• Don Lichterman

Stop The Killing of 272+ Elephants, Asha, Raju & Van Devi, “queen of Jungle” Elephant in the Room!

Stop The Killing of 272+ Elephants

On Friday, Feb. 7, our Founder & President, Senator Raymond J. Lesniak recited the following keynote speech in Washington D.C., outside of the Embassy of Botswana Good afternoon, I’m Raymond Lesniak, the former New Jersey State Senator who sponsored New Jersey’s laws banning transactions in ivory and rhino horns, banning the importation of trophies of endangered species and their transportation through our state, and banning the exploitation and cruelty of using wild animals in circuses in our state.

Today, I want to remind everyone that God put elephants on earth long before us humans and, if anything, we’re encroaching on their territory, not visa versa. To Botswana President Masisi, I say and pray that you put an end to your love affair with the Safari Club and the auctioning off of 272 permits lined with the blood of elephants in your country. While we’re here in our nation’s capital, we also call upon Congress to ban the importation of trophies of endangered species into the United States and to join with civilized countries across the globe to restore all African elephants to Appendix 1 of the multilateral treaty, CITES, to protect endangered animals and plants and follow New Jersey’s lead and ban transactions in ivory and rhino horns.

All killing for entertainment is contrary to God’s Will. It brings out the worst in human beings. Simply put, it is cruel and inhumane. As Pope Francis has stated, “Our indifference or cruelty towards fellow creatures of this world sooner or later affects the treatment we mete out to other human beings. We have only one heart, and the same wretchedness which leads us to mistreat an animal will not be long in showing itself in our relationships with other people. Every act of cruelty towards any creature is ‘contrary to human dignity.” Continue to read on...


February brings longer days, warming weather, and moments of quiet reflection. We often get caught up in the excitement of our newest members to the herd at the ECCC, but this month we wanted to give you updates on longtime residents Raju and Asha. Your support helps us provide long-term care for elephants like these two. Thank you!


GENTLE GIANT RAJU

In his 5 years with us, Raju’s health has improved gradually as he continues his healing journey. Winter brings an abundance of spinach and cabbage to his healthy diet, but he'll be excited to get his favorite mangoes and jackfruit once the weather warms. Read more about Raju


ASHA EMBODIES "REFUSE TO RIDE"

Asha was a riding elephant at the Amer Fort, in Jaipur. She knew nothing of freedom until Wildlife SOS rescued her in 2015. Asha embodies the critical importance of the Refuse to Ride campaign. These days Asha is inseparable from her best friend Suzy.


Asha has strong matriarchal tendencies and is fiercely protective of blind, elderly Suzy.


New flooring for the Eles!

Because of you, our incredibly generous supporters, we have been able to install rubber flooring in the Wildlife SOS Elephant Hospital. We have been looking forward to this day with bated breath because this means a ton of comfort for the elephants. Read more


Van Devi, meaning “queen of the Jungle,” has a difficult but important role. She is the matriarch of a herd of 19 wild elephants that have independently relocated to a rural area in India where people are not accustomed to having elephants as neighbors. Something drove them away from their ancestral land and they have tried to make a home for themselves in a foreign landscape.

A GPS tracking collar helps monitor Van Devi's herd in the wild to reduce conflict.

In their search for food and water, the herd damaged crops of local villagers and the conflict that arose sadly resulted in deaths of both humans and elephants. For a while the local people demanded the elephants be ‘gone.’ This spelled doom for the elephants, as they would all likely be captured or killed.

Luckily, Wildlife SOS was asked to help, and with your support, we gladly offered assistance in finding solutions for these elephants to remain wild and free. We initially put a GPS collar on Van Devi and then worked with the local communities to understand how to avoid conflict.

Since we began this project in Chattisgarh, India, in partnership with the Forest Department conflicts have diminished, and the outcry to eliminate the elephants has been reduced. So far, the campaign to protect this wild extended family has been a success, but we have a lot more we can do.


Today we are asking if you will help to continue the work to support the “Jungle Queen’s” herd. Your gift today will help keep this program running to both protect the elephants and work with the villagers.

When we look at Van Devi and her herd, we can’t help but think of all the elephants at our sanctuary that we care for every day. Raju, Asha and Suzy were all born in the wild and then captured and exploited. Sadly, we can never return the elephants that already live with us back to the wild, but we can protect Van Devi and her large free-roaming family.


Elephant in The Room

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Our companies are known for creating products that enhance people's lives.  Through Sunset Corporation of America and its companies, we’re equally dedicated to improving lives.   Our commitment extends to helping local communities, fostering better educational systems, supporting the arts and culture, helping disadvantaged youth, protecting and improving the environment, animal welfare, wildlife issues and encouraging employee volunteerism.


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