Big Victory Towards the Rescue of 80 Elephants


Although hunters probably won’t kill babies like this, it is quite likely that, should they lose their mothers from the hunter’s bullet, they will die from a broken heart, which so often happens in these instances.

After several months of focusing on finding a proper home for the heard of 80 elephants who must be moved from their present home in South Africa, I have a victory to share.

This is a big step forward since a Culling Permit to kill them was approved some time ago and will be most definitely implemented unless they are moved.

With the help of world class experts on the ground, I have identified a area in which plenty of food and water is available. The climate and terrain is excellent. There is neither a hunting nor a poaching threat. Moreover, we can transport the entire herd by truck, rather than air cargo planes, which I had previously anticipated.

I am keeping this location a secret for now because several individuals and, I am told, hunting organizations want my plans to fail. Soon, however, I hope to share all the details with you.

Now, I am concentrating on (1) governmental approvals which, at this juncture, I expect to be approved in a timely manner, and (2) raising the money to fund this operation.

It has been estimated by specialist who have decades of experience moving elephants that the cost will be at least $150,000 or only $1,875 for each elephant. I feel this is an exceptional bargain.

Please note that 100% of the proceeds raised for this rescue will be deposited in a special account at a third party financial institution, which is independently managed. That manager alone will have access to the funds, releasing them as the rescue requires.

I have chosen this arrangement to address any questions of impropriety and to ensure that donors have the full confidence that their donations will be used for this rescue.

I will make the announcement as soon as this account and its manager have been established.

In the meantime, please consider helping now with our day-to-day expenses by making a generous donation here. Thank you!



Trump Says Hunting is a “Horror Show” and “I’m Not a Believer in Hunting”


President Trump apposes hunting and it appears the First Lady and Baron agree. They’re on our side.

President Donald Trump said elephant hunting is a “horror show” in a tweet that suggests he plans to reverse his administration’s recent decision to lift a 2014 ban on big-game trophy hunting in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Trump faced a media assault from politicians, environmentalists and elephant lovers, many of whom claiming the decision was motivated by his sons Eric and Donald Jr., who are both big game hunters.

Amidst the media firestorm, Trump hinted that he would reverse the lifting of the ban in a tweet. “Big-game trophy decision will be announced next week but will be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of Elephants or any other animal.”

The turnaround will uphold an Obama-era rule banning hunters from importing trophies of elephants they killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Although the president’s reversal came largely as a surprise, The Washington Post noted a 2012 Twitter exchange between Trump and Cher, which revealed his personal distaste for hunting.

After Cher tweeted a story that included photos of Trump’s two elder sons posing with elephants and other animals they killed while hunting, Trump responded: “Old story, one of which I publicly disapproved.”

“My sons love hunting, I don’t,” he added.

He echoed those feelings in a 2012 interview with TMZ, saying: “My sons love hunting. They’re hunters and they’ve become good at it. I am not a believer in hunting and I’m surprised they like it.”

Trump Bans Elephant Trophies. “My Sons Love Hunting. I Don’t.”


In a decision we hail as a great victory for all who love elephants, President Trump has stopped the importation to the United States of the body parts from dead elephants killed by hunters in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

“My sons love hunting. I don’t,” he wrote on Twitter in 2012.

According to Reuters, “U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Friday he is putting a decision to allow imports of elephant trophies on hold after a torrent of criticism from conservation advocates across social media.

“Trump’s reversal came hours after his administration released a rule on Friday to allow hunters who kill elephants in Zimbabwe to bring their trophies back to the United States, which had been banned by the Obama administration.

“‘Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts. Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!’ Trump wrote in a tweet.

“Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement that he had spoken with Trump and ‘both believe that conservation and healthy herds are critical.’ He said the ‘issuing of permits is being put on hold as the decision is being reviewed.’

Now, this is how we can parlay the president’s decision into what may become a greater and permanent victory:

Whether you love or strongly dislike the president, your response of gratitude will increase the likelihood of his decision of reversal becoming permanent. So, call your congressional representatives and, although you may disagree with everything the president says or does, ask them to thank the president for this decision on your behalf.

A short, polite phone call is more effective than an email, fax or letter. So please call today by finding you congressional representatives here and dialing.

The elephants will thank you!


US To Allow Imports of Elephant “Trophies” from Zimbabwe and Zambia


Unlike wild dogs or cats who roam in packs, elephants live together in extraordinarily close families, much closer than ours. In fact a mother and baby are inseparable all their lives. So, grandmothers, mothers, babies and grand babies never leave one another’s side. The bulls are more independent yet will valiantly protect their families with their lives. For these reasons and many more, killing one of them is considered murder by informed people.

You may be able to save the lives of several elephants in just a few minutes.

Read this important article by clicking here.

Then please call your congressional representatives as soon as you are able and ask them to stop all imports of elephants killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

You can find your representatives by clicking here.

Phone calls are more effective than emails, faxes or letters. So, please use this method and always be extremely polite and informed.

Senators and congressmen closely monitor the response of their constituents so contacting them about this matter is clearly worth the few minutes required to read the above article, find your representatives in the included list and make a short phone call.

Remember, they want to know what’s on your mind so call today.

The elephants thank you!

Help Me Stop the Hunters!


I have been fighting since early summer of this year to stop a scene like this from happening to the 80 elephants who we must save. I consider the individual pictured above to be a murderer. And I am doing everything I can to stop the mass murder of these 80 elephants. Please fight this battle with me by making a generous donation today!

I’ve just received word that hunters are pushing to kill the 80 elephants we are trying to rescue. The Republic of South Africa has approved the Elephant Management Plan in which all 80 will be shot dead. This culling permit was given the OK several months ago. But now we are competing more directly with hunters who want to kill them.

Here is the problem: adult elephants eat approximately 660 pounds of food every day. Multiply this by 80 elephants and you have 52,800 pounds of food daily. That’s 26.4 tons of trees, roots and other plants each day or 9,636 tons every year!

And, other animals must eat, too. So, there is keen competition for survival among them.

Miraculously, I have found a home for all 80 elephants!

Their new home has plenty of food, water, an excellent climate and terrain. There are no poachers and hunting is strictly outlawed with deadly force. We are working with local African officials to determine the exact area where they will be settled and hope to have this identified soon.

We must raise at least $150,000 for the relocation, which is only $1,875 for each elephant. This is a bargain!

I’m in touch with the man who oversees the nature reserve where the herd of 80 elephants live, communicating with him by phone and email. He has been extremely helpful. It’s often necessary to talk by phone and these calls to him and other parties involved are becoming expensive.

Perhaps, this is cost you’d like to help us with. We’ve made giving both easy and safe.

Simply press the orange donate button at the top of this page and select the amount you wish to give.

I thank you – and the elephants especially thank you!


Important Meeting About the 80 Elephants in Danger of Culling


Relocating 80 elephants is a significant undertaking that requires a considerable planning and forethought.

Our man on the ground had a long, face-to-face conservation with the man in charge of the 80 elephants who the Republic of South Africa has approved to be killed if they are not moved from their present location.

We learned that these elephants are considered government assets of South Africa and must be released as assets before we can assume “ownership” of them. This process and several other similar red tape matters will require time, application submissions and approvals.

Then there is the matter of determining precisely where they will be relocated within the new country who has given the tentative approval to accept them. Once this has been confirmed, we must travel there to conduct an on-the-ground inspection to ensure it will provide the adequate availability of water and food, and that this heard of 80 will be safe in their new home. Next is the implementation of the transport plan. This involves darting them with tranquilizers and hosting them onto trucks.

The good news is that we have more time than first suspected. We will most likely move them in May of 2018 at the beginning of the South Africa winter when the cooler weather will reduce their stress and trauma.

This may sound as though we are, now, not in a hurry. Yet, the critical path of this rescue will demand every day of planning between the present date and next May. Indeed, this is still an urgent matter.

There is much more detail I have not discussed here. So, as one can imagine, a considerable amount of thoughtful planning among qualified professionals is perquisite to this operation. Nonetheless, we are confident that we will succeed.

If you want to help, please make a generous donation here.

Rush to Save 80 Elephants from Being Shot Dead


These are some of the elephants who are to be killed.

A culling permit to kill 80 elephants has been submitted to the Republic of South Africa.

I have asked Dr. Wouter van Hoven to oversee this rescue. He rescued a large herd a few years ago, which was featured in a National Geographic television special.

I feel, however, the best alternative may be to introduce a reforestation plan to the ecosystem where they are located so they won’t need to be moved at all. This will preclude extreme trauma from the ordeal of being hoisted by helicopter to an airport where a cargo plane will transport them further. And, equally important, it will keep them together as a family, which is essential to their psychological well being.

Either way, with Dr. van Hoven’s leadership, I am certain we will make the decision that is best for these endangered elephants.

So, please take a moment to help by donating here.

The elephants thank you!


Living Oasis is “Enthusiastically Received” in Botswana by Minister Khama

The Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, the Honourable Tshekedi Khama.

The Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, the Honourable Tshekedi Khama.

Our Plan to bring water to the last big elephant herd in the world, Living Oasis, was “enthusiastically received” by Botswana’s Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, the Honourable Tshekedi Khama. This news came during a phone conversation between H.E., Mr. David Newman, Ambassador to the United States from Botswana and Phillip Hathaway, founder of ElephantRescue.net.

Hathaway said, “It is a rich honor, indeed, to work with the ambassador and minister of such a great country as Botswana. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship in which we save many elephants.”


Aquatic Biologist Karen Veverica Joins our Group of Advisors


Karen has helped many locals  from around the world to create fisheries, like this one in Sub-Sahara Africa.

Teaching Them To Fish

by Katie Jackson Auburn University College of Agriculture

Karen Veverica personifies that Chinese proverb about teaching a man to fish versus just giving him a fish. For roughly half of her 36-year career in aquaculture, the Auburn University Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures employee and mother of two has lived and worked in Africa, training men and women in economically developing countries there not simply to fish but to fish farm, and thus, as the ancient adage concludes, feeding them for a lifetime.

For Veverica, who joined the fisheries department at Auburn in 1981 and in January was named interim director of Auburn’s E.W. Shell Fisheries Center, aquaculture in general and international aquaculture development in particular appears to have been written in the stars. A native of the “Great Lakes State” of Michigan, Veverica says it was obvious from an early age that water was most definitely her element.

“I’ve always been drawn to water,” she says. “One birthday, my brother gave me some diving equipment, and I would sit for hours at the bottom of the lake, fascinated.” In her younger years, she dreamed of becoming a marine biologist, but then she discovered aquaculture.

“Aquaculture started getting a lot of attention in the 1970s, and I realized that here was a field that would allow me to work around water and use my knowledge to produce food and make a difference in the world, and I said, ‘Oh yeah; there you go; that’s what I’ll do,’” Veverica says.

In 1976, fresh out of Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences—“MSU’s fisheries degree was mostly fisheries management, and since I couldn’t afford to go out of state, biological sciences made the most sense,” she says—Veverica joined the Peace Corps, where a strong background in water chemistry and years of high-school and college French classes landed her the assignment she had hoped for, as a fish farming volunteer in Cameroon. With that placement, Veverica and two fellow female volunteers made Peace Corps history as the first women ever to have been placed in fish farming positions.

“For some reason, the Peace Corps had always considered fish farming a man’s job,” Veverica says. “They just happened to decide with us to experiment, to test us to see if women could handle the conditions and the labor involved.

“Before we had finished our two years, they had brought in another group of women.”
It was in Cameroon that she became aware of Auburn University’s fisheries program and, in particular, of faculty member Claude Boyd.

“My Peace Corps trainer was an Auburn fisheries grad, and he let me use his old college class notes to learn all I could about water quality for aquaculture,” she says. “They were his notes from Dr. Boyd’s class. So even though I’ve never officially taken one of Dr. Boyd’s courses, a lot of what I know I learned from him.”

When her overseas stint ended, Veverica returned to the States and worked with the Peace Corps for a short time as a trainer of new fish-farming volunteers, then in 1980 enrolled at Oregon State University to pursue a master’s in aquaculture. She was completing that degree and working at OSU’s marine science center when Auburn advertised an opening for an aquaculture technician at the fisheries research station.

“The day that announcement came out, three people put it in my mailbox, saying I fit the job description perfectly,” Veverica says. “All my professors were urging me to apply, too. Auburn was ‘The Place’ for warm-water aquaculture, and for them, to have a student of theirs get a job at Auburn was wonderful.”

At Auburn, she was responsible for helping manage the fisheries research ponds and facilities, but she had been in that role less than two years when Auburn was awarded a five-year U.S. Agency for International Development fish culture project in Rwanda, and she was tapped to be chief of party and training specialist of that mission for two years.

Two years turned into 10, and when she returned to Auburn and her job at the research ponds in 1993, she was accompanied by Roelof Sikkens, a Netherlands native whom she had met and, in 1988, married in Rwanda, where he was working for Cornell University as a drainage systems engineer. The couple’s son, Andrew, was born in ’93 and, a year later, daughter Diane.

From the get-go, Sikkens handled most of the child-rearing responsibilities—“he knew how much I loved my work,” Veverica says—and also took the lead in managing a commercial fishing operation in north Alabama that the couple had purchased as a side venture in 1995.

But neither motherhood nor entrepreneurship diminished Veverica’s passion for sharing her knowledge of sustainable fish culture with the developing world. In 1997, when the fisheries department offered Veverica a role in a collaborative international sustainable aquaculture project administered by Oregon State in Kenya, she and Sikkens packed up the little ones, ages 3 and 2, and went. In addition to conducting fish farming research and training, Veverica supervised construction of more than 70 ponds, water-quality labs and hatchery facilities. Andrew and Diane, meanwhile, started preschool and then school in Kenyan classrooms.

“We didn’t shelter them; we totally immersed them in the culture there,” Veverica says. “They didn’t know you get gifts at Christmas till we came back to Auburn” in 2000.

Five years later, another out-of-country opportunity came her—and her family’s—way, this time to serve as chief of party for a three-and-a-half-year, Auburn-led, private-sector-driven initiative to jump-start commercial aquaculture in Uganda through the development of model fish farms.

“The kids were in fifth and sixth grade, and my husband was working in the agronomy department’s cotton breeding program, so there was a lot more to consider this time, but they were all OK with the idea of going,” Veverica says, noting that Sikkens did travel back and forth to Auburn during that time to maintain his job with agronomy. And the children attended an international school instead of one in the Ugandan system.

Since completing the Uganda venture and returning to the Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquaculture, Veverica has traveled to several African nations for short-term projects and consulting work, but the family as a whole has stayed put. Andrew’s now a sophomore aerospace engineering major at Auburn; Diane just graduated from Auburn High School and will enroll in Vermont’s Bennington College this fall to study psychology and, interestingly, international development.

Veverica admits that balancing motherhood with an intense professional commitment brought its share of guilt trips through the years, but she says the international experiences have been a “huge advantage” to the family.

“My husband’s from the Netherlands, and we’ve all lived in Africa and traveled in Africa, Europe and Asia,” she says. “We both agreed our children should feel as if they are citizens of the world.”