habitat destruction in connection with the palm oil industry.
Palm oil has quickly become the go-to ingredient in as much as half of all consumer goods we buy – from pie crusts and peanut butter to toothpaste and household cleaners. And as its usage expands, more and more land is required to grow the fruit from which this oil derives. As a result, it’s estimated that an area the size of 300 football fields is cleared in the Sumatran rainforests every hour in order for new palm oil plantations to take root.
These forests are the primary habitat for a number of endangered species, who, in addition to becoming homeless, are losing their sources of food and water and, ultimately, their means to survive. But as if that wasn’t torturous enough, they are also forced to deal with the heavy-handedness of profit-chasing palm plantation workers, who consider these animals pests.
For Sumatran elephants, wandering anywhere near a palm plantation in search of food or a secure resting place often results in physical harm or death, whether through poisoning or physical weaponry. Babies regularly become orphaned when their mothers are attacked, but industry workers take no issue in violating the youngsters themselves.
Skinny and starving, this baby elephant was recently rescued in Aceh, Indonesia thanks to the efforts of BKSDA. The little one had been shot in the side, and while it is unknown who did this – this sort of action is not uncommon in the palm oil industry.
We consumers have the power and choice to make the biggest difference for Sumatran elephants and their fellow endangered species because the existence of these palm oil plantations is at the mercy of our own purchasing decisions. Only when we consciously choose to purchase palm oil-free products will skyrocketing demand for this ingredient subside and the lives of Sumatran wildlife improve. All image source: HAkA/Facebook
Send the Ringling Bros Elephants to Sanctuaries. Several problems arise concerning this center for 'conservation'. The area in which the elephants are held is flat, barren, with sparse vegetation. Females and younger elephants are occasionally allowed to roam in larger pastures, though are often penned for the entire day on nothing but an acre of sand. Males are constantly kept in these small pens. Some are given rubber balls, trees, chunks of concrete, or old tires to keep them occupied; but none of the work for long.
Elephants have been found pacing, standing wearily with no spark or initiative to play or entertain themselves. One example would be a three year old female who has worn a foot deep, 30 foot oval around the tire in her pen; a clear example of zoochosis due to boredom. As intelligent animals, elephants require a broad spectrum of items and activities to keep them occupied and happy, and therefore healthy.
Elephants are trained from birth to sleep in barns, shackled, which is where they are fed once, maybe twice a day. They sleep on nothing but concrete floors, which are only cleaned once in the morning.
Per usual with Ringling and B&B bullhooks are used for training, from birth. Also known to be used for training baby elephants are stun guns, and cattle prods for all elephants.
They continue to breed elephants despite having no real "use" for them; one male alone has fathered 24 calves in his 48 years. Typically males do not start successfully reproducing until their 30s.
The treatment and housing of these gentle giants is unacceptable at the least. Demand that Feld Entertainment truly retire their elephants to REAL sanctuaries.
China to Ban Elephant Ivory Trade. In a game changer for elephant conservation, China announced plans to end domestic ivory trade by the end of 2017. With this decision, China aims to reduce demand for elephant ivory and help end the global elephant poaching crisis.
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However, the good news is you and thousands of others have donated generously for this effort and we are truly close. At this point we only need $105,000 to acquire the land and start proceedings for Priyanka's rescue.
Our new goal is to raise this $105,000 in the next week. We are so close -- can you help get us there?