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News and Information 2017-08-28T07:03:59+00:00

A Half-Century with an Elephant: Rosamond Gifford Zoo

How do you celebrate half a century with an elephant?

With a jumbo celebration!

Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York recently honored their herd’s matriarch, Siri, as she turned 50 years old! Asian elephant herd mates Romani (41), Targa (34), Doc (20), Kirinia (22), Mali (20), and Batu (2) were all on hand to celebrate the amazing occasion. The Zoo held a highly successful series of events, including Pennies for Pachyderms, a fundraiser for elephant conservation of which the International Elephant Foundation was a recipient.

Coinciding with World Elephant Day festivities, the Asian Elephant Extravaganza included a county proclamation declaring 2017 the “Summer of Siri”! Everything from Pachyderm Parties to special docent-led tours, to a Watermelon Smash was held to bring the entire community together to celebrate two generations with Siri.

We at IEF are so thankful for and in awe of the commitment by the Rosamond Gifford Zoo team that we thought you might like to learn a little bit more about them from Director Ted Fox and President of the Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo Janet Agostini:

Q: Your Pennies for Pachyderms fundraiser was in honor of Siri’s 50th birthday. What are the names, ages & species of her herdmates?

Ted Fox: We have a seven-member herd of Asian elephants. Our eldest, Siri, came to us from the Lincoln Park Zoo in 1972 as a 5-year-old. For several years she was the zoo’s only elephant and actually was outgrowing her exhibit. This led to a decision to renovate and expand the zoo in the 1980s. The “new zoo” reopened in 1986 and received AZA accreditation in 1987, and we have maintained and earned accreditation ever since. We also acquired Romani, now 41; Targa, 34, and Doc, our bull, 20. Romani’s daughter, Kirina, 22, and Targa’s daughter, Mali, 20, were born here, and now Mali and Doc have a baby boy, Batu, age 2.

Q: What kind of events were featured at Pennies for Pachyderms? How were they received by the public?

Ted Fox: Siri has been beloved by the Syracuse community for two generations, so we wanted to celebrate her 50th in a big way. We decided to have her birthday party at our Asian Elephant Extravaganza held every August the week after World Elephant Day. We asked our County Executive for a proclamation declaring summer 2017 the “Summer of Siri” and planned several events leading up to her August 19 party.

The events included Pachyderm Parties, special days that included “Elephant Walk & Talks” – docent-led tours up to Asian Elephant Preserve – and Watermelon Smash, when our elephant keeper chats included giving watermelons donated by Tops supermarkets to our herd.
We kicked off the “Pennies for Pachyderms” fundraiser at our “Summer of Siri” press conference June 6 and kept it going all summer.

Janet Agostini: We felt the best way to honor Siri would be to do something for her counterparts in the wild. I had seen another zoo do something similar and decided to borrow the idea. I thought our community and guests would respond, and it was a way to get our very youngest guests involved because when you talk about pennies it implies emptying out your piggy bank.

We kicked off Pennies for Pachyderms with $100 in pennies from the Friends of the Zoo, and the Friends offered a matching gift of up to $2,000 if we met that goal by Siri’s party. This resulted in longtime zoo supporters Bob & Zalie Linn also offering a matching gift if we reached the $2,000 goal. We put a five-gallon “bank” in the zoo lobby and asked people to bring their pennies to the zoo.

The response was tremendous. Many families brought bags full of pennies to the zoo, and many adults threw in a few bills. By August 19, we had filled three five-gallon banks with a total of $3,211.07 – more than $1,000 over our goal. With the matching gifts, we were able to give $6,000 for wild elephant conservation, $3,000 to the IEF and $3,000 to AZA SAFE.

I knew people would respond, but their generosity exceeded my expectations, and whenever you surpass a goal like that it’s just a testament to how many people love Siri and love our elephants.

Q: How have you each seen visitors impacted by the elephants they experience at the zoo?

Ted Fox: I have seen the impact especially with Siri. This is a generational community that grew up with an icon who is the face of the zoo, and the people in this community feel like they truly know a zoo animal personally. In terms of memories, seeing something as magnificent and memorable as an elephant for the first time and learning about how amazing they are, and being able to take a family picture near it, or on our statue of a baby elephant, is a story we hear all the time, that that made a big impression on individuals and families.

Janet Agostini: I see visitors impacted greatly as they watch and get to know our herd. When I see people up at the Asian Elephant Preserve exhibit, they seem so relaxed and so at ease as they watch the elephants move around and interact. It prompts you to slow down from your usual life and just take it all in. It centers you. I think there is something magical about seeing elephants on natural turf, being able to wander where their interests take them, whether to drink from the watering hole or chase a gopher out of the exhibit. Some people have told me they come to Asian Elephant Preserve to meditate. It’s that calming.

Q: What role do you believe zoos play in securing a future for elephants? Where does the Rosamond Gifford Zoo fit into that future?

Ted Fox: At the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, we take every opportunity to learn more about every aspect of the health and well-being of the elephants under our care.

We will continue to collaborate with world experts on contemporary reproductive challenge of maintaining both the wild and captive elephant populations, and we support those goals financially too. We keep up with all the training courses and we collaborate with experts on both in-situ and ex-situ philosophy on elephant care and well-being and how to stay relevant. We talk to other elephant experts all the time and we continually strive to do better for our elephants, especially in creating an environment that’s stimulating and enriching. We added a 50,000-gallon watering hole to the 4 ½-acre preserve last year that was yet another component of our exhibit meeting our goals.

I was invited to do a presentation at the recent AZA Conference about our elephant pool’s green infrastructure, and it is our understanding that it’s the first elephant exhibit ever where no water from the exhibit goes into storm or sewer systems. It all goes into a bio-filtration basin, so there’s zero impact on the municipal water system infrastructure. Elements like this and the green roof on our elephant facility demonstrate how we always combine responsible stewardship of our community and our property with everything we do.

On the table now is another enhancement that will create a 340-degree experience for our visitors of getting closer to the elephants and at the same time create a more complex environment for the elephant herd.

Q: Your elephant program has been very forward-thinking when it comes to elephant training and management. Your zoo and staff were leaders in elephant management in helping found EMA, initiating JEMA and developing the AZA Principles of Elephant Management. Can you tell us about your elephant management program and the staff behind it?

Ted Fox: Our expertise in elephant management and contributions to the EMA and AZA started with former elephant manager Chuck Doyle along with senior keepers John Moakler and Mick Case. John and Mick are both technically retired but still work part-time with our elephants, and they each bring over 30 years’ experience in elephant management to our team.

Elephant staff member Seth Groesbeck has been here 18 years, and our elephant manager, Ashley Shepperd, and keeper Cassie Guerra have each been here 9 years – so we have about 110 years of experience with elephants on our staff. Under the AZA principles of elephant management, all of our staff have to take elephant management classes. We currently have six full-time and two part-time elephant staff, plus two other part-time staff and two interns.

I encourage our staff to stay connected on a daily basis to the EMA community, and there are no limits to our support of our staff regarding staff development in elephant care and husbandry, from elephant management and training to reproduction to research.

Elephant staff Seth Groesbeck and Ashley Sheppard both attended the EMA Conference this year, and Ashley is going to Houston, TX, for PEM 2 class. We also sent Ashley to India to visit an elephant work camp to learn how working elephants are managed.

Our staff is in constant contact with other elephant experts around the world with the goal of managing our herd better and creating better welfare opportunities for the animals while also maintaining a safe work environment for our staff.

Q: Can you tell us about your breeding program?

Ted Fox: There are a lot of questions about elephant reproduction and the future population of Asian elephants. We participate in as many projects as possible and collaborate with as many professionals as possible to collect as much data as we can to help future generations. Since 1990 we have had six elephant calves born at the zoo, five of which survived. A big achievement two years ago was the birth of Batu, a male calf who represents a third generation within our herd. His mother, father, and grandmother are here and form a close family group. We are excited about continuing our efforts to create more naturalized herd dynamics, with multiple generations in a matriarchal system like those in the wild.

Q: Does your elephant herd do any demonstrations meet & greets, or other activities where zoo-goers can experience elephants beyond watching them on exhibit?

Ted Fox: All of our elephant staff do keeper chats, which we offer twice a day on weekends from May through September and every single day in June, July and August. Crowds of people gather on our elephant overlooks and amphitheater at Asian Elephant Preserve to watch these demos and have a chance to question our keepers.

During the keeper chats, two or three keepers will use hay, treats and commands to bring our elephants out and down to the fence, which is really impressive when you have six or seven elephants come out as a herd, including a baby. The keepers then run the elephants through some basic training commands like raising their feet or showing their tusks and explain how and why we train for these behaviors in order to perform all the exams, observations and care that we do to keep them happy and healthy.

Sometimes the demos will include enrichments like “watermelon smash,” an elephant birthday “cake” made of fruit, browse or treats that they have to work to get, etc.

Besides the demos, we do offer an opportunity for people to purchase a behind-the-scenes elephant encounter that allows them to go into the elephant barn and see a couple of our elephants up close and get a private keeper chat.

We also collaborate with our licensing and accrediting bodies whenever possible to have open conversations with and allow them to view the program we’re so proud of here.

Q: Does your herd participate in any studies or research projects?

Ted Fox: Yes. We are in our 20th year of collaborating with Cornell University, which sends its exotic animal veterinary staff and students here three days a week to administer care to our elephants and other animals, help train their students, and participate in research by their staff and students. Many studies in exotic animal medicine have come through Cornell’s veterinary program. Their residents are required to publish two or three research papers, and they usually conduct their research here. A current one is Sara Child-Sanford’s study on how elephants absorb Vitamin D and calcium. (See Childs-Sanford, June2017 article here). We also take blood samples from our elephants and send them to the Smithsonian Institution as part of its study of EEHV, the elephant herpes virus. (See National Zoo Elephant Herpes Virus Lab.)

Elephant research projects conducted here include:

  • Exploring Early Social Affiliations and Behavior of a Captive Asian Elephant Calf (The birth of our 2-year-old calf, Batu, gave us a 3-generation family group that allows observation of the calf interacting with his mother, father, and grandmother on a daily basis.)
  • Evaluation of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in Asian Elephants using Dried Blood Spots Analyzed by Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Lineage-specific Expansion of the TP53 Gene Repertoire in the Elephant Lineage
  • Cholecalciferol Supplementation in Asian Elephants
  • Evaluation of the i-STATE Portable Clinical Analyzer for Measurement of Ionized Calcium and Selected Blood Chemistry Values in Asian Elephants
  • Comparison of Diff-Quick and Wright Giemsa Stained Whole Blood Smears in the Asian Elephant
  • Analytic Assessment of the Vitamin D and Calcium Status of Zoo-Managed Asian Elephants
  • In-Depth Assessment of Vitamin D and Calcium Status of Captive Asian Elephants in a Northern Temperate Climate

Q: How did each of you get involved with animals, zoos and conservation outreach?

Janet Agostini: I have loved animals all my life, so working for the zoo was just a natural fit, and it is a real privilege to be able to devote my working life to their benefit.

I became an animal lover as soon as I got my first kitten as a little girl in Michigan. Much to my mother’s chagrin, my father rented a small farm when we were stationed in Michigan, and the landlord brought an animal to each of us kids. Mine was a cat, my brother got a dog. We bought a couple of horses and we were underway. I have always had animals in my life.

When I was offered the position of President and CEO of the Friends of the Zoo 11 years ago, I felt it was the perfect fit for me — I could bring my business background and fundraising skills to benefit a cause I so firmly believe in. Being able to observe and interact with the animals on a daily basis is one of the best parts of my job.

Ted Fox: My dad taught large animal medicine at Cornell University and I started going on farm calls with him at age 6, and when I was old enough to work, I would work at different farms every summer. I also had racing pigeons from the time I was 10, and that turned into chickens and waterfowl and everything else. I had a guanaco in tenth grade because a circus came through Binghamton and some stupid teenager stuck a candy apple stick and in the eye of a baby guanaco. They brought it to Cornell and when they told the circus how much it would cost, the circus said, ‘Never mind, we don’t want it.’ I happened to be there and I said, ‘I’ll take it.’  That was the first weird animal I had (laughs).

I majored in animal science at Cornell with no history at zoos until I was nearly out of college. I ended up volunteering at this zoo in the bird department and then I took a summer job the next year and the following spring I was hired as a keeper. I’ve been here ever since. And though I have been offered jobs at other zoos, including San Diego and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I ended up staying here for the quality of life, family and a strong belief that the Rosamond Gifford Zoo is a truly special place that has so much to give to the Central New York Community.

As you can see the Rosamond Gifford Zoo team is dedicated to their elephant herd and elephants around the globe. They’ve made a commitment to helping their elephant ambassadors make a real impact in their community and beyond. IEF is honored to receive their support!

November 22nd, 2017|0 Comments

August 2017 Newsletter

August 2017

If you did not get your copy of the August 2017 Newsletter, sign up NOW!

Famous chef Thomas Keller is known for saying, “It’s all about sharing!” That’s a fantastic motto for food and it’s also very appropriate for wildlife. At IEF we’ve found that with sharing comes some of the most creative, effective, and touching ways to make a difference in the lives of elephants. This month we highlight the importance of sharing when it comes to building communities dedicated to conservation. Whether you are a researcher in a range country, an enthusiast in the suburbs, or a veterinarian in the field, share your knowledge, share your passion, share your love, and share your animals with the world. Every little bit of effort you exert helps effect change whether you see it or not.


9-year-old Theo Taylor is a little man with a mission. You might ask, how can someone who just finished year 4 (3rd Grade for those of us in the US) be on a mission? Yet, Theo has rallied his friends, family, and community all for elephants with his Save The Elephant Fair. Held in his family’s beautiful garden, over 120 guests enjoyed face painting, temporary tattoos, a bake sale, games, and more, with all of the proceeds going to support elephant conservation charities, including the International Elephant Foundation. Only his first time coordinating such an event, it was wildly successful raising approximately £1,600.

August has been a busy month for IEF, bringing us back to Sumatra. Conservation Coordinator Sarah Conley went to Bengkulu and the Conservation Response Unit in Seblat. Going across the world to see elephants is an exciting experience, but far from easy. As wild places disappear, getting to them takes more and more effort. Once in Indonesia, a small plane ride into Bengkulu begins the journey, leading to a 5-hour ride through the lowland forests on unpaved roads past combinations of scenic vistas, scattered settlements, and mining concessions. From there it’s only a canoe ride across a river and a short hike up a mountain to get to the CRU camp.

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Incorporating community involvement is essential to creating a long-term investment in wildlife conservation. An IEF-supported project near Ruaha, Tanzania is doing just that.

The goal of this project is to design and deliver a comprehensive conservation education program that reaches nearly every person in the community, creating a sense of ownership and personal investment in elephant conservation that will be the foundation for sustainable co-existence between elephants and local people. Through the park visitation program, 512 people from 16 villages will be offered the opportunity to view and learn about elephants in a positive context, for the first time in their lives. The impact of this program on local people’s knowledge and attitudes can perhaps be best summarized by one of the participants, who told us last year, “I beg this project to continue – with all the education we are getting, I swear poaching activities will stop.”

August 30th, 2017|0 Comments

Greetings from Bengkulu!

August has been a busy month for IEF, bringing us back to Sumatra. Conservation Coordinator Sarah Conley went to Bengkulu and the Conservation Response Unit in Seblat. Going across the world to see elephants is an exciting experience, but far from easy. As wild places disappear, getting to them takes more and more effort. Once in Indonesia, a small plane ride into Bengkulu begins the journey, leading to a 5-hour ride through the lowland forests on unpaved roads past combinations of scenic vistas, scattered settlements, and mining concessions. From there it’s only a canoe ride across a river and a short hike up a mountain to get to the CRU camp.

Like the mahouts and forest rangers in the other CRU camps, the Seblat staff is proud and excited about their work and the animals they care for. The Seblat forest is a plot of protected habitat that’s home to tigers, tapir, hornbill, siamangs, and of course critically endangered Sumatran elephants. Moreover, this protected piece of ‘wild’ only exists because of the CRU program and IEF’s initiation of the project and years of support. It’s an indescribable feeling to be standing amongst habitat whose entire existence is a result of work done by your organization; one is all at once thankful, proud, and energized to push further and fight harder for wild things and wild places.

IEF representatives, mahouts, veterinarians, and officials from the Forest Department all ventured into the forest to check on the CRU elephants who are partners in the patrols. They enjoy a stunning area with tall grasses and a small river, where the mahouts bathe and play with their elephants. We even got to interact with and check up on Elena, an approximately 6-year-old orphaned elephant who was found abandoned and in dire need of life-saving medical attention and food. She’s healthy, growing, and spunky-just as a young elephant should be.

One of the strengths of these programs is their connection to the community. The mahouts and rangers were often born and raised in the area, and spend their time in the communities neighboring the protected region. These connections and interactions are invaluable at spreading and creating a community consensus for conservation. As more and more locals are educated and committed to conservation, the stronger and more sustainable conservation efforts become. They love the work they’re doing, and we love them for doing it.

August 29th, 2017|0 Comments

Art Prints for Conservation

Block Print artist John Caldwell is dedicating his art to elephant conservation for the third year in a row!

IEF is in awe of his talent and dedication to building a sustainable future for elephants.

Everyone who makes a donation of $50 or more will receive one of his original prints, professionally matted to fit a 9″ x 12″ frame.

August 20th, 2017|0 Comments

Historic Effort for Asian Elephant Conservation

Author: Heidi Riddle

In a historic effort to save and conserve the Asian elephant, Government representatives from the 13 Asian countries which still have extant populations of wild Asian elephants, gathered at the Asian Elephant Range States Meeting to improve collaboration and cooperation in order to protect elephants in Asia.

The Asian Elephant Range States Meeting, hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Republic of Indonesia, took place from April 18 to 20, 2017, in Jakarta, Indonesia. The meeting was facilitated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) Asian Elephant Specialist Group (AsESG), and supported by the Asian Elephant Conservation Fund of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Additional support was provided by the International Elephant Foundation, Regain Foundation, and the European Union Indonesia Office.

Click to image to read the Declaration and view a larger image.

Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam are the Asian elephant range countries committed to implementing a strategic Action Plan for Asian elephants, envisioned by the “The Jakarta Declaration for Asian Elephant Conservation” which was one of the outcomes of this Asian Elephant Range States Meeting. Deliberations stressed that the crisis facing Asian elephants overwhelms local capabilities and transcends national boundaries. Noting that saving elephants is a global challenge, the delegates called for a partnership of national governments and other stakeholders. The cooperative atmosphere was noted by Deborah Olson, Executive Director of IEF, saying, “It was a privilege for the International Elephant Foundation to support and participate in this momentous meeting. Even though the problems facing the long-term survival of the Asian elephant are difficult and many, all of the delegates, countries and organizations involved are committed to protecting the remaining populations.”

This epochal gathering strengthened Government networking among the Asian elephant range countries. It helped to identify common problems and shared lessons learned, knowledge, and experiences to conserve Asian elephants across their range, and emphasized the need to raise awareness about Asian elephants with other Government agencies, and national and international media and donors.

As a result of delegate discussions covering topics such as elephant population management, Human Elephant Conflict mitigation, poaching and illegal trade, the 13 Asian elephant range countries agreed to strengthen international collaborations, improve scientific monitoring to help restore the species’ habitat, create transboundary corridors, and halt poaching and illegal trade of ivory. The actions agreed to during the meeting also underscore the importance of creating incentives for local communities to protect elephants, and strengthening wildlife law enforcement and legislation to achieve the targets outlined in “The Jakarta Declaration for Asian Elephant Conservation”. ““Our long-term hope for this meeting is to bring attention to and create champions for the Asian elephant much like the poaching crisis has rallied governments, organizations, the general public and the media to the plight of the African elephant, which numbers 10 times more in population than the Asian elephant,” Olson added.

The meeting culminated with a Signing Ceremony of “The Jakarta Declaration of Asian Elephant Conservation” on April 20. The Indonesia Secretary General to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry , Dr. Ir. Bambang Hendroyono, MM, presided over the Signing Ceremony and spoke of the need for sustained efforts and mutual cooperation amongst Asian elephant range countries. The Signing Ceremony was attended by over one hundred dignitaries from various countries.

May 26th, 2017|0 Comments

It’s a Girl! It’s a Boy!

Congratulations to the Tegal Yoso Conservation Response Unit (CRU) Team on the birth of two healthy baby elephants in the same week!

At 2:30 AM on March 20th Riska gave birth to a healthy baby girl! Then a few days later on March 27th at 2:15 AM Dona gave birth to a healthy baby boy!

One of IEF’s signature conservation programs are the CRU teams protecting Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra. While all elephants in Indonesia are officially owned by the government, the CRU elephants live under the care of the mahouts and wildlife rangers of the CRUs. Their expertise and caring eye has raised the level of care for these elephants, which was acknowledged by the authorities when they entrusted two pregnant females in their care.

These new calfs represent two jumbo steps away from extinction for this critically endangered elephant population. Their births are a testament to the great care, dedication, and experience of the mahouts who are a tremendous asset to elephant conservation. We are proud of their work, both for wild elephant populations and for the elephants in their care!

Support the CRUs and the great work they do protecting elephants, habitat, and other wildlife.

Source of photo: Netral News (

April 30th, 2017|0 Comments

Woburn UK sends us this Easter Photo

Woburn in the UK sent us this fabulous photo to share

Conservation requires a great deal of ‘thinking forward’–thinking forward towards the next project, thinking forward towards policy developments, thinking forward for population numbers, and thinking forward for the future of elephants. This month, we are pleased to highlight some of the many ways IEF thinks forward including fostering the healthy birth and care of baby elephants, spreading conservation messaging, and of course planning projects for next year!

We’d also like to thank our supporters at Woburn Safari Park in the United Kingdom for this month’s Newsletter Headline Photo! Their annual Elephant Conservation Weekend over Easter is a fantastic event, bringing together wildlife enthusiasts, keepers, animal ambassadors, and the public to foster conservation education and get everyone ‘thinking forward’.

April 30th, 2017|0 Comments

2017 IEF Project Support

IEF-supported projects protect elephants from poaching, seek solutions for human-elephant conflict, equip and train community conservationists, increase our knowledge of the treatment and prevention of disease and educate people.

In 2017, IEF will provide over $600,000 to support elephant conservation around the world, adding to the over $4 million total invested in conserving elephants since our inception in 1998. The following elephant conservation projects will receive support from IEF in 2017.




  • Big Tusker Project (Providing Extra Protection for Tsavo’s Iconic “Tuskers”), Kenya
  • Conservation of Elephants in Key Areas of Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA), Uganda
  • Elephant Utilization of the Kafue-Zambezi Wildlife Corridor of KAZA TFCA, Zambia
  • HEC Abatement: Deterrents, Ecological Correlates, and Climate Smart Agriculture Practices, Kenya
  • Logistical Support for the Nsama Community Scout Anti-Poaching Unit for Nsumbu National Park, Zambia
  • Mount Kenya Horse Patrol Team
  • Support to Joint Conservancy Anti-Poaching Team of Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT)
  • Sustaining Local Support for Elephant Conservation near Ruaha, Tanzania
  • Wildlife Protection and Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) Mitigation for the Communities of Chiawa, Zambia
  • Community-Based Human Elephant Conflict Management, Bhutan
  • Conflict to Coexistence: Securing Jharkhand-West Bengal Inter- State Elephant Corridor, India
  • Elephant Conservation Welfare Training for Temple Mahouts and Cawadi, India
  • Fostering Human-Elephant Coexistence (HECx) Awareness in Erode, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Implementing a Crowd-sourced Elephant Monitoring and Early Warning, India
  • Monitoring Asian Elephants and Mitigating Human-Elephant Conflict in the Core Landscape of the Southern/Eastern Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia
  • Strengthening Community Based Anti-Poaching Units (CBAPUs) for Asian elephant Conservation in the Corridor between Nepal and India
  • Elephant Response Units (ERUs) in Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra, Indonesia
  • Support and Development of an Elephant Conservation Center, Myanmar

    Ex Situ

  • EEHV Genomics and Pathogenesis
  • Identification of Candidate Proteins for an EEHV Vaccine
  • Pharmacokinetics of Rectally and Orally Administered Levofloxacin in Asian elephants
  • Relevancy of African and Asian Elephants in Zoological Facilities

Will you join us supporting these projects? DONATE TODAY

April 30th, 2017|0 Comments

Conservation Project Grant Application – 2018

The International Elephant Foundation (IEF) is now accepting proposals for 2018 Elephant Conservation and Research Funding Support.

AFRICAN ELEPHANT Conservation Funding Support.

  • Human-elephant conflict mitigation and coexistence
  • Reducing habitat fragmentation and loss
  • Action to eliminate illegal killing and trafficking of elephants
  • Community capacity building
  • Conservation education

ASIAN ELEPHANT Conservation Funding Support.

Elephants in Human Care Conservation and Research Funding Support.

  • Critical diseases – EEHV or Tuberculosis.
  • Quantify the impacts of conservation education at U.S elephant holding facilities on public action in the U.S and/or in Asian and/or African elephant range countries.


Proposals must be received at the IEF office by 11:59 pm CST on 11 August 2017.

April 30th, 2017|0 Comments

A little more about NRT…

Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) oversees 33 community conservancies and is dedicated to developing the capacity and self-sufficiency of its constituent communities who in return protect their wildlife and habitat. Giraffes, rhinos, lions, zebra, antelope are just a few of the species benefitting from this protection through the patrolling of armed wildlife rangers who risk their lives daily in the fight against poachers. The work of the anti-poaching teams has led to significant declines in elephant poaching throughout NRT reversing the trend which had been steadily increasing since 2010. Populations of lions and giraffes are increasing in numbers and not a single rhino has been killed for over two years. NRT rangers forego comfort and safety on a daily basis. They take pride in wearing the uniform, a symbol to the public and poacher alike that they have pledged their lives to the protection of life, property and wildlife.

Remember: December 31 is your last opportunity to make a tax deductible donation in 2016.


April 30th, 2017|0 Comments

EEHV Advisory Group Meeting

The Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus (EEHV) Advisory Group met in Atlanta, GA, the Saturday following the joint American Association of Zoo Veterinarians/European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians conference in July 2016. This was the second meeting of the Advisory Group since its inception in 2014. Attendees included 13 Advisory Group members and 18 invited guests, representing 6 countries total, including veterinarians, researchers, and elephant management specialists. The meeting began with regional updates from North America, Europe, and Asia, covering important topics such as potential new diagnostic options for screening at risk calves, evaluation of shedding during elephant transfer, a census of cases and research efforts in Europe, and reports of wild elephant deaths from EEHV in India. The group then turned their focus to updating two documents that outline the Standards of Care for Elephant Calves (as related to EEHV) and EEHV Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing. These two important resources are currently under revision, with new updates being available soon.

Other topics discussed included African elephants and EEHV, with a sub group of attendees from African elephant institutions committing to work together on developing more information and eventual guidelines for monitoring for EEHV in African calves and herds. Because EEHV is a global problem with elephants in both human care and in range countries, the Advisory group will identify regional Steering Committees which can better assist with supporting research and collaborative efforts in their specific geographical areas. This reorganization will facilitate the broader dissemination of information and best practices.

The EEHV Advisory Group is still determining the best methods for endorsing research projects, the protocol for which will likely vary by region. The website supported by the EEHV Advisory Group,, is currently undergoing a major overhaul and will be fully updated very soon. This website continues to be a major resource for EEHV Collaborators as well as clinicians and animal care personnel learning about EEHV for the first time.

The group concluded in the afternoon developing a list to prioritize the various areas of EEHV-related research, to help guide future researchers and collaborators on what the biggest needs of the community are. The results are listed below:

  1. Virus Culture
  2. Antiviral Efficacy
  3. Pathogenesis, pathophysiology of hemorrhagic disease
  4. Vaccine Development
  5. Risk Factors Associated with EEHV HD
  6. Elephant Host Immune Response; Adaptive (cytokines, T cells, antibodies)
  7. Antibody Test
  8. Hemostatic response; Clotting, platelets, etc
  9. African elephant epidemiology
  10. EEHV Shedding (origin of shedding, saliva vs trunk wash, fetal fluids)
  11. Early morphological changes to detect disease (lymph nodes)
  12. Elephant Host Immune Response: Innate (cytokines, host defenses, acute phase proteins)
  13. Immunohistochemistry
  14. Genetics related to EEHV (Elephant genetics) and viral evolution
  15. Wild Asian elephant surveys
  16. Aciclovir pharmacokinetic study (PK) in Asian elephants
  17. Famciclovir PK Study in Africans
  18. Ganciclovir PK in Asian elephants

The complete report of the EEHV Advisory Group, as well as the updated documents on Standards of Care for elephant calves and Monitoring and Testing, will be available to the public on by mid October 2016.

The EEHV Advisory Group would like to acknowledge their generous sponsors, without whom this critical meeting would not have taken place:
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
International Elephant Foundation
Oregon Zoo
Oklahoma City Zoo
Ft. Worth Zoo
Ringling Bros Center for Elephant Conservation
Smithsonian’s National Zoo
EEHV Consortium

April 30th, 2017|0 Comments

Give an Elephant a Lift – Donate your Vehicle!

Donate your old vehicle to the International Elephant Foundation (IEF)

Wondering what to do with your used car, truck, motorcycle or boat? Donating your old vehicle to the International Elephant Foundation (IEF), is convenient, easy, and may qualify you for a tax deduction. And best of all, your donation will make a big difference in supporting IEF’s Asian and African elephant conservation and protection programs.

All you need to do is to complete our simple online form or call 1-866-628-2277 and we’ll take care of the rest.

We will pick up your vehicle, arrange to have your donation towed, and provide you with a tax-deductible receipt, all at no charge to you.

Call 1-866-628-2277 or online at

April 1st, 2016|0 Comments

Integrating teaching and folklore theatre to promote HECx

R. Marimuthu and B.A. Daniel

International Elephant Foundation IEF funded a project to conduct 10 Human Elephant Coexistence street plays, two days teacher- training workshops and 2 school education programmes in Erode Forest Division, Tamil Nadu. Zoo Outreach Organization conducted several teacher-training workshops in India (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal), Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Indonesia and Thailand. This had an escalating effect in which participants of the training have created momentum in their institution or organization or on their own and as the educators they trained, educated more students.


Click here to download Magazine pdf.

October 21st, 2015|0 Comments