The Sanctuary's 2020 International Collaborations and a Visit from Wild Welfare
In early February, The Sanctuary welcomed international partner Dave Morgan, Founder and Field Director of Wild Welfare, a UK nonprofit that collaborates with leading zoos and animal welfare organizations in identifying and improving the welfare of captive wild animals around the world. Dave was joined by Margaret Whittaker, President of Creative Animal Behavior Solutions, who works closely with Wild Welfare and another of The Sanctuary’s international partners, Animals Asia.
As shared by Dave and Margaret, grant funds in 2019 empowered Wild Welfare to visit Lok Kawi Wild Park (LKWP) in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (Malaysia) to conduct a welfare audit on their 14 Bornean elephants; give presentations on the topics of welfare, environmental enrichment, and positive training; and introduce the notion of Protected Contact elephant management. Their time at LKWP was met with such enthusiasm that they were able to accomplish this and much more, including the initiation of PC training with three elephants, designing and building environmental enrichment for numerous wild animal species, and making improvements to leopard and sun bear enclosures.
“Without the support from The Elephant Sanctuary, the type of hands-on visit we conducted at LKWP would not have been possible. Because of the support, we were able to effect changes that benefited 40 individuals representing 10 species. The extra resources allowed us to have a longer visit, provided the opportunity to continue to forge collaborative relationships built on trust and the desire to improve the care and well-being of the animals at LKWP.”
Through a generous gift from the estate of Mark Hopkins Schell in 2017, over the last three years, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee has expanded funding to ten international organizations working on four continents to protect elephants in the wild and improve the wellbeing of captive elephants around the globe.
The Sanctuary’s Board reviewed global projects and proposals for elephant conservation and welfare and has awarded gifts to the following organizations.
2020 International Collaborations:
Animals Asia Foundation (China)
In support of workshops for staff of 50 zoos in China demonstrating behavioral and protected contact management and enrichment.
To continue work in Amboseli to document African elephant behavior and develop a searchable database, as well as to travel and consult at The Sanctuary in 2020.
Elephant Haven (Europe)
To support the building of a barn and perimeter fence for Europe’s first sanctuary dedicated to elephants.
Elephants Without Borders (Africa)
For the continued care of the three orphaned elephants and the addition of one new calf (rescued at the age of two months and requiring critical care), and educational outreach focused on human-elephant conflict.
Global Sanctuary for Elephants (Brazil)
To help with the expansion of Global Sanctuary Brazil to meet the needs of elephants identified for transfer to sanctuary.
Stellenbosch University (Africa)
Continued assistance for research to improve the health and welfare of African elephants.
Utopia Scientific — Caitlin O’Connell — African Elephant Society (Africa)
In support of fieldwork to gather data and demonstrate that male African elephants form stable bonded groups.
Wildlife SOS (India)
In support of the Chhattisgarh Elephant Safety project to analyze GPS data and lead community work to mitigate human-elephant conflict for the protection of wild elephants.
Wild Welfare (East Malaysia)
For training of elephant personnel at Lok Kawi Wildlife Park in Sabah, East Malaysia to improve the immediate and long-term quality of care and welfare of 14 Bornean elephants.
Working Dogs 4 Conservation (Africa and Asia)
To care and train rescue dogs in global conservation projects in the field in Zambia and Tanzania to enhance safety and rapid response.