Chance is a wonderful thing. I arrived at our tiny winy local airport in Limoges this afternoon and who should I bump into but my elephant heroes, the founders of Europe’s first elephant sanctuary (Elephant Haven), Sofie and Tony. It was a lovely afternoon talking elephants.
Next week is the start of a mighty important 42 days for them.
I met them on their way to the France Show at the Olympia in London to promote Elephant Haven. It’s been an enormous amount of work getting to this point. They have worked for years with elephants at Antwerp zoo, the charity is up and running, they have on board a team of world-wide elephant experts, have found the land, and are working with local people, their local mayor and the Perigord North Regional Park to ensure the first elephants arrive in 2016.
Now they need raise the rest of the money to buy the land and get it ready for the elephants. That’s where the 42 days and Indigogo come in.
Indigogo is a crowd funding organisation where normal people like us can help make incredible things happen. Like the first elephant sanctuary in Europe.
Elephants are being banned from performing in circuses in many countries around Europe and they have nowhere to go. They live as long as humans. Every elephant matters in a world which is slowly seeing elephant numbers dwindle to frighteningly low levels.
Indigogo was a new word for me recently. But it’s not all that complicated. You set a target, invite the world to help raise that target and give gifts as a thank you ranging in value depending upon the donation. Donating a euro will get you a massive thank you on behalf of these big old ladies. A jumbo donation will get you a stay at the Boon Lot Elephant Sanctuary, BLES, in Thailand – another sanctuary for working elephants making a difference to the lives of ex-logging and ex-trekking elephants in Thailand. And there are plenty more gifts in the middle.
It’s easy peasy too. You click on the site and donate. And help an elephant. Simple.
Starts Tuesday! Link to follow.
If elephants could jump – they are the only land mammals in the world who can’t – these ladies would be jumping for joy.
And a wee word from Tony and Sofie,
“Please join us to make Elephant Haven happen, so the old ellies have a home to retire to. Thanks to everybody who has been supporting us.”