Monday, March 13, 2017

The Elephant In The Room

Elephants don’t seem to need to sleep as much as other mammals, according to a recent study.
“Elephants are the shortest sleeping mammal — that seems to be related to their large body size,” Paul Manger, a research professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and lead author of the study told BBC News. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The researchers monitored two free-roaming female African elephants in Chobe National Park, Botswana for 35 days. Data shows the elephants normally only sleep for two hours between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

According to the study, the elephants can stay awake up to 46 hours while walking as far as 30 km. They only went into rapid eye movement sleep every three or four days. REM sleep is believed to be critical in memory consolidation.

The study does not answer the question of how elephants managed to survive on such limited sleep. The researchers are planning to do follow-up research on more elephants.

A message regarding Nosey deom CompassionWorks International: Help us find Nosey!

As you may know, Nosey frequently travels to smaller towns to perform at local circus events or even at private events. This makes keeping tabs on her whereabouts very challenging as frequently we have little advance notice of where she is headed.

For this reason, we ask all of you to please let us know any time you learn of Nosey's location, or the location of any elephant or exotic animal that is in or will be traveling to your area. We have set up a form for this purpose at:

A reminder, in case of an emergency related to any circus or exotic animal, please contact local authorities before reaching out to us.

Together, nearly 200,000 individuals strong, we can continue to keep track of Nosey and her health and well-being, as well as make sure that all laws are being complied with, while we all work toward a day when animals in circuses are no more.

Thank you for your friendship and assistance!

Carrie LeBlanc
Executive Director, CompassionWorks International
Elephant Kabu taking a nap on her mud pit
See this most adorable footage captured at Elephant Nature Park, of elephant Kabu, a former logging elephant with a dislocated ankle, laying down on top of her mud pit to nap soundly in the hot day sun . Kabu was rescued from illegal logging in September 2015. If you have never heard an elephant snoring in deep peaceful sleep, please take a peek !

End Poaching in Africa’s Selous Game Reserve! Sign Petition to Protect Elephants.

China recently announced that it will end its trade in ivory by December 31, 2017. As the largest importer and consumer of ivory in the world, this is significant, but somehow, the criminal networks that are destroying African wildlife didn’t get the memo.

African wildlife continues to be poached at an alarming rate, with 100 elephants murdered every day for their tusks. This is excruciatingly evident in places like the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania, which has lost 90 percent of its elephants and almost all of its critically endangered black rhinos in just the last few years.

If history tells us anything, it’s that a ban on ivory should devastate demand, causing markets to implode, prices to bottom out, and poaching to greatly decline as a result. That’s what happened back in the late 1980s and early 1990s following an international ban on the commercial elephant ivory trade. That didn’t last once trade in “stockpiled” ivory was approved, but this time around, we shouldn’t have that problem.

Nonetheless, the violence and killing continues as heavily armed, well-trained criminal networks now find it more profitable to trade in ivory than illegal drugs. They have better funding, technology, and weaponry than wildlife law enforcement agents, and as a result, few targeted animals survive.

Poaching has become so rampant, in fact, that it exceeds elephant population growth rates, and many predict that the African elephant will be extinct from the wild by 2025.

Concerned citizens of the world are coming up with new and innovative uses for technologies like Google Glass and microchipping and drones, to help fight and end these crimes. And there are far less technical, and far less expensive, tactics that work, too, including anti-poaching dog units and citizens on patrol. What this boils down to is that solutions exist, and it’s vital that the Tanzanian government take more extensive steps to preserve these endangered species before it’s too late.

Sign this petition urging the Tanzanian government to strengthen its wildlife management programs in order to better protect wildlife residing in the Selous Game Reserve and surrounding regions.

In addition, check out some of the things that you can personally do to help bring an end to wildlife poaching.

One of Kenya’s Last ‘Big Tusker’ Elephants Has Been Killed for Ivory – Take Action Now to Help.

You may remember the elephant bull, Satao, who was killed by poachers in Tsavo National Park in May of 2014. Satao’s death sparked international outrage because he was one of the very few “big tusker” elephants left in the wild. Unfortunately, Satao’s massive tusks meant he was a prime target for poachers. Seemingly, this brilliant elephant knew his tusks put him in danger as he was known to hide them behind bushes when people walked by.

And now we have even more heartbreaking news. Satao 2, an elephant named after the giant Satao, has been poached, leaving only six of these amazing big tuskers in the Tsavo Conservation Area in southern Kenya. Big tuskers are classified as elephants whose tusks each weigh in excess of 100 pounds – around 45 kilograms each. Satao 2’s weighed 51 kilograms and 50.5 kilograms.

Kenya Wildlife Service rangers found the horrific kill site of Satao 2 before the poachers had time to remove the tusks. Although not confirmed, it seems like Satao 2 was killed by a poison arrow.  Thankfully, local authorities have apprehended two people for the crime, but the loss of this elephant speaks to the larger threats facing elephants. Every day, 100 elephants are poached for their ivory and if nothing is done to stop this, it’s estimated that elephants will be extinct from the wild within the next 20 years.
Although an international ivory ban was instated in the 1980s to preserve dwindling elephant populations, Satao 2’s death illustrates the looming threat to big tuskers. The trade in elephant ivory is still permitted in many regions of the world if the ivory pre-dates the ban. However, with the ability to counterfeit documents that certify the age of ivory, it is extremely difficult to discern new ivory from old. With this in mind, park rangers play a vitally important role in stopping rampant poaching and protecting elephants. Understandably, this is no easy job.

The pressure of safeguarding Tsavo’s last remaining elephants falls on rangers, who are literally putting their lives on the line to protect endangered animals. Tragically, over 1,000 rangers have been killed in the past 10 years. Tsavo Trust CEO Richard Moller has called for a Presidential Security Decree, that would protect the park’s last remaining big tuskers, but in the meantime, existing park rangers are tasked with keeping up protections.

Knowing the danger these brave men and women face daily to protect the world’s elephants, we could all stand to show our thanks. Please sign this quick petition in Satao 2’s memory to thank game rangers for the hard work that they do. It’s the least we can do for the future of big tuskers – and all elephants.

Gabon is home to some of the few remaining forest elephants.

These creatures are smaller and darker than other African elephants, and their tusks have a distinct pink tint. This makes them highly prized for their rare ivory.[1]

As a result, poachers are viciously hunting these forest elephants -- even those that live in wildlife sanctuaries.

Between 5O and 1OO of these elephants are killed EVERY DAY.

In just the last decade, 8O% of Gabon’s forest elephants were MURDERED.[1]

This is especially disheartening considering Gabon’s ongoing efforts to stop poaching. Forest elephants are considered “fully protected” under federal law, commercial ivory poaching is completely criminalized, and ivory traffickers face severe prison sentences.

But poachers are STILL killing these elephants at an astonishing rate -- gunning them down with automatic weapons and using chainsaws to hack off their pink-tinted tusks.

We wish this wasn’t true. But unless we take action to stop poachers, they will continue to slaughter Gabon’s forest elephants until NONE remain.

Please pitch in any amount to help us save elephants from extinction:

The OKC Zoo sadly has refused to speak with us regarding options for Bamboo. There also is very little support locally in OKC so at this point I have decided to let the petition stand, continue to gather support and hope that together we can all continue...view full update