It is time for me to return to Asia. My Elephant Care and Rehabilitation Center is calling.
Learning from my past, I have decided to stop for a least one second to stand in the glow of this monumental moment. This time around I plan to rejoice in each tiny success, revel in each new development and give thanks for the progress made each and every day. I look forward to the challenge of staying in the moment as much as I can, recognizing that each unique moment will slip by without acknowledgement if I don’t make the effort to cherish it.
So many people are with me on this journey. I feel you shoulder-to-shoulder traveling with me and, of course, those at my back, pushing me forward. This is truly a time of celebration. Thanks for joining me on this fabulous journey.
I recently sent the following appeal to EAI’s loyal supporters. The response has been overwhelming.
Our Elephant Care and Rehabilitation Center project in Bangalore, India, finally received the government endorsement we have been waiting for. I cannot tell you how excited I am that we are finally able to move forward on this project to provide a humane home for elephants in India. I know you share my enthusiasm.
The property for the center has been secured. It is fantastic — complete with two large ponds, woods and pasture area — and it borders a national forest that we have received government permission to use.
Can you believe it? Our elephants will be allowed to use the national forest as if it were their home! This really is a dream come true!
In the surprisingly short time since I founded EAI, it has already had a notable impact on the welfare of captive elephants living in Thailand, Nepal and India. Hundreds of elephants have received pedicures and mahouts have been introduced to a kinder, gentler way to manage their elephants.
And now we are preparing to create a care and rehabilitation center – the first of its kind – that promises to change how captive elephants live in Asia.
Helping one elephant at a time takes the efforts of many. I need your help now.
Before we can rescue even one elephant we must complete the infrastructure including perimeter fencing, construct chain-free corrals and build night shelters to provide protection from wild elephants and poachers. A sanitary water collection and containment system must be installed to ensure a continuous supply of clean water. And we need a small vet clinic to support each elephant’s recovery following his/her rescue.
Elephants like 12-year-old Menaka, who will be our first resident. Chained in a temple for most of her life, Menaka has experienced horrors we cannot even imagine. She spent day and night standing on concrete, forced to stand at attention in the hot sun for hours and bless temple worshipers. Whenever Menaka attempted to move, she was punished harshly with bullhooks. At night she was left alone and hungry, with heavy chains tied around her legs; her attempts to free herself caused painful wounds that went untreated.
Fortunately, once Menaka arrives at the center, her life will be forever changed and her past will become a distant memory.
I can’t wait to see the gleam in young Menaka’s eyes when she enters her chain-free corral and realizes her new-found freedom.
The cost of the infrastructure required to provide sanctuary for needy elephants like Menaka is estimated at $200,000.
I have complete confidence that we can reach this goal. But, I cannot accomplish this alone. I depend on you to help me make this dream a reality.
Your donation can help Menaka be the first of many elephants rescued to our care center. They will make history, living proof of a better, kinder way of caring for elephants living in captivity.
Please help us meet our goal. As with all my projects, every dollar you contribute goes directly to helping the elephants.
I know we have a big job ahead of us. But my experience of creating The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee has taught me that we can accomplish anything we set our mind to. Together we can create this care center, a solution for India’s suffering elephants and a model for the rest of Asia.
Thank you for your support and for being a part of the solution!
P.S. Please contact me if you have questions or suggestions.