Dates for your diaries in Sri Lanka, Texas and errr.... the world?
Three public service announcements from three different quarters, two friends and an Aunty...
For those in Texas, an invitation to a press conference to announce the opening of a new sanctuary and facility for the eles at Houston Zoo and a place to take in other eles from around the States.
For those in Sri Lanka or with access to a good internet bookshop an announcement of a new book by our friend Srilal Miththapala - a man whose business card reads "Elephant Enthusiast"....
...and for those citizens of the world an announcement from BBC World of a programme on the ivory smuggling business.
Please scroll down...
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the National Elephant Center, it is our pleasure to invite you to attend the formal announcement of TNEC and our collaborative agreement with Waste Management. This unique partnership will create a new model for excellence in elephant care and conservation.
During a national news conference on Thursday, February 7 at 10 a.m. at the Houston Zoo with the elephants in the background, representatives of The National Elephant Center Board (which includes Rick), and the CEO of Waste Management will sign and formally announce the agreement.
Located on 300 acres owned by Waste Management in Okeechobee, Florida, the Center will be adjacent to property that Waste Management maintains as a natural area certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council. About 900 acres of open space separate the Center’s from Waste Management’s nearby nonhazardous landfill. When you see the site, we are sure you will agree that it is an excellent environment for elephants in our care.
The Center will provide AZA accredited zoos with elephant population management options, research and conservation opportunities, and a training venue for keepers, curators, and veterinarians. This project is made possible through the support of AZA-accredited zoos, Waste Management, and numerous public and private donations.
We hope you will join us for this national press event. Please park in the main parking lot and go to the main entrance where zoo staff will meet you and escort you to the press conference area. Also, please email Pam Warfield at email@example.com or call 713-533-6801 with your attendance plans. We look forward to seeing you next Thursday.
|Taking “Tranquil Footsteps” in the wild |
|By Damayanthi Hewamanna
Tranquil Footsteps a long awaited dream of Srilal Miththapala which tells the story about the elephants of Udawalawe National Park was launched last week.
“This is a long dream that has now come to reality”, Serendib Leisure Management Ltd Director and Chief Executive Officer and Author of Tranquil Footsteps Srilal Miththapala stated. He went on to add that when he used to travel he realized that he was accumulating a lot of knowledge of the environment and surroundings around him, which lead him to get deeper into this and write a novel about his best loved interest and other love.
The story is of an elephant family living in the Uda Walawe National Park and the story is told through the eyes of the female matriarch elephant and it traces the life experiences of the herd through its colourful and humanistic elephant characters. It tells the life of a female elephant and her family living in the Park during the period of 1998 to 2002 and she recalls her experiences, trials and tribulations of her day to day life in the Park with flashbacks to her childhood, the death of her mother and the subsequent transition of the mantle of leadership on to her shoulders.
The book also gives information about elephants, the wildlife and the Uda Walawe National Park itself. Srilal’s interest and love for the wildlife and elephants is abundantly manifested through the matriarch’s story of her life.
“We are talking about a species we all like to see, but as we go out of Colombo we may not get the same reaction”, University of Colombo Professor of Environmental Science, Sarath Kotagama said. We are trying to convince the lovers of elephants that there are people who hate them as well.
Somewhere down the line maybe in the next 100 years there maybe no elephants living in Sri Lanka and separating them saying you are elephants and this is your territory and this is our territory would not come up as a solution for this.
Professor Kotagama added that there is a 400km electric fence that separates the elephants from the human and they are planning on increasing it to 800km sometime soon and we will see the real results of that after 2008. We are doing the best for the elephants and we are planning on giving them the best.
Miththapala is a serious wildlife and nature enthusiast with a fondness to elephants. He is a regular lecturer at the Wildlife and Nature Forum and has given talks on elephants and environment to many of the schools in Colombo and out stations as well and has been the guest speaker for a number of associations. In 2002 he undertook a field research program in Mobility Patterns and Population Dynamics of Sri Lankan Elephants in the Uda Walawe National Park under the sponsorship of US Fish and Wildlife Services. He presented his findings at the International Symposium on Human Elephant Relationship and Conflict held in September 2003.
The launch of the book was sponsored by Hotel Sigiriya, as Mr. Miththapala has been the driving force behind the success of the hotel in Sri Lanka and a role model for greening practices. Hotel Sigiriya is located beneath the majestic Sigiriya Rock and is equipped with 80 rooms with all modern comforts.
The hotel has gone to great lengths to preserve the surroundings environment and wildlife and also offers its guests many existing nature trails including bird trails and elephant safaris.