Press Release – Vancouver Joins Global Effort to End Elephant and Rhino Poaching


Title: Global March for Elephants and Rhinos in Vancouver on Oct 4th, 2014

The ‘Global Mach for Elephants and Rhinos’ (GMFER) is taking place in downtown Vancouver for the first time on October 4th (1:00 – 3:00 p.m.) on the north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Vancouver is joining 119 other cities worldwide including Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Victoria, Montreal, Ottawa and Sudbury in Canada.

The GMFER hopes to raise awareness about the current unsustainable killing of elephants and rhino for their valuable tusks and horns. The GMFER was initiated in 2013 by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya.

The illegal wildlife trade is a global problem estimated at USD $20 Billion per annum. Poaching of elephant tusks and rhino horn has been linked to regional instability, organized crime and terrorist networks in Africa.

Elephant tusks are mainly being purchased in China for carvings while rhino horn has been linked to medicinal use in some Asian countries.

A recent study has shown that 100,000 elephants were killed between 2010-2012 and remaining populations are now under threat of extinction.

HRH Duke of Cambridge has said about rhinos: “There are two thousand critically endangered species on the verge of being lost forever. It’s time to choose a side – between the endangered animals and the criminals who kill them for money. I am calling on people all around the world to tell us: whose side are you on?”

The GMFER event will call on governments to publicly destroy their stockpiles of illegal wildlife products, to show “zero tolerance for illegal trading”.

Dr. Jane Goodall has endorsed the GMFER: “We must join forces everywhere to stop the slaughter of elephants and rhinos. They feel pain, they know suffering. We must stop people from buying ivory.”

“Individuals, and society as a whole, can choose to shun ivory, rhino horn, lion and tiger bones as commodities,” say event organizers, “but we need governments to play their part as well, by increasing penalties for bribery, corruption and trafficking offenses.”

In support of the GMFER event, Joanna Lumley, OBE and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, says: “If we stand by and watch the brutal extinction of rhino and elephant, the stain of shame on our human consciousness will never be forgiven or forgotten.”

“Endangered leads to Extinction. We must stop the demand for Ivory and Rhino tusks.
Check the products you buy and read your labels carefully, especially Chinese herbal products.
It’s our responsibility to stop what mankind has started,” says Paul Rodgers, well-known singer-songwriter and owner of Willows Animal Sanctuary in Aberdeenshire, who is also in support of the GMFER event.

Invited speakers at this year’s Vancouver event are:

Jake Wall, is a PhD student in the University of British Columbia’s geography department, works for the conservation group Save the Elephants, where he has helped outfit almost 100 of the mammals with GPS satellite-tracking collars. Read more here.

Rosemary Conder, Chief Development Officer for the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA).

Rosemary  went to Asia in 2011 as a volunteer to help rescued elephants who endured lifetimes of abuse.  The experience showed her the horror these gentle giants face and the impact tourism is having on them.  Elephants have become her friends and teachers. The trip in 2011 to one elephant rescue project became the first of six. Find out more here.

For full details on the Vancouver march click here.

The GMFER will take place rain or shine.

Vancouver Contacts:

Tessa VanderKop (Organizer):

Fran Duthie (Elephanatics Vancouver):


Twitter: #GMFER #March4ElesandRhinos

Global Contacts:






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A Marcher’s Toolkit – Getting Ready for the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos – Vancouver

1236898_10152267862685358_462567307_n-1Hello Marchers!

An Elephant is Killed 1 every fifteen minutes and a Rhino 1 every 9-11 hours in Africa, these beloved and iconic animals are scheduled for extinction in the wild in as little as ten years.

Please help spread the word and join the march on Oct 4th 2014.#March4ElesandRhino – Find out more information about this topic here.

Fran and I decided that we would prepare a little toolkit for the upcoming march. As we get closer to October 4 we will continue to fill out more details but this toolkit will help you know what to expect (for first timers of which I am practically one:) and how we can all come together to most effectively help the animals we are holding this march for.

The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos - Vancouver October 4th, 2014

Today 123 other cities will be marching to raise awareness and petition government to end the ivory trade and increase conservation efforts for elephants and rhinos.

The march will take place rain or shine! Bring your umbrellas if it’s wet.

750 Hornby Street – North Side of the Art Gallery

Instagram and Twitter Hashtag


Twitter tag – #March4EliesandRhinos or #GMFER

What to expect the day of:

1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

This agenda is a draft and might change as we get closer to the date and confirm details  but this is basically what you  can expect:

1:00 – Music -African drumming + Facepainting

As people arrive we’ll direct you to the table where we will hand out signs, get people to sign petitions and hand out petitions. There will be a table with information and takeaway pieces for further action.

1:30 Guest Speaker Jake Wall 

Jake is a PhD student in UBC’s geography department.He has built a sophisticated tracking system that collects, analyzes and reports on the activities of nearly 100 African elephants in an effort to protect these threatened animals and understand their movement patterns. You can read more about Jake here.

1:50 – 2:05 Rosemary Conder – Chief Development Officer at the BC SPCA and an elephant activist. Learn more about Rosemary here.

2:05 – March from Georgia to Granville Station

Granville Station to Waterfront Station

Waterfront Station to Burrard Station – to Robson Street and Hornby back to the Gallery

2:30 -3:00  Elephant sounds – pictures – closing remarks and further action

Making Signs and Costumes

While we will have some signs to hand out we encourage you to make one at home and bring it along. For ours we used:

paint stir sticks as handles

foam core to mount the poster on both sides

glue – to glue it all together

Here is some artwork you can use or you can make your own! More to come!




rhinos jpg(2)

elephants jpg


WWF I am not a trinket

Chinese poster for GMFER




Marchers in Israel and London!

Capturing attention and having fun at the same time is important. Here are some examples of other marchers:

1234472_10153347273730451_2039159948_n-2 1394811748-israel-dozens-protest-against-canned-lion-hunting-in-tel-aviv_4182100Protest against Canned Lion Hunting in Israel.

Getting the Word Out

Please help us get the word out. The more people who realize the issues facing these animals, the more of an impact we are able to make on October 4th, the more signatures and MP’s we contact the better the outcome for elephants and rhinos. Let’s make NOISE.

If you have local media, please send them this release:

Please use this poster to publicize the march. Send it to friends and family, post it at your local library coffee shops.

Finalposter – please print or email to your networks.

These smaller promo pieces can be used to hand out to your networks.



Petitions are the life blood of the march. This is how we really make noise. Getting signatures is important. If you can print a copy of this and get signatures and bring it to the march to hand in to organizers that would be amazing and we’ll love you forever.

Petition for parliament-3 – these are signatures to be gathered.

This is a letter we encourage you to send to your MP. All you have to do is add your signature and find your MP through this contact list:

Petition to Parliament Augustt 25-4 – a letter to send to your MP

Petition to China – Stop Carving and other easy but important actions to take:!take-action/c1qm


You can make a difference. Things you can do are:

Tell people about what you know. (See media below and share)

Take what you know and let your government rep know.

Support people working the front lines.You can do this by “liking” these groups on facebook and social media, sharing stories and news, supporting them by supporting their fundraisers – buy t-shirts, adopt orphans as gifts, or fundraise for them. Do NOT support animals in tourism. Elephant rides and treks are  all a part of a system of terrible animal abuse. Tell people. Excellent organizations to support are:

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Save the Elephants

Big Life Foundation


African Wilfdlife Foundation

There are more  – but these are just a few.

Buy Stuff

Get cool t-shirts, mugs, decals etc right here

Endorsed by Jane Goodall


Canadian Media and Major Media to date:

CBC Quirks and Quarks – Bob McDonald interviews George Wittmeyer

National Geographic – Elephant Hero – Sam Wasser

Google Elephant, BC Man’s System, Helps Save Threatened Species – Article on Jake Wall

God’s Ivory

Huffington Post – The Role of Religion in the Elephant Poaching Crisis

Newsweek: Richard Leakey Tries to Save the African Elephant – Again – August 2014

Canada AM – August 2014 Greg Gubitz – Big Life Foundation – Why Elephant Poaching Is On the Rise – “We don’t stand a chance unless we drive down demand”

Elephants Never Forget, Let’s Not Forget About Them The Globe and Mail August 2014

Elephant slaughter by poachers in Africa soars to 100,000 in 3 years – The CBC News August 2014

Elephants Perilously Close to Extinction The Toronto Star August 2014

UBC Trek Magazine – Keeping Track of Elephants August 2014

Ivory Trade: Why Elephant Poaching is still rampant -CBC Online

Don’t let anyone discourage you from social action. Protest, pushing government and organizations to change works but we need to work together, have fun while getting some serious things done. If we don’t do this, these animals can’t save themselves.

The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos October 4th, 2014 has the support of the following NGO’s

ElephantVoices, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Amboseli Trust for Elephants, Elephants Without Borders, Performing Animal Welfare Society – PAWS, the Jane Goodall Institute, Born Free Foundation, Born Free USA, Animal Defenders International, In Defense of Animals, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, The Rhino Orphanage, United for Wildlife, IAPF – International Anti Poaching Foundation –


Mrs Helen Clark, head of United Nations Development Program for your support and inspiration in a call to action for support of the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos!!!!


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Summer Reading: TransAtlantic by Colum McCann

41IZch3WE5L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I’m not going to make you read until the end of the review to find out that I loved this book. I loved it. I read Colin McCann’s Let the Great World Spin a few years ago and fell beautifully in love with his writing and storytelling. In Let the Great World Spin he uses the infamous tightrope walk executed by Philippe Petit in New York 1974 where literally the city holds its collective breath as they watch Petit dance between the World Trade towers. True story. He uses this historic event to weave together an incredible  tale that connects a number of people who all witnessed this event. What emerges is a portrait of America post Vietnam.

In TransAtlantic he does it again but this time he celebrates the connection between Ireland, America and Canada in a book that spans four generations. This time the historic event on which the remainder of the story turns is the first transatlantic flight by WW1 vets Alcock and Brown who are vying to win 10,000 pounds for being the first to carry mail from the New world to the Old by aircraft.

In each chapter McCann introduces a new piece of the puzzle, and a character who plays a bit part in the previous chapter sweeps forward and takes centre stage. It sounds simple but it’s masterful. What emerges is a portrait of a generation of 4  women, Lily, Emily, Lottie and Hannah which spans from the mid 1800’s to 1998. Each of these women interact with known historic male figures – the African American slave Frederick Douglass, (he travels to Ireland in 1845 to advocate for the abolishment of slavery), the aviators, and Senator George Mitchell, who brokered a peace deal for Ireland in 1998.

The interactions with these men provides the historic framework on which the novel rests and through it we travel through time, from Ireland in the 1840’s through to the Civil War where Lily Duggan escapes to work as a nurse.  The reader weaves through history and place  through the emotional lives and history of Lily Duggan and her daughter and granddaughters.

For those of you wanting more rave reviews Lawrence Hill wrote this for the National Post – a great writer writing a review of another great writer’s book.


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Summer Reads – 2014 – February by Lisa Moore


I had Lisa Moore’s February (longlisted for the Man Booker Prize) on my shelf for some time and I just picked it up quite randomly and I’m thrilled that I did.

Unknown-2The story is about a woman Helen, who loses her husband Cal, on a rig that sunk off the coast of Newfoundland on Valentine’s Day 1982, leaving her pregnant with 4 young children to raise. The story is essentially about grief and how it takes more than a lifetime to recover from the loss of love, real, honest, sexy, beautiful, heart wrenching love. You feel the shock of Helen’s loss even years after his death because she lives in him and with him in a real but unsentimental way. The beauty in this book, though, is in the writing.  

There are a few scenes I love in particular. The pages that describe their wedding reception and hasty retreat to the local hotel reminds me of the wedding scene in the Deer Hunter. It felt real, honest and solid, its deceptive simplicity belying the complexity of two people bringing their lives together and all the nuances and feelings that knit the emotional fabric together.

Here is a sample, “…all of that was in the mirror on their wedding night, and – POW -Cal glanced at it, and the mirror speed with cracks that ran all the way to the elaborate curlicue mahogany frame, and it all fell to the carpet, fifty or so jagged pieces. Or the mirror buckled, or it bucked or it curled like a wave and splashed onto the carpet and froze there into hard jagged pieces. It happen so fast that Cal walked over the glass in his baste feet before he knew what he was doing, and he was not cut. It was not that the breaking mirror brought them bad luck. Helen didn’t believe that. But all the bad luck to come was in Cal’ s glance, and when he looked at the mirror the bad luck busted out.”

The second scene is when Helen reveals how she found out about Cal’s death but I’ll leave that for you to read to find out but I think I held my breath through all of those aching pages. The sadness goes beyond the mere fact of Cal’s death but the beauty of the language that delivers the story. Wow, the entire novel is sprinkled with magical language and sometimes surreal scenes. So thumbs up, give it a read. You won’t be disappointed.


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Greg Gubitz from Big Life Foundation interviewed on Canada AM – explains in a nutshell why poaching is increasing

This is a must see:


And an ACTION: 

Please, please sign and share this petition Only Elephants Should Wear Ivory


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The thing about elephants is…..

once you start advocating on their behalf it’s hard to stop. How do you say ” I can’t do this, it’s too hard” .So I don’t. Here forthwith is the cutest and youngest baby elephant ever rescued by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.  Watch amazing video of this baby at the end of this post.10498091_10152615433154889_1125201735462908517_o

via @DSWT Little Ndotto’s progress

Last week our teams were called to the Ndoto Mountains to rescue the tiniest baby elephant we have ever cared for.

Rescued by helicopter, this tiny bundle was delivered to the Nairobi Nursery wrapped in a blanket, his ears still petal pink. Our elephant keepers looked on in disbelief as this tiny package was unwrapped.

We named him Ndotto after his home, a beautiful and remote mountain range in northern Kenya.

Ndotto has not yet been placed on the fostering program, but we wanted to share a short film to show how he is doing a week down the line.

We thank all those people involved in saving Ndotto and the kindhearted Samburu community who went to such lengths to keep him safe.

Watch this amazing video:

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Poem of the Week: For a Traveler by Jessica Greenbaum via Alison McGhee

For a Traveler
- Jessica Greenbaum

I only have a moment so let me tell you the shortest story,
about arriving at a long loved place, the house of friends in Maine,
their lawn of wildflowers, their grandfather clock and candid
portraits, their gabled attic rooms, and woodstove in the kitchen,
all accessories of the genuine summer years before, when I was
their son’s girlfriend and tied an apron behind my neck, beneath
my braids, and took from their garden the harvest for a dinner
I would make alone and serve at their big table with the gladness
of the found, and loved. The eggplant shone like polished wood,
the tomatoes smelled like their furred collars, the dozen zucchini
lined up on the counter like placid troops with the onions, their
minions, and I even remember the garlic, each clove from its airmail
envelope brought to the cutting board, ready for my instruction.
And in this very slight story, a decade later, I came by myself,
having been dropped by the airport cab, and waited for the family
to arrive home from work. I walked into the lawn, waist-high
in the swaying, purple lupines, the subject of June’s afternoon light
as I had never been addressed — a displaced young woman with
cropped hair, no place to which I wished to return, and no one
to gather me in his arms. That day the lupines received me,
and I was in love with them, because they were all I had left,
and in that same manner I have loved much of the world since then,
and who is to say there is more of a reason, or more to love?

A big thank you to Alison McGhee for curating these gems.
​For more information on Jessica Greenbaum, please click here:

My blog:

My Facebook page:!/pages/Alison-McGhee/119862491361265?ref=ts

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