The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 48 trips to carry that many people.
In December 2013, my husband and I, who were just married the same year, decided to visit the ‘Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital’ in Thailand. Built in Lampang, Thailand, ‘Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital’ have treated over 4,000 cases of sick and injured elephants since 1993. They have treated over 15 land mine victims and hundreds of illnesses from gun shot wounds to car accidents. We were able to help by volunteering for a day at the hospital where we got to feed and meet the lovely elephants, and help the staff with certain projects they needed guidance on. For example, translating Thai children’s books about the importance of keeping Elephants safe, into english.
One of my most favourite moments was visiting Mosha. Mosha experienced a most unfortunate accident in that her leg had been blown off by a land mine. She was the first elephant to receive a prosthetic limb by Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation. We were not allowed to go in and work the elephants for liability reasons, but we were able to feed them peanuts and watch their behaviour as they went about their day.
It was one of the most amazing and fulfilling things I have ever done in my life, and even brought tears to my eyes at times. I would go back to volunteer again in a heart beat. If you love and care about elephants, this is the place to visit and donate your time.
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will. Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs. I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward. “
– Charlotte Bronte
Anyone who has ever met, or had the privilege of working with Patricia Sims, would understand how the quote above explains the inner being of the woman.
I had the honour to be invited to view the screening of her documentary film, “When Elephants Were Young” which debuted at the 2015 Whistler Film Festival this past weekend.
The movie plot dealt with the extraordinary, yet complex life, of a mahout and his elephant living and surviving in Thailand. The juxtaposition of their lives was intertwined through a series of emotional and thought provoking scenes.
Grappling with the every day need to exist and find work in a land where things are changing rapidly, the mahout had to make a heart breaking decision to sell his elephant after years of working with it, in order to survive.
Coming away from the film, I was awakened to the real life dilemmas faced by both man and animal in a world where the line between right and wrong are easily skewed by age-old cultural ideals. Patricia’s portrayal of the complexities on both sides of the situation perpetuated a strong sense of empathy for the mahout, yet, at the same time, confirmed the atrocities suffered by the elephant for millennia, are slowly coming to an acknowledgement long overdo.
“When Elephants Were Young” is a beautiful documentary that tears at the heart with its ability to sever the ambiguity of nature vs. man by revealing raw footage of authentic life experiences between the two.
I would highly suggest taking the whole family to this movie.
Lyrics by Kate Bush, resounding throughout the film, summed up the gist of the movie’s non-biased theme:
“And if I only could,
I’d make a deal with God,
And I’d get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
With no problems.”
Patricia Sims founded World Elephant Day in 2012. Please follow her at: www.worldelephantday.org
Congratulations on your outstanding film achievement Patricia.
Fran Duthie, Co-founder Elephanatics
This time of year is a hard time for many emotionally. In honour of the four elephant rangers who were slaughtered by poachers in Garamba National Park this past October, Earl Hirtz Photography has created a 2016 tribute calendar to raise money for their wives & 14 children. Please give from the heart. We thank you.
Through the great contributions of our donors we managed to raise $675.00 for our 2015 Go Fund Me Campaign. We thank you all for your generous donations!
Dr. Hedy Fry – MP Vancouver Centre
Dr. Jake Wall (Save the Elephants)
Rosemary Conder BC SPCA
On October 3rd and 4th over 120 cities worldwide will join in the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos. Last year over 50,000 people marched all over the world to raise awareness and to demand an end to the poaching crisis that is pushing them rapidly towards extinction.
The poaching of elephants and rhinos has reached unprecedented heights in recent years as the demand for ivory and rhino horn has soared in China and other mainly Asian markets. The ivory trade is also fueling terrorist groups, transnational criminal gangs, and armed militias that are destabilizing African countries as well as posing serious threats to international security.
An elephant is brutally killed every 15 minutes – that’s around 100 every day, and at least 35,000 every year. With so few numbers left (some estimates put the figure as low as 250,000 for the entire continent), and with such a slow reproductive cycle, the outlook is looking tragically bleak for elephants. If we don’t take action now to stop this massacre, it will be too late to save them. They will vanish forever – in about 10 years.
A rhino is poached every 11 hours with an estimated 24,000 left in the world. Over 1,000 rhinos were poached last year alone, compared to 13 in 2007. If the rate of killing continues to rise, rhinos too face extinction within the decade.
Here is a short informational video about the ivory trade:
And the elephant advocacy group organizing the Vancouver march, Elephanatics
Stay informed about upcoming events, campaigns and more1 Click here to get on the list.
Look for more info soon about this offer.
There are many ways to help! More details coming soon.
Teachers, students and elephant lovers welcome!
A percentage of books sold from Elephanatics invitees from 6:30 – 8:30 goes towards funding the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos on Oct. 3rd, 2015.
Spreading the word and unifying the people through fun events and activities!
On October 4th 2014 Vancouver took part in the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos. 130 cities around the world marched in the biggest demonstration ever to create awareness of the plight of these two species and to demand that governments end the blood ivory and rhino horn trade. This presentation was shown at the demonstration:
Police at Work
Jake Wall (Save the Elephants) and Rosemary Conder (BC SPCA)
Memorable quotes from Jake Wall’s speech
“The most recent forms of poaching have become reuse of ancient methods like spears, arrows and poison because they are quiet and create less chance of detection.”
“At the moment, the demand for ivory stems largely from Asia – most of it is being shipped and sold in China and Thailand. Carved pieces of ivory can be sold for over 50,000 dollars a tusk.”
“Last year, the Western black rhino was declared officially extinct. And there are only handful of northern white rhino left in Kenya.”
“Elephant herds are mostly female, made up of grandmothers, mothers, sisters and daughters. I think it’s very appropriate then that the organizers of the march today are also female. Making decisions about where to go next and how to navigate the difficult times we are in.”
“As a species, we proclaim to be intelligent and possess advanced capacity for thought and reason. But I think history will judge otherwise.”
Memorable quotes from Rosemary Conder’s speech
“Thailand has seen a 6,000% increase in tourism since 1967 and with it, a surge in enslavement of elephants for such purposes as elephant soccer matches, art shows, treks, even elephant orchestras and elephant ballets.”
“Elephants are remarkably sensitive and complex creatures. They have strong emotional bonds; they flirt and grieve and care for their community and they have long memories. And because they have long memories, many elephants suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.”
“Right Tourism stands for Responsible, Informed, Guilt-Free Tourism and is a UK-based charity that seeks to inform tourists of how they perpetuate serious animal welfare and conservation problems by making poor choices. They also provide information on opportunities to do the sort of thing Rosemary is doing.” – Jane McDougal, The National Post.
Opening and Closing Comments
“Looking around today, I see the equivalent of an elephant herd. A herd that has come together out of collective objection to what is happening. And similar herds have formed across the globe today. Let’s march here and now. But let’s keep our herd together after today and grow it some more by educating our friends and families. By petitioning our governments. And by contributing however and wherever we can. I personally don’t want to be part of the generation that let elephants and rhinos disappear.” Jake Wall
Read about us in the National Post – written by Jane Macdougall.