Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Best Way to Help an Elephant

We all love elephants. We share pictures. We sign online petitions. We’re outraged when they’re abused in the circus or killed for their ivory. Some people make signs and protest when the circus comes to town or march to raise awareness. That’s great, because everything helps. But what do elephants really need the most?

Captive elephants need sanctuary and healthcare. In the wild, they need to be protected from poachers and other human/elephant conflict. This takes a lot of effort by experts. Even more than effort, it takes resources. That means money.

The best way you can help an elephant is to help provide for their care and protection. There are a variety of professionals working right now to provide that care, and they all need your donations. 

These are some of our favorites. Please consider sending them a donation whenever you can. Just click on the name of the organization.

Carol Buckley has dedicated her life to providing a safe haven for elephants. She is currently working in Asia to create chain-free corrals for working elephants. Her new project is creating a chain-free environment in India for Sunder. 

You certainly know about Raju, the elephant who was recently rescued after 50 years in chains. Wildlife SOS is caring for him at their sanctuary in India. His medical needs, food and care are quite expensive. Wildlife SOS offers a variety of monthly support levels. Even your one-time donation will be greatly appreciated.

Founded by Soraida Salwala, this is the first hospital in the world just for elephants. Working elephants in Thailand can get medical care free of charge. This is important because taking elephants away from their work is a financial burden. Two of their most famous patients and now permanent residents are Mosha and Motala. Each of them lost a leg in land mine accidents and they now walk with the help of prostheses. FAE gets no government funding, so they rely entirely on private donations to offer free medical care. You can learn more about the hospital on Twitter and Facebook.

The elephant ivory trade often leaves innocent victims, orphaned baby elephants. These babies were entirely dependent on their mothers and would normally be unable to survive. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust rescues and raises these orphans until they can be reintegrated back into the wild. You can sponsor an orphan and receive monthly updates on its progress. 

Founded by acclaimed wildlife photographer Nick Brandt, Big Life has been very successful in tracking down and arresting poachers in Kenya and Tanzania. Your help is needed to protect elephants over 2 million acres in Africa. It is said that rampant poaching will cause the extinction of the African Elephant in 10 to 20 years. Big Life Foundation is one of the best organizations working to stop this massive killing.

The ARK 2000 sanctuary in Northern California provides a safe forever home for elephants and a variety of other exotic animals rescued from the entertainment business. Founded by the late Pat Derby and her partner Ed Stewart, this is the only sanctuary in the US that provides a home for rescued bull elephants. 

This list is by no means comprehensive, but your money will be responsibly used by these organizations. Whether you choose any of these or another that you know to be reputable, we hope that you will be as generous with your financial support as you are with your time and love. Thank you for helping elephants.

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