Do you love elephants and want to help save them from extinction? Then, we are the nonprofit for you to support! At For Elephants, we are an elephant nonprofit that is dedicated to the survival of the world’s African elephants through research, conservation and education.
Our nonprofit was founded by Dr. Kari Morfeld, who has been conducting elephant research since 2000. Alongside her is a team of elephant enthusiasts that consist of graduate students, database managers and research interns working on completing For Elephants mission.
To help you better understand what we do, our elephant research team wants to share three ways that we are working to save the elephants.
We conduct research to help the elephants in zoos across the United States. Currently, African elephants in zoos are not self-sustaining and are at risk of “captive extinction.” Over the past 10 years, there have been more elephant zoo deaths than births (3 births vs. 5 deaths annually).
The reason why there are not many births is because of the dramatic increase in infertility rates. Our elephant research experts have discovered that about half of reproductive-aged female elephants (cows) in zoos do not have a reproductive cycle. No cycle means no babies. The infertility rates of these elephants have increased by 11 percent in seven years.
At For Elephants, we are using endocrinology, the study of hormones, to determine what is causing infertility rates to decrease in zoo elephants. Through our work, we have discovered that an elephant’s body condition influences their reproductive cycles. We work with zoos across the United States to determine what are the best conditions for zoo elephants to improve their reproductive rates.
Supporting elephant conservation
As stated above, we are working with zoos and making informed decisions about elephant conservation. However, we are helping African elephants as well. We are partnered with Elephants Alive, an elephant nonprofit organization that ensures elephants and their habitats' survival and promotes harmonious coexistence between elephants and people.
One of the issues that African elephants are facing is human and elephant conflict. Due to habitat loss or human encroachment, elephants can wander into crops or villages. These actions can put elephants’ and humans' lives in danger. Elephants Alive helps provide solutions that keep harmony between elephants and humans.
At For Elephants, we have built an endocrinology laboratory at Elephants Alive Headquarters in Mica Village. Our elephant research team adds scientific data that strengthens the data on elephant movements that our partner is already collecting. It also helps us study more closely elephants in the wild to help us improve the lives of elephants in zoos.
Educating the community
One of the best and easiest ways to start saving elephants is by educating yourself and others. Taking time to inform yourself can help you spread awareness of why wildlife conservation is essential. This does not mean you need to read a textbook.
At For Elephants, we educate the community about why we need to save the elephants and how we can do it. Our founder Dr. Morfeld has started a podcast called “For Elephant Show,” where you can learn about elephants, how to help them and learn about the experts working behind the scenes to save the elephants. You can binge the episodes while you are on your way to work or cleaning the house.
In addition, we also do presentations. We can stop by your radio show, podcast or newsroom to chat about elephants and the work we are doing to save them. We are always seeking speaking opportunities, even virtual ones.
Do you want to support our elephant research?
You can help us continue our research by joining the “Herd of Heroes.” This program allows you to make a monthly donation of your choice that helps us purchase laboratory kits to test stress and reproductive hormones from elephant dung. Stay connected with us through our newsletter. Sign-up down below!