"Crazy Elephant Ladies" Lead the Charge to Save Endangered Elephants
March 8th, is International Woman’s Day, a day in which we laud the accomplishments of women from Washington DC to the rainforests of the Amazon and all points in between.
Despite pernicious misogyny, global oppression and slights both large and small, anyone who works more than one hour in elephant conservation will tell you, it’s the women who are leading the charge.
I am sure it will surprise no one that 95% of our most dedicated Arte for Elephants customers are women.
Why is this?
It’s no secret that elephants are a matriarchal society. The females form lifelong bonds with other females- they co-mother, sharing all of the responsibilities of child rearing. They also pass generational wisdom between elder “crone” elephants who know the ancient migration routes and can find water buried deep in the ground. Truly, female elephants represent the best of woman energy and it’s only natural that some of that “magic” would find it’s way into the hearts of we humans.
In the world of elephant rescue and conservation, we see on a daily basis, women all over the planet working night and day to save elephants! Women are leaving their careers, taking to social media, joining protests, sending donations, time and time again it is women that are doing the heavy lifting for elephants.
Closer to home, I wish I had a dollar for every person who has approached me at a show with the words “My grandmother/sister/aunt collects elephant art” or “My two year old daughter is crazy for elephants, and we don’t know where she got it”. Everyone, regardless of income, race, background, seems to know at least one “crazy elephant lady”.
Hardly anyone it seems knows exactly WHY they themselves or the women in their lives love elephants, they just emphatically do.
I have a theory about this phenomenon, not scientific, barely rational, highly metaphysical but here it goes:
Given that we know elephants have a larger brain that we do, and that scientists have discovered additional neural pathways in their big brains that we don’t quite understand, I believe that elephants are sending out telepathic signals across the universe- they are calling out to us and some of us, (usually, but not always) women hear and heed the call.
OK sounds a bit weird and I couldn’t prove it, so you can take it or leave it, but today, right now, I can cite dozens of cases of people dropping everything and taking action for elephants.
Women like the incredible ladies of Save Nosey Now, who relentlessly and painstakingly gathered an army of (mostly) women and who fought for years to call attention to an abused elephant named Nosey. Or Rosemary Alles, President and Co-Founder of the Global March for Elephants & Rhinos who abandoned a lucrative career Silicon Valley to ignite a grassroots, anti-extinction movement that has spread around the globe. The late, great, Dame Daphne Sheldrick, and now her daughter, Angela whose tireless work rescuing baby elephants has been going on for decades, or Lek Chailert founder of Elephant Nature Park, who has endured a lifetimes worth of ridicule and outright threats for her determination to open the eyes of the world to the horror of elephant riding!
These are but a few examples of the thousands of women heroes that are out there on the front lines of elephant rescue and protection.
Women who, in my opinion, heard that clarion call of the elephants, and more than that, felt it in their guts and were determined to do right by our elephant sisters, often at great personal cost.
So from one “Crazy Elephant Lady” to another- Have a powerful Woman’s Day- don’t give in and don’t give up, the elephants are calling and there is no time to loose.
Thyra Rutter is Artist & Co-Founder of Arte for Elephants, a for purpose business that raises money for elephant sanctuaries around the world through the sale of art. For the past 4 years Thyra and her husband David have traveled the world, sharing information, meeting people and donating money. They are also founders of the wildly popular, Big Elephant Magic Ethical
Retreats to places like Kenya and Thailand www.arteforelephants.net