Tag Archives: activism

Save Elephants from Cruelty in 30 Seconds

Watching elephants perform may look like family fun, but for elephants and other wild animals, the experience is anything but! Join us and the voice of this video, Selma Blair, at http://www.whatelephantslike.com/ in the fight against performing cruelty; and keep animals where they belong, in the wild.


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Global March for Elephants and Rhinos – Vancouver 2015


Please help spread the word and join the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos march. Last year 137 cities marched (50,000 people). This year already over 100 cities around the world are organizing to end the poaching war against elephants and rhinos. Find your city here.Learn more about the Global March here.

Oct 3rd – Vancouver Public Library – 350 West Georgia – North Plaza

12:00 pm  to 2:00 pm

Register here!

#March4ElesandRhinos #MarchAgainstExtinction

Find us at:  @condofire @elephanaticsbc


Dr. Jake Wall (Save the Elephants)
Dr. Hedy Fry – MP Vancouver Centre

Rosemary Conder – BC SPCA

Vancouver will once again be taking part in the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos to draw attention to the crisis facing these two species and to call for an end to the ivory and rhino horn trade that is pushing them rapidly towards extinction.

The poaching of elephants and rhinos has reached unprecedented heights in recent years as the demand for ivory and rhino horn has soared in China and other mainly Asian markets. The ivory trade is also fueling terrorist groups, transnational criminal gangs, and armed militias that are destabilizing African countries as well as posing serious threats to international security.

An elephant is brutally killed every 15 minutes – that’s around 100 every day, and at least 35,000 every year. With so few numbers left (some estimates put the figure as low as 250,000 for the entire continent), and with such a slow reproductive cycle, the outlook is looking tragically bleak for elephants. If we don’t take action now to stop this massacre, it will be too late to save them. They will vanish forever – in about 10 years.

A rhino is poached every 11 hours with an estimated 24,000 left in the world. Over 1,000 rhinos were poached last year alone, compared to 13 in 2007. If the rate of killing continues to rise, rhinos too face extinction within the decade.

Here is a short informational video about the ivory trade:
Please help spread the word – Join the Vancouver march here! Join the march on FB.

Hosted by elephanatics BC – a  Vancouver based elephant advocacy group

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My nieces – wildlife advocates – collaborators – A plea to save Elephants and Rhinos from extinction

My nieces Ella and Taya have been great supporters of the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos. This post is a collaboration between the two. Ella wrote it in French and Taya translated, edited and added her editorial precision to the content of this piece.It’s a work of real collaboration.

My niece Ella she has been raising money, marching, and giving talks to her friends and fellow students about the crisis facing Africa’s wildlife. This was written after the girls visit with their family to Kenya this spring. I think they’re remarkable, Ella is 12 and Taya is 14.


I’m asking you, if you love elephants, rhinos, and animals, are you doing everything you can to help them?

My family and I recently went on a trip to Africa. While we were there, we saw some amazing animals and surreal sights. Some of the most fascinating animals we saw were the eight elephant herds, and about twenty five rhinos. I find that it’s crazy to think that, at the rate we are going all the rhinos will be extinct in ten to fifteen years and that in fifteen to twenty years,elephants will be gone as well.

One of the worst things about this crisis is that we, as humans, are in full control over this problem and over their lives. The two main reasons for their disappearance are ivory poaching and habitat loss. Ivory poaching is what I find really astounding.  How could people want to kill these beautiful animals for their tusks? And then they use them as a symbol of their high social status, or to show people they have money. There is still hope of ending ivory poaching, but with every day that goes by, their chance for survival decreases.

Did you know that in the last one hundred years 95% of the elephant population was killed for their ivory tusks? And up to one-hundred elephants are killed each day. There are now only about 400,000 African elephants left in the world. Maybe this number seems big to you, but it is actually quite small compared to how it used to be. In 1940, only 75 years ago, there were about 3 to 5 million African elephants in the world.

Elaphant 2

Rhinos are in greater danger because many they are rapidly approaching extinction. The main reason that rhinos are killed is because their horns are believed, by many countries, to be a cure for disease.  For example, in Vietnam, they believe that  rhino horn can cure cancer. However, their horns are made of the same thing as our nails, so biting our nails and using rhino horn for the treatment of diseases has virtually the same effect.

For some time, it appeared that there was hope for rhinos. In 2002, the number of rhinos killed was 25 which was surprisingly small. It kept improving each year, and in 2006, ten rhinos were killed. In 2007, that number went down to seven and it looked like an end to rhino poaching was approaching. However, since 2008, the numbers of rhinos killed each year has dramatically increased. The years following “the big improvement”, the situation has gotten worse, to the point where, in 2014, we have killed 1215 rhinos for their horns.

In Africa, we were able to see one of the five remaining northern white rhinos left in the world. We also saw the southern white rhino, and the black rhino. There is no hope for the northern white rhino, as they have tried to introduce them to each other and they will not mate, They will be officially extinct as soon as the five remaining rhinos die. The black rhinos are also endangered, with 4,848 rhinos left. The southern white rhino came back from an extremely close call with extinction and they now have a status of a near threatened species with 20,000 southern white rhinos left.

The poachers, even though they are the ones who kill elephants and rhinos for their ivory, are not the main reason for the approaching extinction of these animals. The big problem we face is the consumers. Their demand for ivory is the main reason these species are endangered, as without the high demand, the poachers have no reason to kill the elephants and rhinos.

In order to stop ivory poaching, we need to stop the consumers from killing elephants and rhinos. In a poll back in 2007, the IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) discovered that 70% of Chinese, the largest consumers of ivory, weren’t aware that they had to kill  elephants in order to get their ivory. The word for ivory, in Chinese, means elephant teeth, so many thought getting ivory was similar to pulling out somebody’s teeth. As a result of this poll a campaign was launched to raise awareness of ivory poaching. The campaign was simple enough- a poster explaining ivory poaching and how they got the ivory. The advertisement done by JC Decaux, the biggest outdoor advertising company in the world,

The posters had an outstanding impact on people’s views of ivory. Another survey, this one in 2013, showed that the posters had been seen by 75% of the population, and the number of high-risk consumers of ivory (those who are most likely to buy objects made of ivory) had been cut in half. There is still hope for the animals if we act fast, and are committed to making a difference.

When my family and I were in Africa, we saw many incredible things, but there is one memory in particular that stands out. While we were driving through the plains, we came across a group of about eight rhinos. We drove a bit closer, and we saw eight piles of rocks there, under a tree. There was a sign beside the tree.  Ol PejetaThat was when you fully realize the effect of poaching on these animals. The rhinos had a life before they were poached; they had a family, friends, and others who would remember them, much like us.

Their death affected the other rhinos, just like the death of someone we knew and cared about would affect us for the rest of our life.

We need to save these animals while we can. There is still hope, but how long will it last?Rhino 2Elephant 1

Rhino 1

Elaphant 2

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Thailand Day 2- The Dark Side of Elephant Tourism

Guest post by elephant ambassador Leanne Fogarty currently traveling in Thailand.

Day 2 – Bangkok

The bus/catamaran to Koh Tao leaves at 6am so given my midnight arrival last night I decide to get a decent sleep and

spend one day in Bangkok. Two years ago I volunteered at ENP and became an Elephant Ambassador. That means we

tell people the dark side of elephant tourism that most visitors have no idea about. At ENP we learnt how tourism

elephants are not domesticated, but tortured into submission. They are plucked from the wild between 2 – 4 years of

age, still dependant on their mother’s milk. The baby’s mother and aunties were most likely slaughtered in the capture

as they tried valiantly to protect their precious infant. The baby is then placed in a tight wooden contraption, only just

big enough for itself, but not large enough for it to turn around. Over the next 3 – 10 days, depending on how strong

willed the elephant is, it is beaten with sticks, stabbed with bull hooks, starved, dehydrated, deprived of sleep and

screamed at. The “phajaan”, literally the “breaking” (of its wild spirit) is a centuries old practice in many countries with


An ele never forgets this trauma, and years later, just the sight of the bull hook is enough to make it obey, even to the

point of exhaustion, severe pain and mental anguish. An Ele Ambassador educates people about the cruelty and

isolation eles suffer, just so we can cross off one of our bucket list items. I say “we” because I too rode and elephant

before I knew what was involved. Ambassadors also provide a list of places in 5 Asian countries where you can have a

non-riding, positive elephant experience. Feeding and swimming with a happy, healthy elephant is far more exciting

than a jerky, one-hour ride where you can only just see the back of its scarred head.

Part of the “Phajaan” process involves hitting the elephant with long sticks that have sharp nails on the end.


Just one part of the horrific “Phajaan” process involves hitting the elephant’s sensitive areas (like its face and trunk) with long sticks that have sharp nails on the end. Source: unknown.

List of elephant sanctuaries by country.

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Guest post – Elephant Tourism: Travels in Thailand with Leanne Fogarty

The following guest posts are written by Leanne Fogarty, an elephant ambassador and advocate as she travels through Thailand.

Day 1 – Arrival

Finally. Nineteen hours, 11,800 km and now I am in Bangkok. I have 2 weeks in Thailand. One week in beautiful Koh Tao (Turtle Island) and one week volunteering at an elephant freedom project in Surin. The Surin Project is run by the Save Elephant Foundation – better known for its Elephant Nature Park near Chiang Mai. The ENP cares for 42 injured, old,or formerly abused elephants from the logging and tourism industries. Volunteers stay for a week or more, working for the “chang” (elephants) instead of the other way around. The volunteer’s donations fund the huge costs of providing medical care, a healthy, varied diet and hundreds of acres for the eles to roam. In the wild elephants can walk 24km a day. There is no elephant riding at ENP. The volunteers plant food for the eles, harvest and cut up the food, pick up dung, wash and play with the eles in the river, and walk beside them. Basically the Park lets eles – finally – BE eles.

As soon as I retrieve my bag and head for the exit, 3 huge anti-ivory posters block my path. Impressive! So it IS true. Thailand is working on its contribution to the poaching crisis. Let’s hope it also becomes sensitive to the abuse of its elephants in the name of entertainment and the mighty tourist dollar.

The warning signs at Bangkok airport. Source: Leanne FogartyThailand airport

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The Dark Side of Animal Tourism in Thailand

I have been shocked by the number of people I know who have ridden elephants. I’m even more shocked that they have no of the dark side of animal tourism…those days need to be over. We know too much about so many animals, particularly elephants. The more we know, the less we will support tourism that is based on animal abuse…and hopefully put our money towards appreciating seeing animals in their natural habitat and supporting the communities who are an integral part of this.

Please read this and share:


You can also find a guide to elephant sanctuaries by country right here.


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ACTION for Kidnapped Baby Elephants Destined for Chinese Zoos

10849804_941371222547696_6560763297292959950_nWill YOU let up to 100 baby elephants be kidnapped from their families in Zimbabwe and sent to Chinese zoos? Say NO! ACTIONS HERE to save the Zimbabwe baby elephants from China! #MarchAgainstExtinction #GMFER #SaveAfricanAnimals
1) Please SIGN, SHARE & TWEET these 3 petitions for the innocents kidnapped from their families: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Robert_Mugabe_Saviour_Kasukwere_Walter_Mazimbi_Chidziwa_Stop_the_export_of_animals_to_China/?cOAHsab



Sign International Fund for Animal Welfare – IFAW’s letter to Zimbabwe here: http://www.ifaw.org/united-states/get-involved/stop-export-zimbwawes-baby-elephants?ms=UONDG141211060&cid=701F0000000S4VR

2) Join the Tweetstorm for these elephant babies and help #SaveAfricanAnimals:

3) Are you IN South Africa? Please show up! There’s 3 protests on December 19th outside Zimbabwe consulates for the kidnapped elephants, in Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg!

Cape Town protest event page:

Pretoria protest event page:

Johannesburg protest event page:

Thank you!

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When you ride elephants, watch them paint or beg in the street, you are supporting this:

1234177_739106516116457_73281306_n”Phajaan to Tourist Attraction: Elephant Tourism in Thailand”


Everyone, tourists especially, needs to be educated as to the plight of the Asian elephant. These animals’ spirits are broken through a ritual known as the Phajaan; baby elephants are prematurely ripped away from their mothers. They are then caged, starved, beaten, stabbed, poked and cut as they are kept awake for days without food or water.

Once “broken”, the young elephants are forced into a life of street-begging, trekking (rides), and “entertainment”, eg. circuses, painting, zoos, etc.

Please EDUCATE yourself and others! Do not support this cruelty by feeding a street beggar (baby elephant begging for food), riding on an elephant’s back (trekking) or attending a show.

* Phajaan Ritual (VIDEO): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVckvi_gWVo

* Further INFO/PHOTOS on Phajaan:



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Pictures – Global March for Elephants and Rhinos – Vancouver

I am proud to have been a part of this amazing, grassroots event that took place October 4th in 136 cities around the world where people all marched to end the ivory and rhino horn trades that threaten these species. Here are a few pictures from the Vancouver event:

10600388_10154700164870427_5281302195703489037_n10609549_10152694481385358_3273660423556514846_n10696221_10154700169305427_7001681260456215098_n10170757_10154700170025427_9195983570284803722_n10408014_10154700165245427_8425718406584576142_n1966907_10201879072457805_3498749743971745927_n10622801_10201879033336827_165626984784367787_n10635995_10201879020976518_455193401769656591_n10702231_10152677337560358_6477692453604580500_n 344_34207344_34208 344_34221

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Chris Hughes:Building a Social Network for Non-Profits

Watch this. Chris Hughes gives a presentation on the importance of building a social web with ‘soul‘.  The next social space he is building is called Jumo an online space where people and organizations working for social change can build long term relationships.

Chris Hughes is the co-founder of Facebook, and was the director of social media for the Obama campaign. He’s only 26. “Wow” as my mother would say.

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