Tribeca Flashpoint students are proud to partner with the International Elephant Foundation to help fund elephant conservation and raise awareness about the tragedy of ivory poaching. 100% of the proceeds from our fundraiser will go to the International Elephant Foundation to fund future developments in elephant conservation and protect the species.
Tribeca Flashpoint and the IEF share the common goal of sustaining the elephant population and ending the horrific act of poaching. The International Elephant Foundation's mission statement reflects our team's feelings on these wonderful creatures. The mission statement is as follows:
"IEF creates a sustainable future for elephants. We generate and effectively invest resources to support elephant conservation, education, research, and management programs worldwide. Through our passion, expertise, knowledge, and partnerships we inspire and engage people to ensure a vibrant future with elephants everywhere."
Can you imagine a world without elephants? As hard as that may be to fathom, there is a very real possibility of that happening in our lifetime. As the poaching of elephants continues, the population of Asian elephants is estimated to have dwindled down to 30,000. African elephants also face these same perils and both species are endangered. The sad statistic is that 96 innocent elephants, (many being young calves), are murdered each day. Their face is being ripped off by poachers for ivory. It's heartbreaking to imagine a world where Dumbo is a cartoon showing children a majestic, intelligent animal that once roamed the African and Asian wild, but was killed due to human greed. However hope does exist and with your assistance we can make the difference for elephants.
Video about poaching: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/poachers-threaten-survival-of-the-african-elephant
Recently Google pledged $5 million dollars to the World Wildlife Foundation to help counter poachers. Drones have been developed to work in conjunction with Google Earth and other technologies to monitor elephants and keep an eye out for poachers. Each drone can do the job of 50 rangers while also acting as a deterrent to poachers who may think twice before being seen on a camera cutting the face off a baby elephant.
You can read more about the drones and Google's involvement here: http://www.livescience.com/43134-drones-track-elephant-rhino-poachers.html
Everyone is familiar with elephants. However there are some facts that are lesser known that people should be familiar with.
- For instance, did you know that elephants mourn their dead, and, other than humans, elephants are the only other mammal to perform rituals for their dead?
- Elephants love to play games with each other and even with humans.
- Elephants are one of only half a dozen animals that are self-aware (they can recognize themselves as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals). Elephants can actually listen to human speech and know when it's about them and understand certain words. Elephants can even recognize themselves in a mirror.
- There is an elephant in Korea that can mimic human speech and say a few words in Korean.
- There are multiple elephants that can paint pictures of themselves and other objects such as trees.
- Elephants have been shown to suffer from depression when poachers murder members of the elephant's family.
The philosopher Aristotle even noted elephants were, "The animal which surpasses all others in wit and mind."
You have to agree that elephants are pretty awesome! It would be a shame to lose such an intelligent creature. With your pledge we can make a secure future for elephants to thrive without facing extinction.
I'd like to leave you with one more story about elephants. In 2004 a Tsunami struck Thailand. An 8 year old girl was riding an elephant at one of the resorts when the disaster struck. The elephant recognized the danger and carried the girl to safety. The elephant, named Ning Nong, took the thrashing of the waves while it carried the little girl to safety. If you've ever ridden a horse you know that when most animals are in danger they buck and tend to throw their rider off. This elephant however, with such high intelligence, realized how precious the little girl's life was and made sure the girl survived. Without Ning Nong's compassion this girl would've been swept away by the waves.
So if you are thinking, "elephants are halfway across the world" or "poaching of elephants doesn't affect me," think of this: What if it had been your child's life that Ning Nong saved? What if Ning Nong had been killed by poachers and wasn't there to save the child?
An animal that shows that much regard and respect for human lives surely deserves the same respect from us.
Ning Nong's Story from the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/beds/bucks/herts/4165273.stm