updated 4-23-07





by Dee Finney

2-13-01 - DREAM - I spent a long time looking up the news about Bigfoot, (which I really do) and posting it on a page about the existence of the humanoid ape creature. I posted these articles on the page and archived them. This took a long time.  When I was done with that, I was taken way up in the air and shown a series of dead elephants laid out on the ground. I was then questioned, "Why are you so diligent about archiving news about Bigfoot, and not about dead elephants?"

NOTE:  That's a very good question.  See YETI:
Then I had a noisy vision. I saw a city street scene with a hurdy gurdy type thing with a cartoonish monkey. The hurdy gurdy made a raucous noise and the monkey held up a sign that said, "Please help" I then saw 
a scene with elephants walking down the street, trunk to tail, trunk to tail, trunk to tail, like they do in captivity. I note that this isn't the first time I've been asked to do a page on elephants in captivity.


Height : 4 meters at the withers
Weight : 2500 - 5000 kilos
Diet : Herbivorous
Gestation : 22 months
Longevity : 70 years
Scientific name : Loxodonta Africana
Habitat : Wooded and shrubby plains, always near water.
Origin : Africa and South of Sahara.

Around 400,000 African elephants live south of the Sahara desert. There have been drastic population declines in the last hundred years, especially in the 1970’s and 80’s thanks to the bloody ivory trade, and elephants are now extinct in many former ranges. 




Height: 8-10 feet 
Weight: 3-5 tons 
Scientific Name: Elephas maximus 
Longevity: 60 years (up to 80 in captivity)
Habitat: Rain forests, grass jungles and dry forests.
Diet: Herbivore; grasses, bamboo, roots, tree bark, wood and some fruits.
Skin : about an inch thick, very sensitive 
Reproduction: gestation lasts 22 months and an adult female gives birth about every 4 years starting at about age 13.
They go through 6 sets of teeth in 1
lifetime. This is due to the constant wearing during feeding.
Some 35,000 Asian elephants are found in the Indian subcontinent, China, Malaysia and Indonesia
Endangered; mainly due to loss of habitat (i.e. clearing the forests for agricultural purposes

Elephants are the largest of all landroving animals. The elephant's trunk is a mass of over 30,000 muscles; it contains no bones. An elephant can actually hold in excess of 12 litres of water in its trunk.

In the African species, both the male and female elephants have large visible tusks.

The African elephant's back is swayed, and the highest point is at the top of the shoulders. 

The largest living land animal with a shoulder height of 10 to 13 feet and a weight of 5 to 7 tons.

In the Asian species only the
males have large visible tusks. The females have small tusks called tushes that are not usually visible

The Asian
elephant's back is more rounded, and the highest point is at the top of the head. 


Elephants are herbivores (plant eaters) with massive appetites, and will select
and consume food (up to 200kg a day!) for 75% of their time. They feed on
grass, leaves, twigs, bark and even human crops such as bananas and
sugar-cane. Elephants act as nature’s gardeners, dispersing undigested plants
seeds through their dung. 

Elephants are a ‘keystone species’, and hold their ecosystem together by
playing an integral role. They create vital pathways through forests or across
savannas, and knock over trees allowing smaller species to feed. In droughts
they dig down to underground water supplies which other species also use. 

Elephants feed, rest, travel and play in their close-knit family herd, which is led by
a dominant older female called the ‘matriarch’. Using information passed on by
her mother, she guides and protects the family. Her knowledge of the home
range and food and water sources is vital. 

Elephants have a 70 year lifespan and mature around 12 years. Bull elephants
live outside the family herd and mating takes place after courtship. Pregnancy
lasts 22 months and the mother is often helped at birth by an experienced female
‘midwife’. The 100kg newborn calf relies on its mother’s milk for up to four years
and is cherished by the entire herd.




The physical, mental, and social aspects of the life of a wild elephant are so complex that scientists and researchers are still discovering unknown facts about elephants. How can we possibly ever account forall of an elephant's needs in captivity? 

Elephants in captivity, whether in zoos, circuses or safari parks, experience radically different lifestyles compared to wild elephants. Elephants are extremely intelligent and social animals. In British zoos and circuses, many elephants are unnaturally kept singly or in pairs. Elephants in captivity often develop severe mental disorders.

Wild elephants frequently bathe in mud and water. This maintains the skin and is a pleasurable experience enjoyed by whole families of elephants. Elephants also dust themselves with dry earth, which it is believed protects the elephants from the sun and insect bites. For elephants in captivity, particularly in circuses, these behaviours are not possible. Elephants are also deprived of basics such as mud wallows and dusting facilities.


In modern times humans use elephants primarily for heavy jobs like hauling logs. An elephant is the ultimate off-road vehicle and can get tremendous traction even on slippery mud. An elephant actually walks on its toes, aided by a great flesh-heel pad that can conform to the ground. 

In some remote areas of Southeast Asia it is still more economical to use elephants for work than it is to use modern machinery. Scientific researchers use elephants for transportation in the hard-to-reach, swampy areas they study, and tourists ride elephants to view wildlife in Asian reserves. Elephants are the ideal mobile viewing platform in the tall grass found in many parks. 

Asia has always had a strong cultural connection to the elephant. In Chinese, the phrase "to ride an elephant" sounds the same as the word for happiness. When Thailand was called Siam, the sacred White Elephant dominated the flag and culture. According to Thai legend, in the beginning all elephants were white and flew through the air, like the clouds and rain. Thousands of years later, a white elephant entered the side of Queen Sirimahamaya as she lay sleeping. Later she gave birth to Prince Siddhartha, the future Guatama Buddha. Among the predominantly Buddhist kingdoms of Southeast Asia, the most auspicious event possible during a monarch's reign was the finding of a white elephant. 

Causes of Endangerment 

Habitat Loss 

Elephants need a large amount of habitat because they eat so much. Humans have become their direct competitors for living space. Human populations in Africa and Asia have quadrupled since the turn of the century, the fastest growth rate on the planet. Forest and savanna habitat has been converted to cropland, pastureland for livestock, and timber for housing and fuel. 

Humans do not regard elephants as good neighbors. When humans and elephants live close together, elephants raid crops, and rogue elephants (aggressive male elephants during the breeding season) rampage through villages. Local people shoot elephants because they fear them and regard them as pests. Some countries have established culling programs: park officials or hunters kill a predetermined number of elephants to keep herds manageable and minimize human-elephant conflicts. 


Hunting has been a major cause of the decline in elephant populations. Elephants became prized trophies for big-game hunters after Europeans arrived in Africa. More recently, and more devastatingly, hunters have slaughtered elephants for their ivory tusks. The ivory trade became a serious threat to elephants in the 1970s. A sudden oil shortage caused the world economy to collapse, and ivory became more valuable than gold. In fact, ivory has been called "white gold" because it is beautiful, easily carved, durable, and pleasing to the touch. Most of the world's ivory is carved in Japan, Hong Kong, and other Asian countries, where skilled carvers depend on a supply of ivory for their livelihoods. 

Hunting elephants is no longer legal in many African countries, but poaching was widespread until very recently. For many the high price of ivory, about $100 a pound in the 1980s, was too tempting to resist. Local people often had few other ways to make a living, and subsistence farmers or herders could make more by selling the tusks of one elephant than they could make in a dozen years of farming or herding. 

As the price of ivory soared, poachers became more organized, using automatic weapons, motorized vehicles, and airplanes to chase and kill thousands of elephants. To governments and revolutionaries mired in civil wars and strapped for cash, poaching ivory became a way to pay for more firearms and supplies. 

Poaching has caused the collapse of elephants' social structure as well as decimating their numbers. Poachers target the biggest elephants because their tusks are larger. They often kill all the adults in the group, leaving young elephants without any adults to teach them migration routes, dry-season water sources, and other learned behavior. Many of Africa's remaining elephant groups are leaderless subadults and juveniles. 

Conservation Actions 

Protected Areas 

There are many national parks or reserves in Africa where elephant habitat is protected. Many people believe, however, that the parks are not large enough and are too isolated from each other to allow elephant populations to recover.  Some countries are developing refuges linked by corridors to allow seasonal migration and genetic exchange. Human use of the same land to grow crops, however, makes it difficult to create linkages between reserves without increasing conflicts between humans and elephants. 

Sometimes reserves are too successful. When there are too many elephants in a reserve for the available vegetation, they destroy the habitat. They also forage outside the park and destroy crops. 


One factor that has convinced African governments to take strong measures to protect elephants is the rising importance of the tourist trade to their economies. Kenya alone receives $50 million a year from tourists coming to see elephants. The national parks bring in much-needed income, and tourism is a source of income that can continue into the future because it does not deplete wildlife populations. 

Trade Prohibition 

Worldwide concern over the decline of the elephant led to a complete ban on the ivory trade in 1990. Elephants have been placed on Appendix I of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which means all trade in elephant parts is prohibited. Some governments have cracked down hard on poachers. In some countries, park rangers are told to shoot poachers on sight. 

Not all governments support the ivory ban. In Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Botswana, for example, people farm elephants on ranches for trophy hunters. Government officials argue that trade in ivory should be regulated, not prohibited. They say countries that are managing their elephants well should be allowed to sell ivory in order to pay for conservation measures, such as park guards and equipment. Others argue that the only effective solution is a total ban, because there is no way to distinguish ivory of elephants that were legally killed from that of elephants that were poached. The debate over the effectiveness, fairness, and wisdom of the ivory ban continues. 

Asian ivory craftspeople are turning to other sources of raw material for their carvings. Some are turning to walrus tusks instead of elephant ivory, shifting hunting pressure to walruses. 

Captive Breeding 

Captive breeding of African elephants provides elephants for zoos so zoos do not have to take more elephants from the wild for display. The Jacksonville Zoological Park has established a Species Survival Plan (SSP)  for the African elephant. (see link below at bottom of page)

Elephants Worldwide Face Dim Future as Five Southern Africa Countries Announce Plans to Trade in Ivory

From International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW -- www.ifaw.org)
Thursday, June 13, 2002

GENEVA — Conservationists worldwide shuddered this week when news leaked of plans by five southern Africa nations to trade in elephant ivory. South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia have this week presented proposals to the Secretariat of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) seeking to lift the ivory trade ban.

The proposals, details of which have yet to be released by the Geneva-based CITES Secretariat, will be voted on at the November 3-15 CITES meeting in Santiago, Chile, where the highly controversial elephant trade issue is expected to be the focus of much heated debate.

The announcement of these elephant trade proposals comes less than two weeks after the CITES Asian Elephant Specialist Group met in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where leading Asian Elephant experts passed a resolution saying:

“This meeting believes that reopening legal trade in African ivory will send signals to ivory traders and poachers who may be lead to believe that trade in Asian ivory has also been legitimized. In addition difficulty to distinguish Asian and African ivory by enforcement authorities makes it easy for the former to be smuggled as the latter.

This meeting therefore recommends that all proposals that encourage directly or indirectly a re-opening of trade in ivory be discouraged and that parties to the CITES vote to continue the present international trade ban on ivory and that they do not support any down listing proposals of African elephant populations.”

“Legitimizing any trade in elephant parts puts all elephants at risk,” said Fred O’Regan, President of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW – www.ifaw.org). “The stockpiles that South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia now propose to sell include tusks from thousands of elephants. Thousands more will now be threatened as poachers try to use the cover of these stockpile sales for their illegal products.

“IFAW calls on these governments to withdraw the trade proposals and instead work together with IFAW and other conservation groups on programs with lasting benefits to local communities and wildlife populations,” added O’Regan.

For further information on IFAW’s global campaign to protect elephants, and to find out how you can help, visit www.ifaw.org.


For more information, contact:
Jennifer Ferguson-Mitchell
Communications Manager
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW -- www.ifaw.org)
(508) 744-2076
Web site: http://www.ifaw.org

Asian elephants endangered by rampant poaching for ivory 
Satyen Mohapatra (New Delhi, April 2, 2001) 

POACHING FOR ivory has put a question mark on the survival of the Asian elephant in India because of certain peculiar factors. 

Among the Asian elephants, it is only the male which has tusks and therefore, it falls prey to the poacher more frequently. 

While the total number of elephants in India is approximately 20,00, only about a 1,000 tuskers in breeding ages are left in the country today. Females elephants far outnumber the males with sex ratio at some places as low one male to 1,000 female, according to Mr Ashok Kumar of Wildlife Protection Society of India. 

India, along with Kenya, is now planning to oppose any move by the ivory trade lobby for resumption of international ivory trade, he added. 

A joint resolution by both countries would be brought at the forthcoming 11th Conference of Parties affiliated to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, to be held in Kenya later this month.

CITES is the world's largest conservation treaty and is an inter-governmental body that regulates international wildlife trade. It has 151 member countries. 

At the 7th Conference of Parties in 1989, a ban was imposed on international trade in ivory by an overwhelming majority vote as it had been noticed that the African elephant population had been drastically brought down from 2 million to 0.6 million due to merciless poaching in the previous ten years (during 1979-1989). 

The ban on ivory sales resulted in reduction in poaching levels and illegal movement ivory internationally, Mr Kumar said. 

However, the 10th Conference of Parties held in Zimbabwe permitted a limited sale of 59 tons of ivory to one buyer country, Japan. This sent out wrong signals and poaching of both African and Asian elephants were again on the rise, he alleged. 

Over 80 per cent of ivory is used in Japan just to produce 'Hanko', which is a cylindrical piece of ivory carved with one's name and used to imprint one's signature. 

There are several African countries which are interested to sell ivory to Japan. These include, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa tons, he said. 

With no system in place for monitoring the illegal killing of elephants and extremely weak enforcement of existing laws, opening of even limited ivory trade could unleash unacceptable pressures on the elephant population, he added. 


The Plight of the Circus Elephant
From the standpoint of circus elephants, working at the circus is not simply a day at the circus.

An Elephant's Life Before They Strike Up the Band
In Washington, DC, Toby Tyler's Circus ran out of money and abandoned two truckloads of animals in a parking lot in Virginia. When local humane authorities discovered the abandoned animals, many had died from heat exhaustion. During that same year, in Las Vegas, Circus Vargas traveled with an elephant who had a severely injured leg. The poor creature was unable to walk on the leg, which was swollen to twice its normal size, and was oozing pus and blood.

For the past several years, investigators have videotaped the arrival of the Ringling Brothers Circus (The Greatest Show on Earth), and recorded animals chained to the sides and floors of the railroad cars, standing in manure, and swaying in frustration. They are then beaten and whipped by trainers and handlers to get them to limp out of the cars.

The famous trainer Gunther Gebel-Williams, who is frequently promoted in photographs while kissing his elephants, was particularly vicious with his whip when the cameras were not rolling.

The Washington, DC Humane Society has videotapes of animals appearing frantic for food and water, elephants with fresh sores and old scarring, and several handlers using hooks to beat elephants repeatedly as they walked in line. Similar incidents have been witnessed and videotaped every year.

On Wednesday, June 17, 1992, at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, someone asked how long their animals had been in the train car, and the caretaker answered that it was since Sunday. It was 85 degrees that day, and there was no air conditioning on the train. As the elephants were unloaded, observers saw that one had a very red eye and the other side of its face had a large sore about the size of an adult hand. Travel is stressful for animals, sometimes even fatal, and this is worsened when their basic needs are not met.

In November, 1989, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reported that a zoo in California had "routinely" shocked their elephants with a cattle prod to the point of involuntary urination and defecation."

In circuses, once the animals are "broke," they are then put on the road for 50 weeks a year of travel, journeying from city to city. When an elephant shows signs that it is reverting to its wild nature, it is then "re-broke," time and time again. The abusive activities that take place to cow these big animals into submission are not one-time events for them. The animals rebel at their captivity and abuse and have to be "retrained" repeatedly. Elephants train, perform, and travel for many years. An elephant may live for 60 to 70 years, and it is a very sad life.

"Many are chained for life, forced to stand in their own excrement with oozing sores and swollen joints, and horribly beaten." U.S. Senator Bob Smith (R-N.H.) told The ENQUIRER: "The way elephants are treated in this country is deplorable and must be stopped.

"People see the elephants performing and think they're happy, but nothing could be further from the truth," added Pat Derby, of the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in Galt, CA. "These animals are put through hell so they'll amuse people. But you can't train them to do tricks without breaking their spirit and dominating them through cruelty. "Almost all trainers use an Indian training technique, 'mahout,' which involves tying the elephant down with ropes or chains and beating it until it gives up.

Here are some of the most shocking examples of elephant abuse uncovered by The Enquirer And Countless Animal Welfare Organizations:

 A BABY elephant was viciously beaten after refusing to do a trick at a circus in Oregon. The trainer hit him repeatedly with a sharp bull hook, forcing him to his knees, as he screamed in front of the horrified audience. "I never heard a scream like that," said one spectator. "He was screaming and trying to crawl away on his knees like a human being." THIS gentle giant died with 10 other animals inside a truck where the temperature hit over 120 degrees.

 DURING training, a young bull elephant at a California zoo was chained for most of a summer with no shade or shelter and fed very little. Finally he was tortured with electric shocks—then rammed with a tractor so brutally that he could no longer stand up. Unable to move him, zoo authorities put him to death!

 WHEN a performing elephant in Las Vegas pulled a hamstring muscle and couldn't walk, he was put in a dark maintenance shed and propped upright, standing in his own waste. Eventually, after a fall, he was put to death.

 TWO elephants in a national touring circus developed tuberculosis but were forced to perform right up until they died!

 DURING "training," a young bull elephant at a California zoo was chained for most of a summer with no shade or shelter and fed very little. Finally, he was tortured with electric shocks, then rammed with a tractor so brutally that he could no longer stand up. Unable to move him, zoo officials killed him!

7/17/99 - URGENT...Save The Baby Elephants In South Africa!
Babies Being Tortured & Beaten Terribly!

The mistreatment of the 30 baby elephants who were torn from their families last August has still not been resolved! As you may know, 7 of the elephants were sent to zoos in Germany and Switzerland . 9 were recently relocated to a huge reserve called Sandhurst. The 9 elephants at Sandhurst are roaming the reserve and have been "adopted" by adult wild elephants. However, Riccardo Ghiazza (the animal dealer) plans to recapture the elephants in 6 months to begin training again. The 14 other elephants still remain at Ghiazza's facility in Brits, South Africa.

Last month some of the 14 elephants at Ghiazza's were horribly beaten by one of the mahouts (trainers). The beating was caught on video by the NSPCA (the organization responsible for enforcing the Animal Protections Act in South Africa). The footage was given to world renowned elephant expert Daphne Sheldrick to comment on. Thankfully, Daphne not only commented on the footage but sent it to Carte Blanche. Carte Blanche did an incredible piece about the plight of the elephants and aired the recent footage. The footage shows the elephants being beaten with a long wooden stick. One of the babies was beaten so hard that the stick broke in half. The elephants were screaming and trying to escape from the trainers. When the trainer caught one elephant and cornered her she immediately started urinating out of fear. At that point she started displaying submissive behavior but the trainer beat her anyway! The elephants tried repeatedly to escape the abuse but were constantly captured and beaten.

Sat. Mar. 31 2000

Cruelty starts with circus captivity
Garnet and Richard Sherman

Our letter is responding to John Hunneman's column (April 21), "Inhumane treatment at the circus."

Mr. Hunneman starts out by saying the protesters claim the circus animals are poorly treated, underfed, and generally have a bad deal. This is the case in many circuses. However, our big issue is how and where these elephants and exotic cats come from. This is the issue not talked about because people do not know the facts.

Baby elephants are taken from their mothers, often at the cost of the mother's life because a mother elephant does not give up her baby easily. The babies are beaten nonstop to break their will, then go through a training process of more cruelty and abuse. That is how they get a 10,000-pound elephant to perform the unnatural tricks they do for the audience's pleasure.

Very often you will see elephants in captivity, chained by one or more feet, sway back and forth endlessly. This is frustration. They do not sway in their natural habitat. Elephants will travel 50 to 100 miles in a day looking for food. This is natural, and it is what they do. They do not get to do that when chained up, and when traveling in a truck or boxcar which is the way they go from one locale to the next.

For sake of argument, let's say that once trained, they are not beaten and are fed regularly; they are still chained and live a captive life. That, to an elephant or big cat, is cruelty. And every so often they express their frustration and anger by going berserk, and someone always gets hurt or killed, often the elephant pays with its life.

Mr. Hunneman's observation of the protesters was sick. To say we were standing sadly on the street corners was a poor perception. Sure, we wish we did not have to do this, but as long as circuses use these wild animals for entertainment, there will be protesters.

You will see tall people, short people, fat ones, skinny ones, old ones, young ones in any cross-section of people, not just protesters. Our group ages range from 14 to mid-70s, and include those from honorable professions. The one thing that brings all of us together is compassion, Mr. Hunneman, a word that seems to not be in your vocabulary or understanding.

Last, but not least, there are successful circuses that do not use animals.

Garnet and Richard Sherman are from Murrieta.

webmaster@nctimes.net ©1997-2000 North County Times editor@nctimes.com


Sissy’s missed chance for sanctuary
by Wendy White Polk

Sissy the elephant had a chance to go to an elephant sanctuary more than two years ago, but a national zoo association advised against it, saying it would be better to bring her to El Paso.

The offer followed a May 1997 incident in which Sissy killed a supervisor at the Frank Buck Zoo, in Gainesville, Texas.

“We had contacted the zoo and made an offer to take Sissy then,” said Carol Buckley, executive director of the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn.

“But the Gainesville zoo was encouraged not to by the American Zoo Association (AZA).”

As a result, Sissy came to the El Paso Zoo in November, 1998 and was beaten by elephant handlers within days of her arrival as part of what zoo officials called a disciplinary session.

Now Sissy’s treatment is being investigated by federal and local authorities, animal activists across  the  country are calling for the zoo director’s firing, and Sissy will make her move to the sanctuary in the next few months.

Sissy’s valuable genes

When the Elephant Sanctuary made its first offer to take Sissy, the call went to William Baker, director of the Frank Buck Zoo.

“We decided it would be in her best interests to put her back in an AZA institution, so she could be in  the species survival program,” Baker said.

The AZA calls its species survival program an insurance policy against extinction. Member zoos work together to breed selected species in captivity. Baker said Sissy’s genetics make her important to the program.

“Sissy was one of the last Asian elephants caught in the wild, and that makes her genetic information valuable,” Baker said. “Serious consideration was given to the sanctuary’s offer, but it was deemed to be in Sissy’s best interest to stay in the AZA program, and to let the AZA would make a final recommendation on which institution would take her.”

Sissy was brought to El Paso in November 1998, to live with two female elephants, Mona and Savannah. She has not been bred. And as best anyone can tell, she has never given birth. That makes her even more valuable.

“If she has not reproduced, it’s unlikely she is genetically related to other elephants in captivity. So breeding her would bring new genetic information into the gene pool,” explained Steve Cohen of the Portland Zoo.

Breeding elephants in captivity is difficult. Sometimes females are brought to males to breed, since males are usually aggressive and hard to transport. Moving a female can have other benefits.

“We try to put them where they interact with pregnant females, or females about to give birth,” said AZA spokesperson Jane Ballantine. “Then they can see and learn maternal behavior from the other elephants.”

When bringing the elephants together won’t work, artificial insemination is looking more promising.  Just two weeks ago, a male elephant was born at a zoo in Springfield, Mo., the first ever product of elephant artificial insemination. And two African elephants in Indianapolis are pregnant, the results of artificial insemination.

Sissy’s expenses

In the next few months, Sissy will pack up her trunk and move to Tennessee. She’ll join five other female Asian elephants at the 800-acre non-profit Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn., near Nashville.

“We pride ourselves on our management philosophy that encourages elephants to be elephants, and  we do whatever it takes to help them,” said sanctuary director Buckley. “We help socially inept elephants like Sissy.”

Buckley said from the time Sissy steps into the transport trailer, she will be in protected contact and treated with positive reinforcement. That means some kind of barrier will always separate Sissy from trainers, who will use rewards rather than discipline to handle her.

“You do not step in and say do this and do that, You play their game. Elephants think much more of themselves than that,” Buckley said.

But most of the time, Sissy will roam the forested sanctuary with the other elephants, or come into the heated barn on cold winter nights.

She will also eat $1,000 to $2,000 worth of food each month, and require medical care for foot problems. Buckley says people all over will help pay for Sissy’s care.

“We start an endowment from each elephant, and people from El Paso and around the world can contribute,” Buckley said.

The sanctuary requires a $185,000 endowment per animal, using the interest to cover costs. Recently the sanctuary raised money for an elephant named Jenny in just three weeks.

As for Sissy adjusting to the new surroundings, Buckley expects no problems.

“She will be pampered, and she will learn to adjust,” she said. “Sissy’s only a kid, about 38, and she’ll have lots of years to enjoy living here.”

The sanctuary’s Web site, www.elephants.com, proudly announces Sissy is coming, and that donations for her endowment can be made at any Bank of America, to Tennessee account number 0001-1329-1686.

Investigations update

Right now, there are three active investigations into charges of animal abuse at the El Paso Zoo.

According to an official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, federal investigators have completed the first stage of their probe. Dr. W.A. Christensen, animal care director for the central U.S., said the case is now under departmental review.

El Paso assistant city attorney John Nance said he expects to hear from U.S.D.A. attorneys in a few days.

In the meantime, Mayor Carlos Ramirez has started an administrative review of the alleged abuse. And El Paso police began an investigation after a complaint was filed alleging cruelty to animals, in violation of the Texas penal code.

Copyright '98-'99, El Paso Inc., All rights reserved


January 31, 2000

Activists complain of elephant abuse in U.S.
By Judith Graham

Chicago Tribune

HOHENWALD, Tenn. _ The nervous elephant, known as a killer with a vicious temper, cautiously stepped down the ramp. Then, stopping midway, she clambered back into the trailer, hiding in the darkness.

For half an hour, the eight and a half-foot-tall, 6,200-pound animal ventured forth and retreated, clearly uncertain, apparently afraid, with no way of knowing that she'd arrived at the only refuge dedicated to elephants in the United States.

``There's a good girl. What a good girl,'' cooed Carol Buckley, co-founder of the Elephant Sanctuary, in encouragement, standing below at a safe distance.

The last time Sissy left a trailer for a new home in an El Paso, Texas, zoo, in October 1998, she was dragged out by chains around her legs and beaten with axe handles by several men for more than an hour when she didn't listen to their commands.

A videotape, made by a concerned zoo worker and obtained by the media this past November, provoked a huge public outcry. Federal officials slapped a $20,000 fine on the city after an investigation, and the zoo director was forced to resign.

Controversy swirls over the extent of such abuse. Some experts claim beatings of the 600 elephants in  captivity in the United States are far more common that most people suspect. Trainers argue that elephants are dangerous animals that need to be controlled with the careful application of force. Animal rights activists insist that elephants are gentle creatures that respond with aggression when they're mistreated. Zoos claim the use of extreme disciplinary measures is uncommon.

It's not an academic debate. Last Wednesday a 211/2-ton elephant killed a 52-year-old woman in a Florida circus family that provides wild animals to circus shows. Trainer deaths and injuries, though not publicized, are relatively common.

Congress will take up the issue, at least in part, in the next several weeks, when lawmakers debate the Captive Elephant Accident Prevention Act, the first proposed federal bill to address the welfare of elephants in captivity and public safety. It would outlaw the interstate transport of the animals, effectively eliminating them from traveling circuses.

Meanwhile, what happens to Sissy in her new quarters is of keen interest to people who train and care about elephants, because of the publicity she's received.

Last Wednesday, when the 38-year-old Asian elephant arrived just after noon at this snow-dusted, rural 112-acre spread in central Tennessee, 100 miles southwest of Nashville, surrounded by forests of oak, hickory, sycamore, black willow, and yellow poplar, all she wanted was to be left alone, at least for a while.

``See how she has her back turned to the other elephants? That's a sign that she's intimidated,'' said Buckley, 45, who bought her first elephant, Tarra, from a tire dealer who kept her on display twenty five years ago. Tarra once thought to be the only roller skating elephant in the country and now the youngest of the five other female Asian elephants who live at the sanctuary, was three stalls away in the 9,000-foot barn, looking curiously at the newcomer.

Barbara, the self-appointed matriarch of the group, and a loner by nature despite her inclination for leadership, was the first elephant allowed to approach Sissy, after she'd munched on cabbages (her clear favorite), bananas, apples, oranges, carrots and fresh hay for about an hour.

Buckley watched Barbara walk slowly up to Sissy from the side, and lean her large head a bit inward. ``It's very interesting what she's doing. She wants to get close to Sissy's face, her most vulnerable spot. '' Sissy, not yet ready to interact, turned away and presented her back to Barbara.

``This is very similar to the behavior we saw at the El Paso Zoo,'' said Scott Blais, 26, who co-founded the sanctuary five years ago and who picked Sissy up and brought her cross-country. There, another of the three elephants, Mona, would push and shove Sissy, and once knocked her down entirely. ``There's a lot of mistrust she's had'' since her first day in El Paso, when the trainers beat her, he said.

They had reason to think Sissy was dangerous. In 1997, she killed an employee at the Frank Buck Zoo in Gainesville, Texas, where for 26 years she had lived alone, a favorite of the community. No one saw what happened. But from that point on, the touchy elephant was considered a killer.

She had always been skittish when it came to being bathed or forced into her stall. Buckley is sure that has to do with a 1981 flood that swept Sissy from her enclosure in the Gainesville zoo and nearly drowned her. The only way the elephant, caught underwater between two trees, survived was by keeping her trunk in the air, wrapped around a tree limb.

It's one of the traumas that Buckley said she'll have to help Sissy get over, to heal emotionally. Elephant trainers don't generally talk about the emotional life of elephants, but Buckley is convinced they're extraordinarily sensitive creatures that need affection, companionship, and a chance to recover from experiences that have crushed their spirits.

How? By choosing what they want to do and when they want to do it, instead of living by the rules that people set, Buckley explained.

Many people in the elephant management business think it's a kooky approach. But Buckley, a straightforward, no-nonsense woman, tells the story of Shirley and Jenny, two of the elephants at the sanctuary, to make a point.

Shirley was a circus elephant for 25 years, until another elephant attacked her, breaking her right hind leg. She limps to this day, dragging the leg, which is shorter than the others, behind her. For another 22 years, Shirley resided at a zoo in Monroe, La., until her keepers decided this past July that a transfer to the sanctuary would be best for the aging elephant.

There, she ran into Jenny, who had come in ill health to the sanctuary from an animal shelter outside Las Vegas, and who had known Shirley briefly in a circus years before. From the first moment of their reunion, the two have been inseparable. Last Wednesday, out in the sanctuary's large pasture, they walked side by side, swaying together, even lifting their trunks together in a loud trumpeting roar.

The happier elephants are, Buckley noted, the louder they are, grunting, barking like seals or dogs, making low purring noises, and of course trumpeting when they're excited.

At night, Shirley stands over Jenny while she sleeps. The two eat together at every meal, sharing their food. A third elephant, Bunny, transferred from the Mesker Zoo in Evansville, Ind., this past fall, is their sidekick.

On Wednesday, Sissy's first day at the sanctuary, the three stood together in a stall, watching Sissy with dark, impenetrable eyes through steel bars about 30 feet away. Slowly, Sissy backed into the area near them, turning sideways. Three trunks seemingly floated through the bars, touching Sissy on her legs, her stomach, her ears and her trunk. At one point, the tips of three trunks, including Sissy's, came together,  breathing into each other, softly exploring.

The barn was silent as Buckley, Blais and a few volunteers held their breath. Was this the beginning of a sense of family that defines female elephant communities in the wild, they wondered? ``Good girl. You've made some new friends,'' Buckley said, in a tone that mothers use with young children.

On Thursday, during her first bath with the hose, Sissy suddenly lifted her trunk twice and brought it down  hard near Buckley. An angry elephant will lift or curl its trunk, flap its ears, squint its eyes, and lash out, either grabbing someone or scaring them away. ``I have no illusions. I know Sissy is dangerous. But I also think she's a sweetheart, who needs to know that someone understands her,'' Buckley said.

``It's clear to me we're threatening people who are used to a different way of treating elephants,'' said Buckley, shaking her long blond hair. ``If we can succeed with an elephant like Sissy, who everyone has written off, what does that say about their approach? We'll just to have to see.''

(c) 2000, Chicago Tribune.
All items copyright © 2000 by The News-Times unless otherwise noted.


Elephants in captivity suffer from psychological trauma as well as from physical abuse. Conditions such as boredom, depression and psychoses are often observed in captive individuals. These are very rarely, if ever, seen in wild elephant behaviour.

One of the reasons for these behavioural aberrations is the unnatural living conditions offered by either zoos or circuses. Elephants travel over large distances in the wild, but are confined to tiny enclosures in captivity for about 9 months of every year and only slightly larger ones for the rest.

Circus and zoo elephants are forced to live in close proximity with other species which they would rarely associate with in the wild. This increases the stress, especially for baby elephants which are caged near big cats.

The stress and prolonged frustration of circus life takes its toll on the animals' mental state. Circus animals can often be seen performing repetitive, obsessive actions, such as pacing back and forth, rocking, chewing their tails or paws or licking themselves. Elephants cry salt water tears, just like people do, when they are under severe stress.

In one incident, an elephant was so distressed that she apparently took her own life:

"An elephant we had captured actually committed suicide. One evening, at a village called No Lu, we had tied up our captives as usual and retired to a neighbouring house for a meal, when one of the Emperor's men came in to inform him that a female elephant was dead. We followed him out and we could see quite clearly what had happened. The poor creature - who that afternoon had allowed herself to be tied up without protest - had voluntarily tightened the rope around her neck by walking round and round the great trunk and then, when it was as tight as she could get it, had thrown herself forward on her knees and strangled herself.

from Baze, 1955

References: Baze, W. (1955) Just Elephants, translated from the French by H.M. Burton. Elek books, London.

Circus Sued for Animal Abuse
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Denies Charges
July 12, 2000

Ringling Bros. Critics charge circus with abuse of elephants.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A coalition of animal welfare groups filed suit against Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Tuesday, claiming that trainers routinely subject baby Asian elephants to beatings and other "inhumane" treatment.

The suit charged Ringling Bros., and its parent company, Vienna, Va.-based Feld Entertainment Inc., with violating the Endangered Species Act and other animal-protection laws.

Circus spokeswoman Catherine Ort-Mabry responded that the show provides its animals with the highest standards of care.

The suit was filed by lawyers for the Performing Animal Welfare Society, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Fund for Animals, and the Animal Welfare Institute,

Asian elephants

It claims that the Endangered Species Act applies to animals in captivity as well as in the wild. Asian elephants are protected by the law, it maintained.

And it alleges that Ringling Bros. violated the law by beating elephants to train and control them, by chaining elephants for hours each day, by "breaking" elephants by force and by forcibly removing baby elephants from their mothers before they are weaned.

The suit also charges the circus with violating the Animal Welfare Act aimed at preventing physical abuse in the training or handling of captive animals.

Ringling Bros. has not yet been served with papers in the case, according to Ort-Mabry.

'Highest standards of care'

"Animals are an integral part of the Ringling Bros. family, and we provide the highest standards of care," said Ort-Mabry. "Animals have been an important part of our show for over 130 years."

She added that the federal government had investigated Ringling Bros. in the past based on similar allegations, but the company had never been convicted of any wrongdoing.

Founded in 1984, the Performing Animals Welfare Society provides shelter for ab
used and abandoned exotic wildlife at a shelter in California.



Silent Thunder: In The Presence of Elephants by Katy Payne

A fascinating story about the discovery of infrasonic communication between elephants, her experiences with elephants, and the implications of culling on these magnificent creatures. Payne maintains a foundation of integrity in her book which opens your heart to these beautiful animals. It is full of facts, anecdotes, stories and passion. I highly recommend buying this book as it is an incredible story and it is for the elephants! Listen to Katy on CNN

Coming of Age With Elephants by Joyce Poole

This is a well-written and wonderfully insightful glance into the lives of elephants. If you are interesting in learning more about the hidden lives of elephants this is the book. Her story was both enthralling and insightful. I salute her for her work in getting the elephant listed on the endangered species list; trying to prevent the slide of elephants into possible extinction. I cried when the elephants gave her a welcoming ceremony upon her return from a long departure. Thanks. Joyce Poole is world renowned in her scientific studies on elephants. Her knowledge was the root of many National Geographic articles, specials and documentaries. She was actively involved in trying to put a ban on ivory and prevent the slide of elephants into possible extinction. A must read for all!

The Fate Of The Elephant by Douglas Chadwick

A well written and great source of knowledge on the plight of the elephant, their history, the ivory trade, and their hope for a future. This book is especially worthwhile for anyone concerned about the Fate of the Elephants. Douglas Chadwick is a wildlife biologist, a long time conservationist, is a frequent contributor to National Geographic, and has published more than two hundred articles. This was a very educating and sobering read about historical information on the ivory trade and covered so many different topics that you must see it for yourself.

Elephant Memories: Thirteen Years in the Life of an Elephant Family by Cynthia Moss

Cynthia Moss, often referred to as the elephant woman, has studied elephants for most of her life. This book has a touch of everything in it. With her incredible knowledge about elephants, she shares some enchanting stories and facts about elephants that are hard to find without spending years with these wonderful creatures. I highly reading this book as it opens a window into the life of one of the most amazing elephant researchers working to teach us more about the hidden life of the elephant.

Keepers of the Ark: an Elephants' View of Captivity by R. J. Ryan

R J. Ryan details the abuse that is inherent in keeping Elephants captive in a Zoo type setting. He shares his first hand experience as an employees at an Elephant program in San Diego Wild Animal Park. In this book, Ryan details the systematic and often cruel methods used to control the elephants. I highly recommend reading this book as it is a great educational tool. Ryan is quoted as saying "An attitude permeated throughout almost all of the elephant keepers that I would meet -- how dare these elephants fight back when we asked them to do any behavior. They were on this planet to serve us in any way that we saw fit, and if any one of them chose to do otherwise, she or he would surely pay the price for it.." (Ryan P. 65). For those concerned about the plight of the captive elephant or to those who like to frequent the Zoo / Circus, this is a must read. It sure makes you think...

The Eye of the Elephant : An Epic Adventure in the African Wilderness

This book is one of the most eye opening views on the impact of poaching on both the fellow animals and people within a country. A true eye opener and a must for people who feel they have be swayed by the propaganda of "pay as you go conservation" with the first legal sale of ivory just taken place in over 10 years. A dark day for the elephant that every expert who has studied elephants in their own element is very concerned about. This is both an inspiring work of art as well and a sad but necessary look at the heart of poaching and the corruption bred from greed where money is involved. Also, their book The Cry of the Kalahari will make you cry and laugh for the fellow animals of this earth and starts a remarkable story of two amazing individuals. You simply must get these two books as their work and their legacy is something to be admired by all people.

Elephants: The Deciding Decade edited by Ronald Orenstein

This book contains paragraphs from some of world's leading authorities on the African elephant as well as some quite beautiful pictures. It is a great resource for people looking to learn more about the elephant, its history, information about its history with CITES, and a great deal more. Want more? Proceeds from the sale of the book go to the International Wildlife Coalition's project in expanding the Marakele National Park. This project is a worthwhile cause in both benefiting the elephants and the surrounding neighbourhoods. Please, if you want to learn more about elephants and their plight, or just want a book with some very good pictures buy this book!

The Tsavo Story by Daphne Sheldrick

This book offers a very unique look into a part of Kenya's history, wildlife, and the connection that can be made between us and the "other" animals. Daphne Sheldrick offers wise words in this book about all animals, and especially Elephants. Her stories are packed with inspiration and humour and is as entertaining as it is educational. This is a must read book if you can get your hands on it. Event better, her life story will amaze you; for more information about Daphne Sheldrick please click here.

Among the Elephants by Iain & Oria Douglas-Hamilton

Written in the 70's by two of the most renowned elephant experts, this book is a gem that can take you back to the "old days" and open your mind to the progress and history of Iain & Oria Douglas-Hamilton and their work for elephants. I especially enjoyed reading this book (apart from the part dealing with Harlow's horrible experiments dealing with rhesus monkeys on P.189 - I have to believe they couldn't have know how sadistic these experiments really were back then). The book takes you through the drama of the author's lives, is packed with great information on elephants, and is a historical masterpiece. If you can get this book I highly recommend reading it.

Battle for the Elephants by Iain & Oria Douglas-Hamilton

This is one of the most insightful books I have read about the elephants situation within the world from the 60s - 90s. It gives an inside story of Iain and Oria Douglas-Hamilton's work in batting to save sad massacre of elephants for their body parts, flesh and most of all Ivory. This is a dramatic story that simply must be read by every elephant lover! Although the tale was sad in its scope, the substance and value of this masterpiece is vital for considering the survival of the elephant. If you can find this book, don't pass up the chance to read this story to educate yourself about the plight of the elephant. I commend Iain and Oria Douglas-Hamilton for all they have done for the elephants.

TOKYO (July 16, 2003) - Japanese scientists seeking to clone prehistoric wooly mammoths were preparing their first frozen DNA samples Tuesday in bid to bring the beasts back to life.

Remnants of what scientists think is from mammoth bone marrow, muscle and skin were unearthed last August in the Siberian tundra where they had been preserved in ice for thousands of years.

Researchers at the Gifu Science and Technology Center and Kinki University want to use the genetic material encased within the cells to clone a wooly mammoth, according to Akira Irytani, a scientist at Kinki University in western Japan.

But first, they must determine whether the five specimens brought from Russia on Tuesday are really from mammoths. If so, they must then decide whether the DNA locked inside is well enough preserved for cloning to proceed.

After that, it could take years to actually produce an animal.

``There are many different problems to overcome,'' the Gifu Center's Hideyoshi Ichibashi said. ``I think we can move ahead only one step at a time.''

Kinki University scientists, joined with veterinary experts from Kagoshima University in southern Japan, have searched for mammoth DNA samples since 1997 in Siberia.

Kinki University's Irytani was hopeful about the DNA samples, estimated at 20,000 years old, saying they had been well preserved well below zero.

07/15/03 22:29 EDT

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press.

Elephant Slaughter

Western aid to Africa helps these countries build roads, which are greatly needed to distribute food and medicine. But these new roads also make it easier for ivory poachers to reach the interior and kill large numbers of elephants.

In LiveScience.com, Jeanna Bryner quotes biologist Stephen Blake as saying, "Unmanaged roads are highways of death for forest elephants…It is not the physical effect of the road that is the issue—forest elephants actually like roadside vegetation—rather it is the fact that unmanaged roads bring people, with their guns and ammunition."

Other countries have put pressure on the US to amend our drug laws, which are causing crime waves in drug producing areas. Perhaps we should put pressure on China, in order to get them to reduce their reliance on powered ivory for medicinal purposes.

Art credit: gimp-savvy.com

Elephants Slaughtered along 'Highways of Death'  

By Jeanna Bryner
LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 02 April 2007
08:26 pm ET

Roads that now penetrate into the heart of Africa’s jungles are making it easier for ivory poachers to kill large numbers of forest elephants, a new study finds.

The elephants that do survive are being forced to turn tail and retreat to protected parks and spots not yet encroached upon by humans.

“Unmanaged roads are highways of death for forest elephants,” said lead author Stephen Blake, a biologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York. 

The study, detailed in the current issue of the journal PLoS Biology, reveals that along roadways elephant numbers plummeted, which the authors say is largely due to heavy ivory poaching in these areas. There is a large, international black-market trade in the ivory from elephants' tusks.

“It is not the physical effect of the road that is the issue—forest elephants actually like roadside vegetation—rather it is the fact that unmanaged roads bring people, with their guns and ammunition,” Blake said.

Elephant trails

Blake and his colleagues surveyed on foot more than 3,700 miles of landscape in five African countries. They counted dung piles to tally individual forest elephants and counted elephant carcasses with obvious signs of poaching (missing ivory tusks, for example) to calculate the illegal killing rates.

They located 53 poaching camps and 41 elephant carcasses, among which they confirmed 27 were the result of poaching.

In general, they found fewer forest elephants and more poached elephant carcasses close to roads. Elephant numbers increased the greater the distance from a road the scientists surveyed. They found no poached carcasses beyond about 28 miles from a highway.

National parks in the area were places of refuge for the elephants, as the land behemoths scrambled for any corner in the forest safe from poachers. Even in protected areas with road access, the scientists recorded an increase in elephants and a drop-off of poached carcasses compared with other roadside spots.

In the largest forested national park in Africa, Salonga National Park, the researchers tallied as few as 1,900 elephants, which they attribute to the roads and navigable rivers that crisscross the park. The most remote parks, Minkébé and Odzala-Koukoua, showed 10 times the elephant density of Salonga. These two parks lie more than 37 miles from the nearest roads.

These safe havens will be even more critical to the elephants’ survival, the scientists say, as roads increasingly penetrate into Africa’s unprotected jungles.

Ivory trade

This study is the first major scientific survey of the forest elephants since 1989, when scientists estimated a population of 172,000 forest elephants in the Congo Basin. 

Between 1970 and 1989, half of Africa’s elephants (or about 700,000 individuals) were killed, mostly for their ivory tusks. The extreme decline spurred the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) to list African elephants and thus ban the international ivory trade. Currently, debate over repealing or modifying the ban has been the focus of CITES conferences. The ban was effective at protecting elephants at first, but it is largely unenforced now because governments have withdrawn funding for it.

The authors of the present study suggest that an informed debate and resolution on the matter relies fundamentally on a clear understanding of the size and trends in elephant populations along with the rates of illegal killing for ivory across Africa.

“We have shown that even with a near-universal ban of the trade in ivory in place, forest elephant range and numbers are in serious decline,” the authors state in the journal article.

Extinction fears for the Asian elephant
By Graham Tibbetts

Last Updated: 7:41pm BST 18/09/2003

 The Asian elephant has suffered a 75 per cent population decline and could die out completely,researchers warn today.

An audit of elephant conservation indicates that poachers and the destruction of the creature's jungle habitat have contributed to numbers falling from 160,000 in 1950 to 40,000 now.

The survey, by Conservation Direct, the Oxford-based environment group, blames the failure of Asian governments and wildlife organisations to pursue effective protection policies.

Everybody is avoiding the issue. The respect and admiration for this animal is not backed up with any real action to save it. As a result of this, Asian elephants are going to fade away," said Dr Paul Jepson, who led the audit team.

Asian elephant numbers in Vietnam have dropped from 1,500 to 85 since 1988 and are dismissed as a "write-off", while Laos, once known as the "land of a million elephants", now has around 2,000 and just 300 remain in Cambodia.


What You Can Do:

Write To:

U.S. Senator Bob Smith (R-NH)
307 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
202-224-2841 (phone)
202-224-1353 (fax)
If you would like to contact me by e-mail - please click here - opinion@smith.senate.gov

Senator Smith is asking for the people's help!
Senator Smith said "The way elephants are treated in this country is deplorable 
and must be stopped! 
The only way these horrible acts will end is if people speak out against them."
Tell Senator Smith That You Agree With & Support Him In This Issue!




Performing Animal Welfare Society

The Malaysian Elephant Satellite Tracking Project 
(including Elephant Reintroduction Project in Thailand)

Elephant Conservation

  Living with Elephants: a federally registered non-profit organisation in Botswana which explores the relationship between the African Elephant and people, with an emphasis on research and educational programs aimed at reducing conflict between the two species. 

  Save the Elephants: was founded by researcher Iain Douglas Hamilton, and aims to "secure a future for elephants and to sustain the beauty and ecological diversity of the places where they live". 

Born Free Elephant Project: information on Cynthia Moss' Amboseli Elephant Research Project, plus links to other elephant-related projects including Elefriends, Operation Tembo and much more. The site is well worth a visit. 

The Elephant Sanctuary: the Elephant Sanctuary is the USA's only natural habitat refuge for endangered Asian elephants. It is located on 112 acres surrounded by a 3,000 acre buffer zone in the town of Hohenwald, Tennessee - just outside of Nashville. The focus of the sanctuary is the rescue of old, sick or needy elephants, and public education on elephant conservation issues. 

Friends of the Asian Elephant: this Thailand-based organisation aims to provide treatment, rehabilitation, rescue, and release service to elephants that are disabled, ill, maltreated, and neglected so that they can eventually return to survive in their natural habitats. 

Friends of the Elephant: is a Dutch organisation concerned with elephants and their natural environment. 

Care for the Wild: information on how you can sponsor the care of an elephant. Malaysian 

Elephant Satellite Tracking Project: an elephant relocation project overseen by the Malaysian Wildlife Department. Perhaps you're interested in helping to fund the project by adopting an elephant

The Rhino and Elephant Foundation: the foundation aims to protect rhino and elephant in southern Africa from the threat of extinction. This site provides details of the foundation's philosophy and activities. 

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust: cares for orphaned elephants and rhinos before releasing them back into the wild. 

Tembe Elephant Park: is located in Maputaland, the north-eastern region of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Tembe is home to the province's biggest elephant herd and its only indigenous elephants. The park now has a new web site focussing on it's safari lodge.

Elephants in Captivity

Elephant Nature Park: located in Thailand, the park houses over 40 elephants and acts as a tourist destination for visitors who can learn about and interact with Asian elephants. 

RBBB Centre for Elephant Conservation: is a breeding and retirement facility dedicated to the conservation, breeding, and study of the Asian elephant. 

Elephants and Culture

Horst Rellecke's Glass Elephant: an architectural project where Rellecke built a huge glass elephant on the former Maximilian mine in Hamm, Germany. 

See also the Maximilianpark web site. 

Atlas Elephants: sculptures at Sukhothai, Thailand. 

Lucy the Margate Elephant: was built in 1881 by real estate speculator James Lafferty as an advertisement for land that he wished to sell. She is now a local landmark. 

Ganesh Chaturti: information on the festival which marks the birthday of Ganesh, the Hindi elephant god. 

General Elephant Information

Elephant Consultance: this is Dan Koehl's information-rich site, including an elephant glossary, FAQ, information on elephant conservation organisations, and more. 

Elephant Information Repository: provides a huge list of links to information on elephants. 

Selected List of References on Elephants: is a bibliography of reference sources from the Encyclopedia Smithsonian.