Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Elephant Enlightenment


'Peace' in the Ticino/Lombard language, spoken in Switzerland

a Swiss paperdoll collage, OrigamiBears

I never quite know what I am going to blog about until I actually start writing it!
Today appears to be an

I have loved elephants for as long as I can remember.
I can stand at the zoo for quite a long time and just watch them.
Some day, I am going to be able to touch one.
That would be super super cool!
Here in the Denver metro area, the Denver Zoo has just opened their
'Elephant Passage' area.
It is quite huge, and will be able to accommodate several bulls,
as well as the matriarchal females.
It also features many animals in larger, more true-to-life settings from Asia.
Our tapir has a new friend, and a decent enclosure finally.

Denver Zoo Elephant Passage

here are some Toyota Elephant Passage info/facts: 

Some of the animals in the new Passage include:
Malayan Tapirs
Fruit bats
Clouded Leopards
Flying Fox
Sarus Cranes

an iris folded card by J. Bergkaarten

Some things that make this new exhibit so special:

a biomass gasification system that uses -
elephant poo!!
It converts more than 90% of the zoo's waste
(includes animal waste and human trash)
into usable energy to power the exhibit!
I think that is very cool.
It also eliminates 1.5 MILLION POUNDS of trash from landfills
on a yearly basis.


a 45 year old bull with baby 'Baylor', Houston Zoo

But wait, there's more!

The Toyota Elephant Passage has a state-of-the-art water filtration system.
It recycled most of the 1.1 MILLION GALLONS
of water that runs through the exhibit.
The recycled water is then used in the irrigation system and animal exhibits
(think moats, ponds, etc.)

Toyoto Elephant Passage, Denver Zoo,

But wait....there's even more good news!!!

Natural lighting with skylights and windows decrease electric lighting.
The Zoo also uses Solatube,
a system that reflects sunlight to provide natural light.
a no-maintenance, radiant heating rather than forced air
to keep the residents, and their human visitors, comfortable,
even through our cold winters.

Elephant in an elephant scherensnitte cutting
by susanne

Extra monitoring systems help to make the indoor air healthy,
and low-VOC carpets, paints, coatings and adhesives were used to build it.


Here are some really cool (I think)

The Asian elephant weighs an average 11,500 pounds.

They can be on average 18 - 21 feet long.

The Asian Elephant is the largest land mammal in the world.

With only some 350,000 wild elephants left,
extinction is very possible by the end of this decade.
That's like 2020 folks.

Let's take a look at just the elephants in Thailand.

Since 1993 the Asian elephant population in Thailand
has gone from 40,000 to less than 2,600 left in captivity.

The remaining elephants are often overworked, abused,
exported to zoos around the world,
and disfigured by forgotten landmines along the Thai borders.

There is this neat lady
Soraida Salwala
that opened the World's First Asian Elephant Hospital
in Lampang, Thailand (1993)
An unheard of thing!

Thailand, November 2011
a mahout and elephant in the Loy Krathong Festival
for the Goddess of the River

Her story starts out with an injured elephant lying on the side of the road,
when she was 8 years old. It had been hit by a truck.
Her family drove past, and a gunshot was heard.
Her father told her "Uncle Elephant is in heaven now."
She wanted to know why, if the elephant was hurt,
he couldn't go to the hospital.

Not getting an answer she liked,
the Asian Elephant Hospital was opened.
It is operated by the Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE).
To date, Ms. Salwala and her staff have treated
over 3,000 elephants.
These elephants were injured with everything from
knife wounds,
gunshot wounds,
broken bones
and landmine accidents
to eye infections
and drug addictions.
The Asian Elephant Hospital has even made prosthetic limbs
for elephants mangled by landmine accidents.

A commendable woman;
a commendable Elephant Hospital.

Thai mahouts and their elephants in the annual Loy Krathong Festival,
Ayutthaya province, 11/2012.

Let's have a little elephant fun!

an African elephant,
by OrnaArtHeart - here is the exact etsy addy:
Another beauty from Orna's hands:
circa 1848, 'Jullien's Elephant Polka'

original collage,

 I have lots more elephant fun,
but blogspot/yahoo is being super slow now,
so I need to close before my blood pressure goes up!

See you soon!!!


Here are some of the resources I used in this blog:

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