Art, Charity

Elephant Parade Rotterdam

I want to thank TENPA, at Digital Tibetan Buddhist Altar for posting an intro to my blog; it’s such an honor for me. I’m learning about Buddhism as I’m writing, if there’s any misconception of my understanding of Buddhism, please do advice.

I’ve been following Darly’s postings on her elephant hunt, she is so lucky to have lived in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and able to see the elephant parade while some of us could only see it in photos. I love elephant and collect anything that’s related to elephant.

My first counter with real live elephants was when I attended elementary school in Thailand, we had school event called Vanh Dek, or children’s day and we had a soccer game with the baby elephant, and I’m not sure who won, us or the baby elephant, but one thing for sure, the baby elephant can really kick the soccer ball. I also sat on the mommy elephant’s trunk; she formed it into a U shape. I was about 8 years old at the time.

Elephant Parade Rotterdam takes place from September 1 until November 17 2007. It is an initiative of Marc and Mike Spits (father and son), it’s a worldwide event created to make people aware of the fact that in Asia elephants are an endangered species, which supports the elephant through the sale and auction of Elephant Parade products, and create awareness for elephants through the Elephant Parade. Its mission is to help save the elephants; a world without elephants is unimaginable but can become reality.

Friends of the Asian (FAE) operates the first elephant hospital in the world in Lang Pang, close to the city of Chiang Mai, Thailand. It’s actively working to help protect elephants such as stopping the illegal cross-border trade in elephants, especially calves, into Thailand, vigorously opposes the export of elephants and lobbies the government to register all new-born elephants to facilitate the proper identification of those born in captivity. FAE also operates a hospital facility as well as mobile clinic. The elephant hospital has already saved 2.700 elephants! However, they need funding and Elephant Parade has decided to help the Friends of the Asian Elephant.

Thailand is a country that has long revered the elephant for its royal and religious significance and is a home to some 4,000 of the fewer than 50,000 Asian elephants still surviving; compared to the relatively enduring population of African elephants (currently estimated to number about 500,000), the rapidly dwindling Asian population was a major cause of concern. In 1975, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) banned the commercial trade in Asian elephants. Thailand ratified the convention in 1983, and has been subject to its provisions ever since. In 1986, the Asian elephant was added to the World Conservation Union (IUCN) list of endangered species.

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