We admire elephants in part because they demonstrate what we consider the finest human traits: empathy, self-awareness, and social intelligence. But the way we treat them puts on display the very worst of human behavior.Graydon Carter
My advocacy for elephants started quite by accident actually. I joined Facebook in 2013 and at first, I just used it to stay in contact with friends. But one day like Alice in Wonderland I fell into one of Facebook’s many burrows and woke up amongst elephants.
The plight of these majestic and sentient animals and the suffering they endure at the hands of humans touched me deeply and I vowed to do all I can to help ease their suffering.
I have been lucky to be able to travel to Thailand and Cambodia in recent years to volunteer in programmes run by the wonderful Lek Chailert and her Save Elephant Foundation. Last year I had the privilege of spending one month in Brazil helping Kat and Scott Blais at the Elephant Sanctuary Brazil, the pilot project of their non-profit organisation Global Sanctuary for Elephants. And sticking with far-away places: Together with my colleague and partner, Ulara Nakagawa, I manage the social media activities and oversee the general campaign administration of the campaign Elephants in Japan, a small grass-roots campaign which works to expose and improve the living conditions of captive zoo elephants in Japan.
But we needn’t look so far to help elephants. In Europe, there are over 100 elephants in circuses and whilst the German Bundestag recently again failed to vote on banning elephants (and other wild animals) in circuses, fortunately, other countries are coming to their senses sooner; the most recent country being Slovenia.
Elephants suffer greatly in captivity both physically and emotionally. Watching Ramba, a former circus elephant from Chile and the most recent elephant rescued to Brazil, blossom at the sanctuary is just heartwarming and is shows what sanctuaries are capable of and why we need more of them.
Soon retired European circus elephants and possibly also elephants from zoos who are giving up their exhibits will be able to call France their new home. That’s right, France! Located in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region (Limousin) this 28-hectare sanctuary will hopefully soon be home to some of Europe’s captive elephants. Here they can outlive their lives as naturally as possible under the care and expertise of Sofie Goetghebeur and Tony Verhulst, two passionate elephants advocates.
When I heard about the auction by the Facebook group U.S. Friends of Elephant Haven European Elephant Sanctuary France (* I just knew I had to donate something. With Christmas just weeks away what a fantastic opportunity to donate to a worthy cause and get a Christmas present at the same time!
(* Update 2020: The group is now called “North American Friends of EHEES”.
I love crocheting Amigurumi animals, especially elephants, and so I donated these two cute elephants for the auction. Click here to go the EHEES auction hosted by the Bidding For Good website.
The auction started on 6 November and runs until Sunday, 17 November 2019. 100% of all proceeds will be donated to the sanctuary! There are so many great items for you to bid on ranging from jewellery to gift cards, original artwork paintings and even a week’s volunteering for two at Elephant Nature Park in Thailand! Items will only be shipped within the US or Canada. But if you live in Europe like I do and are just as excited about this sanctuary as I am then you can also make a direct donation on the site for the sanctuary. So you don’t have to scroll up again, here the link to the EHEES auction. 😉
I would like to say a big “Thank You” to the future successful bidders of my little elephants for giving them a new and loving home.
For more information on Europe’s first elephant sanctuary check out their website: http://www.elephanthaven.org/
Update 12. April 2020: I’ve linked up to this pattern by Sharon Ojala in my recent “Elephant Bookmark” post and have also added my favourite tutorials for making simple knotted eyes and sewing Amigurumi pieces together.