Ride A Bike Not An Elephant at Khatsahlano Days!

Great turn out for our ‘Ride a Bike not an Elephant ‘ event at #KhatsahlanoDays
Learn more about the unethical tourism trade at www. Elephanatics.org
A big ‘THANK YOU’ to all the volunteers who came out to help and support our cause. A special thank you to https://pedegoelectricbikes.ca/dealers/pedego-electric-bikes-vancouver/ for lending us one of their fantabulous electric bikes!

You are all #elephantamazing!

Khatsahlano Days July 7th

Come join the fun at the annual Khatsahlano Street Party. Local bands, artisans, food trucks, giveaways and more! Look for the Elephanatics tent where we will be promoting our “Ride A Bike Not An Elephant” campaign to protect elephants from the unethical tourism industry. Our very popular “Ride A Bike Not An Elephant” t-shirts will be for sale for $30, as well as other cute elephant items. 100% of the net profit will go to free an abused elephant to a sanctuary in Asia. Get your photo taken with our awesome 2-metre, blow-up elephant! Free temporary tattoos and lots of elephant information! Hope to see you there! 🙂

Semi Final Pink Tshirt


Gelato Sales = Success for #Elephants

Another successful gelato sale at Killarney Secondary School. A huge shout out to all the students in the Elephanatics club who took time from their busy year-end schedules to raise awareness and money for #elephants. A special BIG ‘Thank You’ to teacher, Tess Elia whose dedication and commitment made it all happen. We are so very grateful to all of you.

Elephanatics SPRING 2018 Newsletter


United Kingdom and Taiwan Announce Tough Ban on Trade of Elephant Ivory. Will Canada Follow Suit?

On March 14th Elephanatics sent a letter to Minister McKenna asking her to enact legislation to close the legal domestic trade of elephant ivory in Canada. This last week both the United Kingdom and Taiwan announced they were implementing strict domestic trade bans. The following release was sent to media asking if the Canadian government might follow suit?


Vancouver, BC – Elephanatics, an elephant advocacy non-profit group in Vancouver, was thrilled with Tuesday’s announcement that the United Kingdom will enact one of the strictest bans on domestic elephant ivory trade in the world. Only a few narrow exceptions will be allowed and violators will face up to five years in jail or an unlimited fine.

Response to the call for a global ban on domestic ivory markets was strengthened even further by Tuesday’s announcement that Taiwan plans to close its internal trade to help shut down illegal ivory markets worldwide.

On March 14, Elephanatics sent a letter to Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, asking the federal government to close the domestic trade of elephant ivory in Canada. The letter was backed by 95 national and international signatories including International Fund for Animal Welfare, Humane Society International, Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, The Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, Big Life Foundation, Wildlife Direct and Dr Richard Leakey, to name a few.

The following members of parliament have lent their support to the letter: Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway), Nathaniel Erskine-Smith (Beaches-East York) and Fin Donnelly (Port Moody-Coquitlam). Solicitor General, the Honorable Mike Farnworth (Port Coquitlam) and member of the Legislative Assembly, Jane Thornthwaite (North Vancouver-Seymour) also signed.

In addition, over 140,000 people have signed Elephanatic’s petition asking the Canadian government to ban the legal domestic trade of elephant ivory in Canada. The petition is here.

The illegal trade of ivory is decimating one of the world’s most iconic keystone species, bringing it to the brink of extinction. Even worse is the heavy involvement of criminal networks where the money funds militant and terrorist groups such as the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, Boko Haram in Nigeria and al-Shabaab in Somalia.

Fran Duthie, President of Elephanatics says, “We would like to see the Canadian government enable legislation as soon as possible to end the legal domestic trade of elephant ivory. In light of the recent news of the UK closing its local ivory trade with minor exemptions and China, France and the US enacting strict bans on their ivory trade, Canada needs to take a leading stance beside the rest of the international community and ban all domestic trade in elephant ivory.”

Every year approximately 20,000 African elephants are killed for their ivory. There has been a 97% decline in their population in the last century with an estimated 415,000 remaining. Conservationists and scientists estimate they will be extinct in the wild within 20 years if the rate of poaching does not change.

Elephanatics looks forward to the government’s response to their letter submitted to the Minister on March 14.

About Elephanatics:
Elephanatics is a Vancouver-based elephant advocacy organization that promotes the long-term survival of African and Asian elephants through conservation, education and action.

Media Contact:

Tessa Vanderkop – Director of Advocacy

Thank You to the 95 Signatories on the Letter to Government

Elephanatics would like to recognise the 95 Canadian and international animal advocacy organisations, Members of the BC Legislature and Parliament of Canada, scientists and environmentalists who co-signed our letter to the Canadian government. The #ivoryfreecanada letter was sent on March 14, 2018 and urged the government for a ban on the import, export, re-export and domestic trade of all elephant ivory.

Some of the signatories include BC SPCA, International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, Big Life Foundation, Born Free, World Elephant Day, Stop Ivory and African Wildlife Foundation. Noted elephant research scientists Dr Richard Leakey, Dr Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell, Dr Joyce Poole and Dr Cynthia Moss also put their name to the letter.

We are gratified for the support of all the signatories – particularly the elephant community around the world. The signatories did not stop at just signing the letter. The Elephant Protection Initiative also sent a letter echoing our requests to the Canadian government. Most groups highlighted the #ivoryfreecanada campaign on their facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Some also featured it on their websites, e-newsletters and press releases to the media.

This kind of campaign cannot be successful without the backing of these noted organisations and individuals. We also cannot show the government that an ivory ban is wanted by the majority of Canadians without the support of the public. Enclosed with our letter to government is a link to our online petition. It has garnered over 130,000+ signatures and is growing every minute!

Thank you #ivoryfreecanada letter signatories!

Sign the #ivoryfreecanada Petition

Did you know that it is legal to sell elephant ivory within Canada? And that under certain conditions, you can bring elephant hunting trophies into Canada? Meanwhile 20,000 elephants are being slaughtered every year, mostly to poach their ivory. If you would like to see a ban on the domestic trade as well as the import, export and re-export of all elephant ivory, please sign our petition here that will go to the government.

Our Letter to the Government for an #ivoryfreecanada Has Been Sent

On March 14, 2018, Elephanatics sent a letter to Minister Catherine McKenna asking the Canadian government to close the legal domestic trade of elephant ivory in Canada.

We are thrilled to have been supported by 95 distinguished national and international wildlife and animal advocacy organisations, conservationists, scientists, Members of the Parliament of Canada and the BC Legislature. Some of the signatories include BC SPCA, International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, Big Life Foundation, Born Free, World Elephant Day, Stop Ivory and African Wildlife Foundation.

Noted elephant research scientists Dr Richard Leakey, Dr Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell, Dr Joyce Poole and Dr Cynthia Moss also put their name to the letter.

Enclosed with our letter is a link to our online petition for the public to also ask the Canadian government to ban the domestic trade of elephant ivory. The petition has garnered over 130,000+ signatures and is growing every minute.

The astounding groundswell of support for the #ivoryfreecanada campaign is telling. We know that African elephants will be extinct in the wild within 20 years if countries continue to allow the legal domestic trade of elephant ivory. The flow of illegal ivory through legal domestic markets is well documented.

Kenya and 29 other African Elephant Coalition countries petitioned the 17th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 2016 to call for the total closure of all remaining ivory markets. Countries such as the United States, France and China have already closed their domestic ivory trade. The United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Taiwan and likely Singapore will also soon follow suit. Due to the US Administration over-turning their ban on elephant trophy imports on March 1, 2018, there is additional onus on the rest of the world to increase their efforts to protect elephants.

The astonishing number of signatures on the petition demonstrates the public no longer tolerates inaction by governments, while elephants are being decimated in the hundreds of thousands by greedy poachers. INTERPOL estimates the worldwide illegal wildlife trade at up to US$23 billion a year, making it the fourth most lucrative organized crime after drugs, human trafficking and counterfeiting.

Our ask of the Canadian government is an opportunity for real leadership on an important worldwide issue. While Canada may not represent the largest market for elephant ivory, by banning the domestic trade it signals to the international community that Canada is committed to leading the fight to save the world’s most iconic keystone species.

Julie MacInnes, Wildlife Campaign Manager of Humane Society International/Canada, a signatory on Elephantics’ letter says, “CITES has recommended that all nations with ivory markets that contribute to poaching and illegal trade close these markets. Multiple seizures of illegal ivory in Canada in recent years clearly indicate that an elephant ivory market closure is warranted, particularly given the items seized likely represent only a small fraction of the problem. It is time Canada respect the CITES recommendation and protect elephants by prohibiting ivory trade.”

Elephants don’t have to go extinct. It’s a choice that is made by people and by governments. We are asking the Canadian government to take a lead role, as other international countries have done  As a country we not only have a responsibility but a moral obligation to be part of saving one of Earth’s most precious animals – the elephant.


The Elephanatics Team
The Canadian Domestic Ivory Ban Letter
The #ivoryfreecanada Petition 


Did you know it is still legal to buy and sell ivory in Canada? Both African and Asian elephants may be extinct in the wild in our lifetime, mainly due to poaching.

Elephanatics created the #ivoryfreecanada campaign to help keep our elephants alive.

Elephanatics wrote a letter to the Canadian government, requesting a ban on all domestic trade of elephant ivory. Over 80 Canadian and international scientists, politicians and animal organizations have co-signed the letter!

We Need Your Help!

Download the #ivoryfreecanada mini-poster or create your own with the same hashtag. Take a photo of you holding it and post it on social media with the handles: #ivoryfreecanada and @elephanaticsbc.

Challenge your friends to do the same to save elephants.

2.  Email your photo to elephanaticsinfo@gmail.com and we will add it to this page.

3.  Sign the petition that will also go to the government. We need as many signatures as possible (Canadian or international citizens) before March 7, 2018. Share it on facebook and twitter.

4.  Tell your friends and family about the elephant crisis and how a domestic ban on elephant ivory trade would help.


Killarney Secondary School








Rob, Neptoon Records owner


Ladies from Princess Margaret Secondary

The Global March for Elephants & Rhinos – Toronto Team!

Kylie & the PTSD Dogs

Maryann & friends

Jenny & Meerkat

Roy & the Cockatoos






Lynn Science Teacher San Diego










Emmalee & Boys











Merja & Fuzzy

Gemma & Pablo


























Keith McCafferty – Burning Hearts Soul Club – Vancouver








Chris from band Peach Pit

Nicola Mgr @Lush 






In the last century, the Asian elephant population has declined by over 50% and African elephants have plummeted by 97%. Poaching for ivory threatens the very survival of our elephants. The two largest consumers of ivory – China and the United States – have banned domestic ivory sales. So why not Canada?


A Petition to the Canadian Government

Sign here.

Will we be the generation that lets elephants become extinct?

A shocking 20,000 elephants are killed every year for their ivory. Scientists and conservationists agree that at this rate, both African and Asian elephants will be extinct in the wild within our lifetime.

Even so, at the last IUCN World Conservation Congress, Canada was 1 of only 4 countries to oppose the closure of domestic ivory markets across the globe.

Ivory is so valuable on the black market that organized terrorism syndicates such as the Lord’s Resistance Army are committing mass slaughter using helicopters and AK-47 rifles. In 1980 Africa had more than 1.3 million elephants – today it has approximately 415,000. In less than 40 years, 70% of our elephants have disappeared.

In 1989, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) made it illegal to sell elephant ivory internationally. But each country makes its own laws regarding the sale of ivory within their borders. When domestic trade is allowed it permits illegal ivory (poached after 1989) to be sold along with legal ivory because it’s difficult to differentiate between old and new ivory without extensive and costly testing. The only way to protect elephants from extinction is to ban ALL elephant ivory trade.

China is the largest consumer of ivory in the world. It shut down its domestic ivory trade at the end of 2017. If China can stop their domestic trade, why can’t Canada?

On March 1, 2018, the United States lifted the ban on the importation of elephant trophies. If the U.S. cannot protect elephants, there is even more onus on the rest of the world to do all we can to save this iconic species.

We feel new legislation can protect both elephants and the indigenous trade of narwhal and walrus. We ask the government of Canada to:

1.  ban all domestic trade of elephant ivory; and

2.  make the import, export and re-export of all elephant ivory illegal.

Let’s make Canada one of the many countries changing their laws to allow the survival of the world’s largest mammal before it’s too late. Sign for an #ivoryfreecanada.

Fran Duthie
President, Elephanatics

Photo: Larry Laverty

‘Elephant Trophy Hunting’ written by Carleton University Fourth-year Honours Journalist student

Elephant Trophy Hunting: “Horror show” or method of conservation?

By Kaitlin Fisher

Dec. 5, 2017

How many times have you entered a home and seen an elephant? Not a real elephant, of course, but a painting, maybe? A photo? A sculpture?

Elephants are a symbol of strength, power and majesty. They are among the world’s most beloved animals and yet many people never have the chance to interact with them.

Tyler Schmitt got that chance. After graduating from the University of Guelph in 2014, he took a leap, packed his bags and went to Thailand to live among the elephants.

Schmitt fondly remembers his days spent at Woodys Elephants Training, a sanctuary in Chiang Mai which rescues elephants that have survived a “bad situation.”

“We’d spend time with them, feed them, walk them—man, they love to go on hikes—bathe them in the river,” he said from his Ottawa home.

“They’re intuitive and curious. They’re extremely good at remembering things,” he added. “When you spend time with these animals and you look at them in the eyes, you can tell some things, like they are conscious of what’s going on and how they’re being treated.”

In recent weeks, elephants have been at the heart of a heated debate.

On Nov. 16, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its plan to reverse a ban—implemented by former President Barack Obama in 2014—on importing the remains of African elephants killed as trophies.

Following the announcement, there was a huge public outcry from Americans and people around the world who felt that the ban should remain in place. Petitions circulated and social media was filled with protests and emotionally-charged messages.

On Nov. 19, President Donald Trump contradicted the Fish and Wildlife Service’s plan when he tweeted: “Big-game trophy decision will be announced next week but will be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of elephants or any other animal.”

According to Elephanatics, an elephant advocacy organization based in Vancouver, 96 African elephants are killed every day for their ivory. This amounts to more than 35,000 elephants annually. In 1980, there were over 1.3 million elephants in Africa, while today there are less than 415,000.

The status of the ban in the U.S. remains up in the air. Despite many Canadians lashing out on social media about the potential change of policy in the U.S., Canada never had a ban on the importation of elephant trophies in the first place.

Schmitt, who majored in zoology, said he was surprised to discover this.

“Canada is supposed to be one of the leaders in the world. As a first-world country, you should be leading by example,” he said.

In a phone interview from her Toronto office, Melissa Matlow, the wildlife campaign manager from World Animal Protection in Canada, called a ban “essential.”

“They’ve often been described as gentle giants because of the care they put towards their own kind, so to see humans kill them for trophies is particularly appalling,” she said.

Not all Canadians are on the same page. Jason St. Michael, the operations manager of Safari Club International in Canada, said there are places where the elephant population needs to be controlled and managed.

“An elephant will destroy crops, kill human life, and so they must be managed,” he said in a phone interview.

He said is important for farmers to keep the elephant population in check so that their crops and livestock are able to survive.

Safari Club International is an organization which promotes the rights of hunters and recognizes the contributions that hunting can make in conservation efforts.

St. Michael said politicians need to focus on science rather than emotion when it comes to making decisions about the possible implementation of a ban. He also argued that elephant trophy hunting is good for the economy.

“The people that hunt them employ hundreds of people. They also feed communities. No part of the animal is wasted.”

As for the public outcry since the announcement from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, St. Michael said that he doesn’t have an issue with other peoples’ beliefs.

“We like to hunt and they don’t want to hunt. But the fact of the matter is that these animals create a lot of economic impact,” he said.

St. Michael said he recognizes that elephants are “easy target animals for anti-hunters.”

“They really are a magical, romantic animal. I mean, they’re beautiful. They’re amazing. The power and the elegance,” he said. “And the numbers aren’t what they were a hundred years ago.”

St. Michael blames the growing human population for the decrease in these animals, but said it can’t go both ways.

“What do you manage? Do you manage human population or do you manage the wildlife population?” he asked.

When it comes to the importation of endangered species, Canada follows the guidelines provided by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). CITES is an international agreement between governments which ensures that trade in wild animals does not threaten their survival.

The species covered by CITES are broken down into three appendices according to the level of protection they need. Appendix I lists species that are threatened with extinction. According to the CITES website, trade in specimens of these species is only allowed in “exceptional circumstances.”

Appendix II accounts for species which aren’t necessarily threatened with extinction, but require a trade that must be controlled in order for them to survive as a species.

Appendix III lists species that are protected in at least one country, which has requested the other parties of the CITES agreement for help in controlling trade.

CITES lists the African elephant as an Appendix I species, except for populations of the animal from Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, which all fall under Appendix II.

According to the CITES database, there have been elephant trophies imported into Canada in recent years from countries outside of these four, meaning that Canada has imported an Appendix I species.

In 1989, CITES made it illegal to sell elephant ivory internationally, although each country has its own regulations regarding ivory sales within their borders. At the World Conservation Congress in 2016, Canada was one of only four countries to oppose the closure of its ivory trade markets.

“That’s terrible that Canada was one of those countries. We should be leading the way on this,” Matlow said. “Canadians care very much about wildlife. Canada is often promoted as a country that people go to to see wildlife. So it seems really contradictory and not reflecting Canadian values to take that position on an international stage.”

Matlow said the backlash over the possible lifting of the U.S. ban shows people relate to elephants.

“The public outcry . . . shows that people care,” she said. “They’re very social, very intelligent animals. When one animal is killed, it impacts the welfare of the entire heard. They grieve the loss of their families members.”

Schmitt agreed. “People just are drawn to them.”

Despite the connection that many people feel to these animals, and the push from organizations such as Elephanatics, there has so far been no progress on the implementation of a ban in Canada. In the U.S., the lifting of the ban is on hold as the government reviews the decision.

In the meantime, the debate ensues as to whether elephant trophy hunting is the “horror show” described by President Trump, or the conservation method needed to save these animals.