There has been and always will be numerous causes regarding support and better understanding of wildlife people are involved with to aid and improve dire situations.
For me, it is Elephants.
Love of Elephants are mere words attempting to convey a much deeper meaning of how I feel about Elephants and my desire to assist with their survival in any way possible.
The first time I had the opportunity to really observe these amazing animals in nature was in the Addo and Kruger National Parks in South Africa.
Spending hours at the waterholes by myself, I was touched and mesmerized by their behavior towards one another and felt drawn to them, recognizing in their behavior, patterns of respect and devotion to each other. Observing this, left me with a longing for what we have ‘lost’ in our human interaction. We can learn so much from them, if we care to take the time to do so and keep them alive for generations to come.
The concept of their family ties captivated me. Elephants enjoy such well-defined social structures and norms, which enables them to form close bonds with those within their immediate herd and family. Females benefit from this security and it allows an enormous degree of trust and sanctuary within the herd. Elephants never forget their roots and commit much time and effort keeping track of their family through vocal and non-vocal communication with families divided and branched-off forming new herds.
Elephants are known for their superior intelligence and memory. The Matriarch takes responsibility for the family’s well-being and survival. As the oldest and experienced leader, the herd takes their cue from her, where and when to drink, feed or stay clear of predators and/or potential danger.The family consists of daughters, sisters, aunts and mothers with their adorable babies. All relatives protects the babies, who gets into all sorts of trouble and life threatening situations. The females are fierce in protecting the calves, keeping them close within the herd when in danger. Births are celebrated with joyous trumpeting and their dead are mourned with silent rumblings.
It makes you think….
The males on the other hand, live alone or in loosely bonded bachelor pods after leaving the matriarchal herd, mingling only with the females for mating purposes. Young bulls become the trail blazers, covering vast distances, venturing into new territories to explore, putting them in danger of potential human contact and targets for poaching.
To me Elephants are magnificent in stature, gentle of nature, protective when needed, doing their best to survive in an ever-diminishing natural habitat.
Our world will be much poorer in essence if Elephants are not here to share it with us and in light of this, I want to do something to help the Elephants.
Preferring to contribute to a national organisation, I contacted Professor Willie Nel at UNISA - Department of Environmental Sciences - with images and ideas of how to get involved through proceeds from art-work, which led to an introduction to Dr Michelle Henley, CEO and the principal researcher of Elephants Alive in Hoedspruit.
I was fortunate to spend three days with Michelle and her research team, accompanying them on tracking Elephants and getting to know the staff. Needless to say it was a humbling, emotional and an awe-inspiring experience. Being in such close proximity with these remarkable Elephants, I witnessed first-hand what this amazing team do and accomplish on a daily basis.
In collaboration of all the people involved and with the support of my business partner Amanda, it is our aim to make the Elephants Alive project a success.
The first objective for ‘tahli tusk’ is to raise enough funds to sponsor a collaring project for ‘’Elephants Alive’’ to help Michelle and her team with much needed information for keeping elephants alive. Through tracking individuals the scientists collect data to establish their movements and needs ‘’at a time when their numbers are being decimated across Africa’’.
This is where your help and involvement will be greatly valued and needed for the future of the Elephants. Future generations will be grateful and we thank you and appreciate your willingness in keeping elephants alive on our watch.
Please visit the Elephants Alive on Facebook or web page for more information regarding their research at http://elephantsalive.org/
We strive, by means of our designs, to -
bring an awareness of the sentient African Elephant, into as many lifestyle activities as possible, amongst all age groups by means of a variety of functional articles and objects used on a daily bases, decorated with – or shaped like – our signature elephant character ‘tahli tusk’.