Saturday, November 03, 2007

Species Sale

Climate change. Habitat loss. Human predation. There's six billion of us so it's going to take a lot to wipe us off the planet, but species with small populations are at risk.

Tigers, for example. There's probably only about 2,500 left on the planet. They are rare; perhaps not as uncommon as Stradivaius violins, of which there are six-hundred or so, and of sourse each one of these is worth millions of dollars, but anyways, there are very few big striped cats left.

Elephants, too. There are probably about forty-thousand Asian elaphants left, and almost half of those remain in captivity. The wild ones live in deep jungles which makes it difficult to count them.

This is Desi.

"For centuries, elephants earned their keep by hauling trees for Asia's logging industry. Deforestation and logging restrictions led to massive unemployment for the elephants, with the result that many, dependent on keepers who could no longer afford to care for them, simply died of neglect. With fewer and fewer elephants surviving in South and South-East Asia, Asian elephants are now on the endangered species list.

To reverse this trend, dedicated men and women throughout South and South-East Asia have created various sanctuaries for elephants, striving to preserve this majestic species. Now, aided by members of the international art community and conservationists, these sanctuaries have trained a handful of elephants in the delicate art of painting - as one way to help the animals help themselves, raising funds as well as awareness."

Maybe if they sold enough of their paintings they could save themselves from extinction.

Interesting: When you look at the paintings done by various elephants (these are for sale here and here,) it seems that these animals each have an individual style.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love elephants! one of the joys of a trip to Thailand is elephants at the tourist sites that you can feed for a little $$.

btw, you will enjoy my comment on the Dallas zoo - "Poo at the Zoo heats the Gnu".

from Ruth