Elephants on the Edge
Organized by: Janie Chodosh
Throughout India they call him the Elephant Doctor, Dr. Kushal Konwar Sarma, the
one who gets the call when a rampaging bull elephant is wreaking havoc in a
local community. With the world record for restraining and treating rogue
tuskers, Dr. K.K. Sarma has saved countless elephants and humans and has paved a
path for elephant conservation throughout Asia.
My fund raiser will allow me to write the true story of Dr. Sarma, a conservationist and international leader in
wildlife veterinary medicine. Set in the world biodiversity hotspot of Assasm
India, a remote state on the Bhutan border, the story will blend biography with
social and natural history to tell a unique story of an unsung hero, a story of
conservation, and a story of cultures coming together for a common cause.
Assam is known internationally for its unique biolological resources, is home to nearly
10% of the world's Asian elephant population and 40% of India's remaining
elephants. The survival of elephants in this region is under threat due to rapid
population growth, expansion of agriculture, logging, and other development
activities. Severe habitat descruction leaves little room for elephants to
travel and forage safely along historical migration routes. This has led to an
increase in human-elephant conflicts.
My fund raiser will allow me to spend time in the region learning about the elephants and working with Dr. Sarma. This work
will result in a book for young adult readers that documents the work being done
by Assamese people and what we can do to ensure the elephants' survival.