For Elephant Appreciation Day 2023, we are bringing you a roundup of news about elephants from around world.
On the glamorous side, the Wall Street Journal Magazine recently profiled the elephant conservation work of the couple David Bonnouvrier and Trish Goff who have raised more than $15 million through their Knot My Planet organization. They live in Kenya and are working closely with local communities to address human-wildlife coexistence from the ground up. (Registration or subscription required).
Dutch photographer Jasper Doest has won the prestigious Fritz Polking Prize for his arresting photographs of the plight of the African forest elephants in central Gabon. This critically endangered species is less well-known than their savannah-dwelling cousins. Doest’s work will help raise the profile of the need to help save this elusive species.
In India, a Supreme Court-appointed panel recently declared illegal a dozen resorts along the Segur elephant corridor that allows elephants to move between different parts of their habitat. This area is home to the largest population of Asian elephants in the world. Closing the resorts will help secure this vital transit corridor.
The Non-human Rights Project continues its legal battles on behalf of elephants in captivity. Most recently, they have filed a suit in Fresno, California. They are “arguing that Amahle, Nolwazi, and Mabu be set free from their ‘unjust imprisonment in the Fresno Chaffee Zoo.’”
Closer to home, three members of the MFE board offered testimony in support of H.3245/S.2197/S.2189, the “circus bill” that would prevent the use of elephants, big cats, primates, giraffes, and bears in traveling shows in the Commonwealth. The bill is currently in committee. Please contact your state representatives and senators to voice your support.
The “ivory bill,” S.519, that would prohibit trafficking in ivory or rhinoceros horn in Massachusetts is in committee. It is picking up co-sponsors, most recently Rep. Kristen Kassner (D. 2nd Essex) added her support. This bill is unlikely to advance in this session though it still deserves your support. We want to build momentum for the next session.