Jake Wyman, Photographer

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How To Gift Wrap a Baby Elephant

Baby elephants and baby rhino's need our help!

I love elephants so much that one year I gave each of my nieces and my nephew, a "baby elephant" for Christmas!
You'll have to read the rest of my post to find out how it's done, but know that it is truly a unique gift that helps a great cause, and it's heartwarming.

But first.........
"If neither time or money were not an obstacle, then what would you do with your life?"

For a long time, this has been one of my favorite questions to ask people that I meet-young & old, and the usual response is a variation of "I don't know."

My answer has always been the same: To continue working as a photographer and travel, but focus exclusively on photographing wildlife & nature. My primary objective would be to create a book on my favorite animal in the world-the elephant! To experience an elephant or elephants in their natural habitat is one of the most awe-inspiring and humbling experiences I've ever had. They are magnificent! To see them performing in a circus is pitiful and disgusting.

Maybe someday, I'll get my priorities in order and go and do it. For now, I live vicariously through the work of the photographer Nick Brandt and the "Big Life Foundation", an organization founded in October 2010 by Nick and the conservationist Richard Bonham. 
Their mission, from the website:

"Big Life Foundation seeks to conserve and sustain the wildlife and the wild lands of the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem of East Africa through innovative conservation strategies that address the greatest threats while - at the same time - satisfying the economic interests of the resident Maasai people in ways that improve the quality of life for the entire community."

Recently, I received a heart-wrenching newsletter/email from the foundation, regarding the famous elephant family below.
 © Nick Brandt

On October 27 2012, Nick Brandt took this photo of Qumquat, one of Amboseli’s most famous matriarchs, and her family.
24 hours later, they were gunned down by poachers.

You can read the short  and somewhat hopeful story here, and I hope that you will take the time to read it.

And now, about those baby elephants for the Holidays.....

The story is "hopeful", because the older of the two baby elephants was eventually found alive, and rescued by the David Sheldrick Trust. The Sheldrick Trust is another conservation organization that I have followed for years, and it is through them that I was able to gift the orphaned baby elephants. Like the one in the picture above. Through their "Orphan's Project", you can choose the orphaned baby elephant, or rhino, that you would like to foster. Once you make the donation, you will receive (digitally) "a fostering certificate with a profile and photograph of your adopted orphan together with a description of the Orphans’ Project", along with items related to the Sheldrick Trust and it's work with baby elephants and rhino's. And, the money goes to a great cause.

More information about the fostering program can be found by following this link: Sheldrick Fostering

Thank you for caring.