What’s New in 2016
It’s hard to believe that we are already well into 2016! In February, Elephantopia had our annual board meeting to plan out what 2016-2017 has in store. Below are a few noteworthy projects and items that we are excited to share with you, our supporters! As a volunteer run organization, everything we aspire to is only achievable by your support.
Projects for 2016:
Our Elephantopia Shop is finally launched! Take a few moments to browse our shop, it features artwork from Rachel Joy, children’s coloring books from Marian Haily-Moss, an inspiring coffee table book from Dr. Mary Baures, and more!
We are excited to be leading our first ever photo safari to Zambia this May! Founder and Director Elizabeth Chitwood will be leading the trip and participants will be visiting the GRI Elephant Orphanage Nursery in Lusaka, spending time at Kafue National Park and South Lugwanda National Park, and meeting local students at schools where we will be donating and reading books to the children. For more information on this trip, click HERE.
We are working with a grant writer in Deerfield Beach, FL to apply for our first educational grant in the United States. Our goal is to create a curriculum for after school care programs in inner cities here in the States to teach the children about elephants and elephant conservation. Instilling a love for wildlife is a key component to decreasing violence in our schools and cities. We are excited to begin this project and will be keeping you updated as we write our proposal and begin to apply for funding to help save elephants and build community here in the US.
Last year we received nearly 100K signatures on our petition to ban ivory in Florida. This year we are hopeful to present our petition to our state leaders and see an ivory free Florida! Stay tuned for updates on this project.
As always, we are continuing to fully support Kavalamanja (pictured below) at the GRI Elephant Orphanage. We currently have 35 foster parents for her, but are looking to reach a total of 50 by the middle of 2016. If you haven’t already signed up to support this sweet orphan through a monthly donation of $5USD or more, please consider doing so. It’s a life-changing gift that supports the future of African elephants in Zambia! Please note our new address for donations that are mailed:
PO Box 5531
Apache Junction, AZ 85178
Or click below to donate through paypal:
Kavala is healthy and happy at the Kafue Release Facility. She is still supplemented with a milk bottle but is also exploring the park, grazing with the other orphans. On daily walks in the last quarter all the orphans have encountered and reacted in varying ways to the local wildlife. While usually they are relaxed or slightly alert, there has been a few exceptions. Tafika chased Warthogs, and charged at a herd of Zebra. Mphamvu and Mosi have mock charged at Impala a number of times, with Mphamvu trumpeting and throwing his trunk around in their direction. Also, Mosi and Kavala chased some unsuspecting reedbucks this month sending them running over the horizon! The orphans have also had another experience of ‘wild life’ this month by encountering a large herd of buffalo. They were very afraid but with some calming words from the keepers they soon settled down, and moved steadily away to safety. It is important for the elephants to learn that it is not only predators that can lead to dangerous situations, and that large herd of buffalo could create potential conflict situations, and avoiding them may be the most sensible option for inexperienced orphans.
Thank you again for your continued support. Together we can make a better world for elephants in 2016!
For the Elephants,
Founder and Director of Elephantopia
Meet the 2016 board and read our latest minutes HERE