World Elephant Day Celebration
“We should have respect for animals because it makes better human beings of all of us.” -Dr. Jane Goodall
August 12 was World Elephant Day, supported by numerous conservation agencies including us here at Elephantopia, as a day to “spread awareness, share knowledge, and provide solutions for better care and management of both captive and wild elephants.” We sponsored two events on the east coast of the United States, one in Gainesville, FL and one in Alexandria, VA. Enjoy the pictures & stories below from the events and consider getting involved with us by:
1) Becoming a FOSTER PARENT for Kavala! We need 25 more people to commit to a monthly donation of $5USD (or more) for one year to help feed and care for Kavala. As long as supplies last, Foster Parents will receive this magnet as a special reminder of your commitment to Kavala and her caretakers at the GRI Elephant Orphanage Project in Zambia.
2) Sign our petition to BAN IVORY IN FLORIDA. Although there is a federal ban on ivory, it is still legal to sell ivory between states. Once we reach 100,000 signatures, we will present this petition to Florida state representatives and senators.
Elephantopia partnered with CIFAE (Conservation Initiative for the Asian Elephant) in Gainesville for an event at First Magnitude Brewing Co. The afternoon and evening was filled with educational stations for people to learn more about elephants, the opportunity to sign our petition to ban ivory in FL and to fill out postcard thank-you notes to rangers working the frontlines in Zambia at Kafue National Park. Local 90s cover band, the Blue Slammers, donated their time to perform hits throughout the evening. We had a great turnout, over 100 people attended the event, we received 58 new signatures on our petition and over $120 in donations for our Kavala fund. Founder and President of Elephantopia, Elizabeth Chitwood, was able to speak about African elephants and the ivory trade.
We would like to give a shout of THANKS to First Magnitude Brewing Co for allowing us to use their space free of charge, to the Blue Slammers for providing entertainment and to the volunteers from CIFAE for partnering with us to make some incredible, interactive educational stations to raise awareness about elephants (see pictures below)!
Board member Drusti writes about the two events she hosted for World Elephant Day with Elephantopia!
I tried a little something different yesterday and set up two events to help celebrate World Elephant Day and bring awareness to all the great work Elephantopia does, as well. Albert joined me for this conservation mission. “Old man but young at heart” Harry was still taking his afternoon snooze so I decided not to wake him. (If you haven’t already, check out Harry and Albert’s Paws for a Cause page!)
First Stop…Unwined: Wine, Cheese, & Craft Beer !
I have to give a BIG THANK YOU to Renee and Suzanne at Unwined who created space and resources for my first event there! In addition, Renee put two wines out on the tasting bar. The first, a Picpoul De Pinet, had elephants on the label and the second, a Rose, had a rhino. How incredibly considerate of them to order those for this event. We had a few people stop in. I was able to help bring awareness to them about the importance of elephant and rhino conservation. It was also a great way to educate the public about GRI - Elephant Orphanage Project and our work helping Kavala. I left quite a few extra reading material for future customers, as well. Albert enjoyed all the snuggles he got from everyone.
On to my next stop…Olde Towne School For Dogs !
I have to give a BIG THANK YOU to Emily, Maddie and Chris at Olde Town School for Dogs (OTSFD), as well! They had a table and stands ready for me so I could put my literature up. Albert definitely had a great time being an “honorary” elephant ambassador and customer greeter. We had quite a few people walk through. Most interested to learn about World Elephant Day . I still had a couple of pieces of literature left at the end of the event. They were kind enough to let me put it up on their Community Board even though it was not dog related. Now it will be easy to check back weekly if anyone new has signed up for Elephantopia‘s mailing list (if they didn’t sign up online) .
All in all, both events went well! Honestly, I wish I had more time this year to set up the World Elephant Day event with more fanfare. One thing’s for sure, with the help and support of Unwined and Old Town School for Dogs, I was still able educate the public…priceless.
We would also like to thank the Blue Dot Post for their article on World Elephant Day featuring the work we do with GRI Elephant Orphanage Project in Zambia. CLICK HERE to see the article and be sure to share with your friends and family.
What did you do for World Elephant Day? We’d love to hear your stories and see your pictures.