Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Christmas Gift that Will Change a Life

Here’s an idea if you’re struggling to find the perfect Christmas present for friends or family members. This gift will forever change the quality of life for an animal whose first few years were miserable. Plus, through your gift you’ll be teaching children the important lesson of caring for the beautiful and amazing wildlife who share our planet.

If you'd like to make a difference in an animal's life, please consider adopting an animal in someone's name as a Christmas gift. By doing so, you're ensuring that the animal you choose will receive proper care such as food, housing, and veterinary care. Two programs that I highly recommend are the "Adopt an Animal" program from Born Free and the "Adopt an Elephant" program at The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation

Remember Dolo the Lion?
I'll never forget those haunted eyes and sad expression.
The mighty King of Beasts should never elicit pity as Dolo once did.

Photo courtesy of Born Free

"A 1mm chain tethered The King of Beasts 
to his reality"

In August of this year, I wrote a blog entry about Dolo the Lion (, an adult male lion languishing in a small cage in  Ethiopia. I couldn't get the heartbreaking look in his eyes out of my mind. I've seen plenty of lions in the wild, and have never seen anything remotely close to the expression I saw in Dolo's eyes. Lions are confident, majestic animals ... not pathetic, despondent creatures. But Dolo had good reason for his expression.  For four long years, Dolo was kept on a 1mm long chain by a private owner in southern Ethiopia. Emaciated and hopeless every morning, his desolate roar would echo around the town. He had a blank expression and seemed locked in his own world, while his mane had been rubbed off by the chain that tethered him to his reality. Dolo's story broke my heart so I embarked on a letter writing campaign to various wildlife conservation groups and sanctuaries to see if anything ... anything at all ... could be done to remove him from his horrid circumstances and place him in a wildlife sanctuary. 

In March, 2011, Dolo's life changed. That was the month that Born Free rescued him from the horrendous life he'd always known. Born Free took this emaciated, lonely, sad lion to his new home. At last he's able to feel the cool grass beneath his paws and can rest in the shelter beneath the shade of acacia trees. And Dolo now has a companion - Safia, a rescued lioness. The anguish in Dolo's eyes has softened as he's settled into his new home, but unfortunately the lack of proper care in his early years has led to limited vision in his eyes. But Dolo is now in a safe natural environment. He has the company of a companion, he's become more confident, and he's no longer tethered by a short chain. He's begun the journey of the rest of his life. A much, much happier life.
Photo courtesy of Born Free
Dolo in his "previous" life, in a small cage and always chained.

Photo courtesy of Born Free
Dolo in his new home, no longer chained as he begins his new life.

Adopt a Very Special Elephant

Pumpui's Story

Pumpui is one of 3 elephants currently unsponsored at GTAEF (Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation) residing in Chiang Rai, Thailand on the border of Laos and Myanmar, known as the Golden Triangle. She is one of 35 elephants rescued from the streets and has been working with autistic children at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang to help for a human-animal bond to help the children.

Pumpui spent her early life on the streets selling bananas to villagers to feed back to her. Shortly before her mahout Suk bought her in 2005 she had been hit by a car and lost the young baby she was carrying. She was very scared of cars and wary of people. Khun Suk and his family worked patiently with Pumpui and helped calm her over time but still travelling eventually landing in Pattaya for 2 years and living on the streets selling bananas. There were many dangers for Pumpui, noise, traffic and the danger of falling into sewer drains. She was rescued by GTAEF and is now a healthy, sweet natured elephant.

Photo and information (above) courtesy of Carol Stevenson.

You can adopt Pumpui with a contribution as little as $5 a month by visiting or choose the amount you'd like to donate, either a one time donation, or on a recurring monthly basis. 

Photo courtesy of Carol Stevenson

Pumpui's Photo Album

By renowned "Elephant Photographer" Carol Stevenson

 Photos courtesy of Carol Stevenson

Adopt Pumpui

 One Time Donation     $5 Month     $10 Month     $20 Month     $40 Month     $100 Month

THANK YOU for caring about wildlife.

Animals Matter.

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