The Forgotten Elephants of Odisha Virtual Auction banner image

The Forgotten Elephants of Odisha Virtual Auction

Voice for Asian Elephants Society
October 2020
08:30 AM CDT
November 2020
10:00 AM CST
GOAL $10,000.00
83.9% To Goal

The Forgotten Elephants of Odisha Virtual Auction

Amy Burkman is a world renowned muralist, multi-media artist, animal lover, philanthropist, cancer survivor and seasoned live art entertainer.
And we are so fortunate that Amy has dedicated two paintings to help
The Forgotten Elephants of Odisha. Read on...

Sangita and Elephant:

First Prize: The person who makes the largest donation by November 14 wins the Sangita & Elephant painting signed by Amy with a certificate of authenticity given by Sangita Iyer! (36"x36" acrylic on stretched canvas)
CLICK HERE for viewing the painting AND the other prizes!

Elephant Speed Painting:

First Prize: The highest donor wins this magnificient speed painting (30" X 40" acrylic on stretched canvas) until the 14th of November. This masterpiece will be signed by Amy Burkman with a certificate of authenticity given by Sangita Iyer!
CLICK HERE for viewing the painting AND the other prizes!

About The Forgotten Elephants of Odisha:
We call this event The Forgotten Elephants of Odisha because they've indeed been forgotten. Most of the attention has been focused on the southern Indian states, as they have the highest concentration of elephants. However, this is the first time the voices of Odisha's elephants are being amplified.

In the elephant range state of Odisha, fragmented forests arduously support an estimated 2,000 wild Asian elephants along with a growing number of people dependent on forest resources. There are approximately 45 million people in Odisha, many live along the forest fringes and corridors that elephants have established over thousands of years. The inevitable encounters with elephants lead to conflict and an alarming number of deaths, as elephants and humans struggle for limited resources.

When the COVID-19 lockdown hit India, millions of migrant workers lost their jobs. These villagers, mostly farmers, traveled to cities for part-time work to supplement the meager earnings during the harvest season. Now, most people are all stuck at home - unemployed and stressed, worried that elephants will destroy whatever is left of their livelihood and crops. And they are taking matters in their own hands.

The increased anxiety and economic pressure resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has been like tossing a match on tinder, making an already dire situation for the elephants even more perilous. At least one-third of the more than 60 elephants killed in India during the COVID lockdown is from Odisha state - a graveyard for elephants. Most of them have been killed by electrocution, poisoning and poaching for the illicit ivory trade.

Developmental activities such as illegal mining in prime habitats, highly invasive and poorly planned infrastructure, land diversions, and even forest fires add to the friction as they cause irreversible damage to this elephant landscape. Furthermore, rampant poaching by local gangs has a direct impact on the breeding populations of elephants in the region, as they target the bull elephants with tusks.

VFAES has partnered with a grassroots organization - Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) - to bring an end to this insanity. VFAES and WPSI will lead a team of local conservationists to steer knowledge-driven elephant conservation actions in some of the most vulnerable regions of the state. Over the long term, our aim is to secure a future for Odisha’s forgotten elephants, by promoting a harmonious and respectful human elephant co-existence.

VFAES will use the funds raised through this event to save 2,000 wild elephants, by hiring the native people to monitor and implement the following strategies:

1. Prevent electrocution by wire traps and electrified fences
2. Monitor eight important corridors, out of the 14 identified
3. Monitor and address multiple threats to elephants in key habitats in 4. Dhenkanal, Angul & Keonjhar districts
5. Fodder planting in the Taal–Kholagarh Elephant Corridor
6. Protect elephant habitat from forest fires
7. Awareness and education for school children and key stakeholders
8. Engage local communities
9. Despite the unprecedented challenges, Odisha still offers perhaps the best chance of securing a future for Asian elephants in Eastern India.

All proceeds from this auction will support " The Forgotten Elephants of Odisha" project.

About Voice for Asian Elephants Society

VFAES Mission:
To protect endangered Asian elephants of India by preserving corridors for wild elephants and restoring their habitats, while providing basic knowledge and tools to the people living near the forest fringes to alleviate human elephant conflict, thereby fostering peaceful coexistence between people and wild elephants. VFAES also aims to provide rehabilitation programs for captive elephants to enhance their living conditions.
What We Do:

1) Create elephant corridors and restore their lost habitat to protect Asian elephants in collaboration with the state forest departments

2) Alleviate HEC through capacity building and training programs for the local communities living on the forest fringes, and creating sustainable communities

3) Provide the native people near the forest fringes basic necessities and survival tools like flashlights, the first line of defense to protect themselves and elephants

4) Organize youth empowerment programs to cultivate empathy and compassion for elephants, and empower them to pursue ecological studies and elephant conservation

5) Conduct sensitization workshops for bureaucrats, law enforcement authorities, religious institutions, and decision makers, to advocate for legislative changes in tackling wildlife crime and ending elephant capture

6) Provide capacity building and hands-on training for elephant handlers (mahouts) to foster compassionate treatment of captive elephants, in collaboration with forest departments across states that house captive elephants.

Learn More