BENEFITING: International Elephant Foundation
ORGANIZER: Tribeca Flashpoint
EVENT: 2014 PIA Small Blue Dot
Tribeca Flashpoint is proud to partner with the International Elephant Foundation to help fund elephant conservation and raise awareness about the tragedy of ivory poaching. All proceeds from our fundraiser will go to the International Elephant Foundation to guarantee 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 innoccent elephants, (many being young calves), are killed each day. 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:
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.
From the book, Elephant Memories: Thirteen Years in the Life of an Elephant Family, Cynthia Moss, an ethologist specialising in elephants, recalls an event involving a family of African elephants.
"Two members of the family were shot by poachers, who were subsequently chased off by the remaining elephants. Although one of the elephants died, the other, named Tina, remained standing, but with knees beginning to give way. Two family members, Trista and Teresia (Tina's mother), walked to both sides of Tina and leaned in to hold her up. Eventually, Tina grew so weak, she fell to the ground and died. However, Trista and Teresia did not give up but continually tried to lift her. They managed to get Tina into a sitting position, but her body was lifeless and fell to the ground again. As the other elephant family members became more intensely involved in the aid, they tried to put grass into Tina's mouth. Teresia then put her tusks beneath Tina's head and front quarters and proceeded to lift her. As she did so, her right tusk broke completely off, right up to the lip and nerve cavity. The elephants gave up trying to lift Tina but did not leave her; instead, they began to bury her in a shallow grave and throw leaves over her body. They stood over Tina for the night and then began to leave in the morning. The last to leave was Teresia."
The philosopher Aristole even noted elephants were, "The animal which surpasses all others in wit and mind."
Elephants are fun animals and have been known to play pranks such as spraying water and enjoy running around with each other. They are also able to distinguish different musical melodies which is why they are so popular in circuses. Perhaps some of the greatest examples of their intelligence include their ability to paint pictures and their ability to mimic human speech. There is an elephant in Korea that can say a few words in Korean and there are videos all over of elephants painting. Since elephants are one of only half a dozen animals that are self aware (meaning they understand their individualness and have their own feelings) they can actually listen to human speech and know when it's about them and recognize themselves in a mirror.
You have to agree that all those facts make elephants pretty awesome! It would be a shame to lose such an intelligent creature. With your pledge l 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 on the beach and the elephant that could've saved his or her life had been killed by poachers? 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/buck