The Price of Entertainment: Part 2

28 Mar

Our continuing series on Water for Elephants

By Lurker

In the Sara Gruen novel Water for Elephants, we are introduced to the ‘ultimate prize’ for a circus, an elephant and her name is Rosie.  So why is it that we are all fascinated by elephants? Is it their grand size, their graceful nature or their intelligence? Whatever the reason there is no doubt that in the upcoming movie, an elephant will make a grand entrance and capture our fascination. For many years elephants have been part of the circuses and zoos, however, their upkeep and maintenance at some facilities has been less than stellar, as we noted in our Part 1 article. Elephant populations around the world are diminishing due to human encroachment drastically reducing their natural habitats and poaching.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums[1] (AZA) has been a working to provide elephant conservation programs around the world. Additionally, accredited zoos provide the majority of the funding for the International Elephant Foundation[2] (IEF), a non-profit organization that supports a wide variety of elephant conservation and related scientific and educational projects worldwide. There are also independent elephant and animal sanctuaries that are dedicated to the proper care and survival of elephants and other endangered animals.  In showcasing the elephant in the upcoming movie, we wanted to share with our readers a number of programs and facilities that are helping to protect elephants around the world. All of them are self-funded non-profit organizations and survive on donations.

The actor elephant Tai comes from a conservation program in California, Have trunk will travel. However, there are several U.S. based sanctuaries for elephants to retire. In Tennessee, you will find The Elephant Sanctuary, which has over 2,700 acres for elephants to roam. There is a touching story that made news recently about this sanctuary. Please watch.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Riddles Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary in Arkansas is a 330-acre retreat.  Performing Animal Wildlife Sanctuary (Paws) is based in Gault, California and they have not only elephants, but also tigers and bears that were all rescued from performing and being mistreated. The AZA sponsors a fairly new program in Okeechobee, Florida The National Elephant Center. The center is located on a 300-acre habitat, which will be used in conjunction with the AZA and IEF. The National Zoo with support from the Smithsonian Institution has an elephant research and conservation program underway as well called Elephant Trails.  Even Disney with their Animal Kingdom savanna park are encouraging elephant research by working in conjunction with the AZA and IEF and their corporate Disney World Conservation Fund[3]

Kenya’s Tsavo National park is a landmark originally conceived in 1948 and is the world’s largest dedicated preserve covering over 22,000 sq km. For David Sheldrick the park’s first warden, it became his life’s work caring for orphaned elephants and rhinos.  The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was created in 1977 after the death of Sheldrick and is still instrumental in preservation of abandoned infant elephants in Tsavo. Adjacent to the Tsavo National Park is another sanctuary, Mwaluganje, designed to help local farmers and elephants find peaceful co-existence and to reduce poaching.

Elsewhere in the world, there are other sanctuaries for elephants. In South Africa, there are three habitats at The Elephant Sanctuary that provide education and interaction with African elephants for visitors. In Thailand, Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary has been another bootstrap organization dedicated to rescuing elephants.

It is truly awe-inspiring to realize how many people are trying to save these animals and provide for their care across the globe and how many different ways you can help.

Please join our discussion on this topic Tuesday, 3/29/2011 @7pE/12UTC

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136 Responses to “The Price of Entertainment: Part 2”

  1. Littlebells March 28, 2011 at 11:05 AM #

    Hi ladies!!! I had a fantastic trip but really did miss you too. haha! Can’t wait to read this article Lurker. 🙂

    • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 10:38 AM #

      We missed u too!! Glad u had a nice trip…..

      • Littlebells March 29, 2011 at 1:59 PM #

        Thanks, OB. 🙂

  2. Littlebells March 28, 2011 at 12:05 PM #

    Lurker, thank you for the research! I think it is great that there are so many places for these elephants and other amazing animals to go when retired or simply mistreated. I have seen that video before and found it very moving.

  3. ozzie20 March 28, 2011 at 4:44 PM #

    Great article Lurker!

    I’m sad right now. There’s been a report of an elephant being abused in the UK.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8410235/Last-circus-elephant-abused-on-video.html
    I hope they find the man and prosecute him.

  4. Parisienne March 28, 2011 at 7:33 PM #

    That video was so sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Awesome article, Lurker. 🙂

  5. Open Book March 29, 2011 at 10:53 AM #

    Lurker,

    Great article!! I really enjoyed browsing the sites u provided especially “Have Trunk will Travel.”

    I loved the elephant costumes. The ballerina costume is my favorite.

    http://havetrunkwilltravel.com/costumes.html

    • Littlebells March 29, 2011 at 2:04 PM #

      ITA, especially with that pose. 🙂 However, the cowboy/cowgirl, is pretty darn tootin’ adorable too.

      I would love to see an elephant out in the wild, even if it is a reserve. They are so magnificent.

      • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 2:54 PM #

        They both know how to sell it!! Obviously these are professional models. LOL!!!

      • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 3:07 PM #

        Littlebells,

        I found this for u. I don’t know if u would be interested.

        http://africaelephants.com/

        • Littlebells March 29, 2011 at 5:39 PM #

          Oh my gosh! you rock!!! We have neighbors/friends from Zambia and they have invited us to go with them next time. haha, yeah we have no cash! But wow, if we can ever go to Africa, I”m totally doing this!!! Thank you!!! 🙂

  6. comic relief March 29, 2011 at 4:58 PM #

    Was that dog drugged or sedated? If you even looked like you were going to step on the tail of the dog I had growing up, she would have a fit.

    Regardless that was a very warm and cute story of cross-species devotion.

    Thanks a lot Lurker.

    • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 6:56 PM #

      Glad you liked it!

  7. Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 6:59 PM #

    Hi Everyone!

    • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 7:01 PM #

      Hi!

      • ozzie20 March 29, 2011 at 7:06 PM #

        Hello!

        • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 7:08 PM #

          hi ozzie!

        • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:14 PM #

          Hi Ozzie!

          • ozzie20 March 29, 2011 at 7:17 PM #

            Hi ladies!

  8. Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:02 PM #

    hi

    this is such a great video!!

    • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 7:04 PM #

      I agree it think it’s a great story to see how elephants bond. You also get an idea of the sanctuary in TN and what it’s about which I think is great.

      • ozzie20 March 29, 2011 at 7:21 PM #

        I think it’s an amazing video too!

  9. Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 7:03 PM #

    Awesome Article! I have a question. Did the elephant buddy up with the dog because the elephant may have been the “odd man out” with the pack?

    • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 7:05 PM #

      Don’t know, but in looking at the other sites, it seems that elephants seem to pair up as pals. So I don’t know.

      • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 7:06 PM #

        that’s what it looked like from the video. all the other elephants already paired up and she was on her own so she paired up with the dog. How cute! I also thought it was very sweet that she stood at the fence when the dog was injured.

        • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:16 PM #

          I know that was very sweet!!

        • Littlebells March 29, 2011 at 7:50 PM #

          That’s loyalty, my friends. And real love for a friend. I can say I at least know quite a few people that are like that. All is not lost with the human race.

  10. Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 7:04 PM #

    I’m so afraid for the dog. LOL I keep thinging the poor thing is going to get smooshed. 🙂

    • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 7:06 PM #

      I know, but it’s so lovely to see how gentle the elephant is around such a small creature like a dog!

      • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 7:07 PM #

        I agree. The elephant has to have great spatial ability to know where that dog is at all times when she’s walking.

        • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:12 PM #

          Really!! It’s a cute and touching story but very stressful for me to watch. LOL!!

  11. Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:11 PM #

    I was watching the video again. lol

    I was surprised to see there are so many sanctuaries for Elephants. Do u know if they have as many of them for other wild animals?

    • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 7:15 PM #

      I honestly didn’t look for other animals, but would assume there may be. Some of those PAWS takes in other animals.
      I think it’s really great though that there is this much focus on elephant conservation!

      • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:23 PM #

        I was quite surprised as well.

        There is a non-profit organization that actually goes and care for Elephants if they get sick. I can’t remember the name of it but I sent it to u. Anyway, they go out and treat Elephants in circuses and the equipment and medicine is so extensive they have to take trucks to carry it to the facility. Sometimes the condition of these Elephants are so bad they don’t have enough medicine to treat them.

        • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 7:29 PM #

          Oh wow really? That’s great they can go to the animals but sad they are in such bad shape they don’t have enough medicine.

          • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:31 PM #

            I know it’s really sad. Let me see if I can find the link for u.

            They often are under staffed and lack funding. It’s really sad because it’s such a great cause.

            • Littlebells March 29, 2011 at 7:51 PM #

              Yes, please. I would like to contribute.

          • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:03 PM #

            Here is the link!

            http://www.elephantnaturepark.org/elephantprojects/mobile.htm

  12. Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 7:16 PM #

    I was just watching the video again. Bella (the dog) doesn’t even flinch when she’s practically under Tara’s foot. wow. 🙂

    • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:27 PM #

      That’s pure trust right there……

      • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 7:35 PM #

        i know.

  13. Lurker March 29, 2011 at 7:19 PM #

    I would love to see the WFE promotion add the element of elephant conservation somewhere as a plug. That would be awesome to bring some awareness.

    • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 7:22 PM #

      that would. maybe they’ll do something at the end when the credits are rolling. You know something if you wish to donate towards elephant conservationism here are some addresses type thing.

    • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:25 PM #

      So true!! That would be great…..

  14. Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:29 PM #

    Have any of u visited an Elephant Sanctuary? Would u?

    • ozzie20 March 29, 2011 at 7:31 PM #

      I haven’t but I’d love too.

    • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 7:32 PM #

      Haven’t but would love to.

    • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 7:34 PM #

      no i haven’t but it would be fun to.

    • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:36 PM #

      I have not either!!

  15. Lurker March 29, 2011 at 7:31 PM #

    Did you know there were so many different programs going on for elephants around the world?
    I was surprised.

    • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:33 PM #

      No not at all….U really did a great job researching this topic. I had no idea….

    • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:37 PM #

      Did u see the elephant dressed up in a ballerina costume?

      • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 7:39 PM #

        Yes it was so cute! I think I sort of fell for the elephant painting hat and that they paint!

        • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:47 PM #

          LOL!! Yes! The Artist’s masterpiece…

      • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 7:43 PM #

        i did that’s too cute! i wonder how long it takes to dress them up.

        • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:49 PM #

          Better yet how long to sew up the costume and how much yardage used.

          • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 7:54 PM #

            LOL. 🙂

  16. Lurker March 29, 2011 at 7:36 PM #

    I was very intrigued by the work of David Sheldrick in Tsavo. He was so instrumental in getting the preserve created and ran it until his death. Lots of great work going on in Kenya.

    • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:38 PM #

      I know that’s amazing…..

    • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 7:44 PM #

      did you ever see the movie about the lions of tsavo? its called the ghost in the darkness with val kilmer.

      • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:46 PM #

        Yes! I did…

      • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 7:49 PM #

        No I didn’t see that but I watch NatGeo on TV a lot. They recently had big cat week on.

      • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 7:52 PM #

        its a good movie. i was just reminded of it because you were talking about Tsavo.

    • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:46 PM #

      How many elephants did he start out with I wonder? They said he was the first person to hand- rear orphaned elephants.

      • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 7:48 PM #

        I didn’t get that far in reading about Sheldrick, but it was interesting that they were saving the baby elephants who were left when their mothers were victims of poaching. Obviously they were rhinos too. I also did notice that the trust travels throughout the park looking for hurt animals and treats them on the spot too.

        • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 7:50 PM #

          are baby elephants left alone when their mothers die? or does the pack (if they have a pack) “adopt” them?

          • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:54 PM #

            good Q!

            • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 7:54 PM #

              thank you.

          • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 7:54 PM #

            I think it depends. What I saw on the site for Tsavo and Sheldrick it looked like the herd left the baby behind because of the poachers. So it was found standing over it’s mother’s body. So sad.

            There was another they had resuced where the baby fell off a cliff and the herd was unable to rescue the baby.

            • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 7:55 PM #

              oh that’s so sad!

              • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 7:58 PM #

                I know its hard to watch. But I would think this would be extremely rewarding, tough on some days but rewarding.

                • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:03 PM #

                  i know. one amazing thing that i found out about elephants is they never forget anything. they have super memories. isn’t that cool?

                  • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:04 PM #

                    Wow! Just like women….LOL!!

                    • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:06 PM #

                      I was going to say that but i didn’t want to offend anyone. LOL

                    • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:10 PM #

                      Paris!

                      I’m convinced we are related.LOL!

                    • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:12 PM #

                      LOL! i’m officially adopting you.

                  • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 8:04 PM #

                    Very very interesting, I know!

            • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:05 PM #

              That’s so sad!!

            • Littlebells March 29, 2011 at 8:17 PM #

              And you know those elephants mourned that dear baby. 😦

        • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:50 PM #

          Oh! did not know this.

  17. Littlebells March 29, 2011 at 7:48 PM #

    Oh my gosh! I almost forgot about the live discussion!!! Off to go read. 🙂

    • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 7:50 PM #

      hi littlebells

    • ozzie20 March 29, 2011 at 7:54 PM #

      Hello Littlebells!

    • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 7:56 PM #

      hi littlebells!

  18. Littlebells March 29, 2011 at 8:03 PM #

    Hi! *waves*

    So I found this and thought it was very interesting:

    The relations among the members of the herd is very tight; when a female gives birth to a baby the rest go to acknowledge it touching her with the trunk; and when an old elephant dies the rest of the herd will stay by the corpse for a while. The famous elephant graveyards are a myth, but it is true that these animals can recognize a carcass of its species when they find one during their trips, and even if it is a stranger, they form around it and sometimes they even touch its forehead with their trunk. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Bush_Elephant)

    If this indeed is true, than these creatures are more tender and connected to their emotions than I thought. Still working on that question about baby elephants being adopted by the pack. I’m assuming yes…..

    • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:08 PM #

      that’s interesting info. 🙂

    • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:08 PM #

      Wow! That’s amazing!!

      So these idiots going around abusing elephants, really have a death wish!!

      • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:10 PM #

        i know! like the video in the previous article. I kept thinking ” buddy, you are an idiot.” but the poor elephants are so gentle they don’t even fight back.

        • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:13 PM #

          I know the elephant’s are probably shocked thinking this person is not very bright. They probably feel sorry for them for awhile like a fly. Until they say oh forget it and squash them.

          • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:17 PM #

            LOL! *high five*

        • Littlebells March 29, 2011 at 8:14 PM #

          yeah, but you know, with their level of intelligence, I think if they let it build long enough they are bound to let loose, you know? I can see them getting to a point where they think, “Alright, enough is enough!”, and fight back. That’s when we get the news report that the elephants have lost all control and are harming the poor, helpless human. *rolls eyes*

          Ok, so I couldn’t find anything per se on the baby elephant question, but the family dynamics really look like they would definitely take care of one another.http://www.wildlife-pictures-online.com/elephant-communication.html

          • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:26 PM #

            Great research Littlebells.

            ITA! Elephants let it build up until they can’t take it. Then humans are running around in horror and shock. Like come on people. How long did u think that elephant footstool was going to last?

      • Littlebells March 29, 2011 at 8:10 PM #

        Exactly. Humans are stupid.

        • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:11 PM #

          i hate to agree but our species is pretty stupid. we think we know everything.

          • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:20 PM #

            I’m shocked. I thought we did?

            Please we can stand to learn something from the Elephant & Dog about respect and how to take care of what you’ve been given.

            • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:22 PM #

              i agree. if people respected each other we wouldn’t be blowing each other up right now though.

              • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:28 PM #

                Touche! Paris…

      • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 8:13 PM #

        Elephants seem like such connected animals so I don’t understand why they are being put thru such abuse.

        • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:17 PM #

          humans should strive to be more like elepants. Gentle giants.

          imo, they are abused because they allow themselves to be. they could very easily fight back but i think they are here to teach lessons that mankind are not recognizing.

          • Littlebells March 29, 2011 at 8:18 PM #

            I like that thought. Thanks Paris!

            • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:19 PM #

              my pleasure. 🙂

          • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:18 PM #

            omg i think i just got philosophical. LOL

            • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:28 PM #

              Yep!!

          • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:43 PM #

            Paris,

            What u said above was very profound. Very well said!!

            • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:46 PM #

              thanks.

      • ozzie20 March 29, 2011 at 8:14 PM #

        I didn’t know about that! Thanks for the info Littlebells!

        • Littlebells March 29, 2011 at 8:15 PM #

          No problem! I find it all very fascinating. Elephants seem like the right kind of friends to have. 🙂

          • ozzie20 March 29, 2011 at 8:27 PM #

            Yup. I’ve always loved elephants!

  19. Lurker March 29, 2011 at 8:21 PM #

    Its definitely a provocative topic! Both sides of this article. Paris’s article was hard to stomach. Even this is, but the positive side is that there are others who are trying to help.

    • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:23 PM #

      that’s true there are. did you know that there are only 35,000 asian elephants (elephants like tai) left in the WORLD?

      • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 8:27 PM #

        I figurd the numbers were low, didn’t know that low though! Wow.

        • Littlebells March 29, 2011 at 8:29 PM #

          That’s it?????!!!!!!

          • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:30 PM #

            from what i’ve read yes.

        • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:30 PM #

          compared to the african elephant. i think if i remember correctly there are over 495,000 african elephants left. i wonder why the asian elephants are being harmed? Why that specific breed?

          • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 8:31 PM #

            Well I figure with the population explosion in India and SE Asia, that might be THE issue for Asian elephants.

            • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:34 PM #

              that could be it. 🙂

            • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:49 PM #

              I bet u are right Lurker!!

      • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:30 PM #

        WOW!! Is right….

    • Littlebells March 29, 2011 at 8:24 PM #

      Thank goodness! I feel like I’m going into seeing WFE so much more informed. haha!

      • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:39 PM #

        I know me too!

  20. Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:33 PM #

    http://www.elephantcenter.com/About_The_Cec.aspx

    the info is in the paragraph under conservation.

    • Littlebells March 29, 2011 at 8:43 PM #

      Holy crappers! Thanks Paris.

      • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:49 PM #

        welcome.

    • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:48 PM #

      Wow!! So they are breeding and abusing them too?

      • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 8:51 PM #

        Yeah which is why I left off Ringling’s program in Fla. I was disturbed by the photos I saw on the web of what they are doing breeding them to use them in the circus.
        I just find that really difficult to support.

        • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:52 PM #

          Hmm!! Difficult and disturbing on so many levels….

      • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:52 PM #

        looks like it.

  21. Littlebells March 29, 2011 at 8:45 PM #

    Ok ladies, off to feed the kiddos. Thanks again for a wonderful brain exercise! Take care and see you soon. 🙂

    • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:46 PM #

      Take Care!! Littlebells

      Nice to have u back!!

      • ozzie20 March 29, 2011 at 8:50 PM #

        Night Littlebells!

        I’m off too. I’m not feeling very well. Night all!

        • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:51 PM #

          Night Ozzie feel better!!

        • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 8:52 PM #

          Night LIttle Bells and Ozzie!
          Thanks for joining.

  22. Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:51 PM #

    Well we have ten more minutes. Does anyone have anymore Q for Lurker?

    • Parisienne March 29, 2011 at 8:53 PM #

      no. it was a very interesting and informative conversation though. 🙂

      I’m going to go for the night. take care!

      • Lurker March 29, 2011 at 8:55 PM #

        Night then!
        We can call it a wrap!

        • Open Book March 29, 2011 at 8:57 PM #

          Great job Lurker….

          Goodnight!

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