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Annie with one of the Elephants on Parade in London

During the summer of 2010, the streets of London were filled with elephants…peppermint color, sparkly, precious elephants. The UK’s Elephants on Parade was a fundraiser for Elephant Family, a charitable organization to protect the Asian Elephant.

The Asian Elephant (about 30,000 in existence) is found throughout Southeast Asia, from India to the southern tip of China. The diet of the elephant is a major piece of the puzzle to why the Asian elephant is endangered.They are herbivores and consume about 440 pounds of grasses, leaves, fruits, vines and bark per day, and drink 50 gallons of water. Imagine the swath a herd of elephants could cut through the jungle in just one day. Now, what if they are moving through cultivated fields instead…fields that are the source of survival for the people of a village. Those villagers do what we would probably do if our livelihood was being destroyed, try to kill the elephants. The goal of Elephant Family is to help humans and elephants co-exist.  As villages expand and encroach upon the elephants’ migration routes, Elephant Family is buying land to secure the Asian Elephants’ migration routes. Once the migration routes are connected, the elephants can migrate safely; therefore, protecting the elephants from poachers and angry villagers.

Last April, the Faberge Big Egg Hunt took place in NYC. Hundreds of eggs were scattered around the city for egg hunters to find. The charity raised over $1 million dollars for Elephant Family and Studio in a School.  Here’s a time-lapse video of the creation of one of those eggs:

What can you do to help protect the Asian Elephant? You don’t have to take a single penny from your pocket. Many of us have “ride an elephant” on our bucket list. Now is the time to scratch that off the list. These elephants are overworked, poorly treated and under nourished. As noted in Justin Plus Lauren’s Travel Blog, often the elephants collapse and die…even while tourists are riding in the carriers. Here’s their account of this event in Vietnam:

Lauren suggests that volunteering to help at an elephant sanctuary would be more fun than a short ride on an elephant.

This is such a great video about how the elephant sanctuaries are helping the elephants from A Broad Abroad. She does some exciting travel videos:


In Yahoo Travel, Brittany Jones Cooper has an article detailing how the elephants are being exhausted:

The bottom line is to work toward a cooperative environment between elephants and humans. Please do your part to help protect these mighty animals.