rsvp by october 18 - don't delay - SPACE IS LIMITED!
Why we need your help
In Asia, an estimated 16,000 elephants are currently maintained in captivity for a variety of purposes: logging, tourism, cultural and religious activities, and transportation. Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is home to the largest captive Asian elephant population in the world. Of the 5,520 elephants in captivity, 2,985 are owned by the government-run Myanmar Timber Enterprise (MTE) and 2,535 are privately owned. The number of captive elephants exceeds the number of elephants in the wild in Myanmar which number around 3,000.
In April 2014, the Myanmar government imposed a ban on exporting raw teak and timber allowing only the export of high-end finished timber products. This resulted in the MTE no longer leasing privately owned timber elephants for logging resulting in thousands of unemployed elephants and mahouts. The MTE also retired almost all the government owned timber elephants. Unfortunately, the MTE cannot continue subsidizing the care of these elephants since they are no longer generating revenue from logging. If nothing is done, these elephants will be put back to work logging (destroying the fragile ecosystem), be cruelly trained to be performance animals and live a life of begging, or released into the wild to fend for themselves which will most likely result in their death at the hands of poachers or from dangerous conflict with humans.
This critical situation represents an unprecedented opportunity to implement our innovative free and fair market solution that will help give these elephants a better future.
But it is also critical for the welfare of the elephants that the mahouts and their families who care for these elephants receive support so they can continue to care for the elephants. These elephants have lived their entire life in captivity under the care of these mahouts and separating them would be detrimental to the well-being of the elephant since they are not able to live alone in the wild. Those who privately own elephants are already trying to deal with the loss of logging income and those that care for government owned elephants could soon face the same fate resulting in the loss of food and critical veterinarian care for the elephants.
Our innovative solutions will result in the creation of a safe, secure place where elephants live in peace and receive the critical care they need; mahouts are trained in the newest humane standards in elephant care; the ecosystem is protected by the continued reduction in logging, the mahouts and their families have jobs, clean water, sanitation, long-term medical care and access to schools; and presents a unique opportunity for those who support our efforts to not only live near the natural habitat of elephants, but actually witness the impact of their support.
But we must act now before this opportunity is lost. To implement our program, we must raise $100,000 by December 31, 2017 and with your help we can achive that goal.
We are fortunate to have the support of the world famous Belmond El Encanto in Santa Barbara, California. Forbes Travel Guide calls it "serene and quiet" and a "gem of a boutique hotel. Brick pathways lead you around the grounds, and mature cypress, palm and eucalyptus trees flank the numerous bungalows, which sit far from the madding crowd.
With verdant green landscaping, the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel looks like a quaint forested neighborhood. The outdoor pool is strategically situated so that the shallow end is closest to the views of another body of water, the ocean. From the original 1928 wishing well to the historic lily pond and its 100-year-old wisteria vines climbing up brick-columned arbor, it’s a throwback in style with modern amenities, such as the use of electric bikes and Wi-Fi. With tasting rooms two blocks from the beach and traditional wine country just over the hill 30 minutes away, the surrounding area just adds to the luxury hotel’s charm."
The Belmond El Encanto
800 Alvarado Place
Santa Barbara, CA 93103