July 21, 2016
Before reading the Estimated Administrative Costs to Rescue Can, I want to thank you most kindly for your generous gifts.
Like you, I have made sacrifices, too, working without a salary or an expense account for 22 months, since November 2014 when I began devoting all my time to the elephant crisis. I have worked 7 days a week and take no breaks or vacations. I have no volunteers or fellow workers so I am stretched rather thin. Yet, I am thinking in long range goals, building an organization that will thrive 20 years, 30 years and further into the future thus, “Ensuring a safe, natural environment for all elephants,” which, of course, is our mission statement.
Mindful of this, it is important to realize that this particular operation will take time. Long before the rescue takes place, we must make on site pre-rescue assessments, finalize arrangements in her new home and, lastly, satisfy the many legal and bureaucratic requirements, which will be our biggest and most time consuming challenge.
And, please take special note that these figures are estimates only and may vary greatly. Yet, at the same time, we have presented these figures in good faith with the hope that they are realistic.
1. Vet Fees – estimated at $4,500. This will cover a basic medical check up and part of the travel expenses of the physician. We are hoping that the eminently qualified Dr. Will Fowlds (click here to visit him on twitter) will be the physician in charge of this rescue.
2. Medicine – estimated at $4,500. Included in this expense are essential preventative medication and the costs of eye serum for Can’s chronic eye infection. Tranquilization is also included, however, I want to keep this to an absolute minimum to avoid any adverse effects. I feel this will be quite possible since she is well accustomed to interactions with humans and, therefore, will likely walk with us willingly to the zoo gates to ground transport and, from ground transport, to air transport. We will take no chances of her slightest injury during her travel.
3. Ground and Air Transportation to the Republic of Botswana – $40,000. This estimate was suggested by one of my board members, Grant Fowlds (click here to read his bio) who is Director of the Amakhala Game Reserve in South Africa (Grant, by the way, is Dr. Will Fowlds’ brother).
The spectacular, 19,000 acre Amakhala is a Big Five Game Reserve and home to rhino, lions, leopards, cheetah, impala, giraffes, buffalo and, of course, elephants. A herd of 24 elephants presently live there and their numbers will soon increase to around 40. In keeping with our mission of “Ensuring a safe, natural environment for all elephants,” hunting is forbidden there.
As Director of the Amakhala, Grant has a unique depth of experience working with elephants and we are especially pleased that this includes transporting them on many occasions.
4. Basic Expenses for Rescue Team – $20,000. Pre-rescue evaluations include visits to the Abidjan Zoo, meetings with decision makers and logistical evaluations, particularly the best exit from the zoo and best route to the airport. The most critical objective of the pre-rescue visit, however, is a careful observation of Can’s health, her food and her living conditions.
The rescue team of about four people will travel from South Africa and remain in Abidjan about two days. I will probably arrive early to ensure that ground transportation for Can and all other arrangements are in place prior to the arrival of the team so that we all tightly coordinated for a smooth, efficient and costs effective transport.
5. Legal Fees for Bureaucratic Red Tape and many other essential Administrative Costs – $21,000. Obtaining Can’s release from the zoo will be our single biggest challenge. Nevertheless, we are prepared.
And, transporting an elephant from one country to another is closely scrutinized by the governments involved and by the Convention of International Treatise of Endangered Species (CITES). Lawfully complying with their many requirements can be time consuming and frustrating. One must remember “TIA” – this is Africa. Everything is difficult and takes a long time.
Any donations not used for this rescue will be used for other expenses and administrative costs.