Nepal's First Elephant Refuge is underway!

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Direct Aid Nepal creates Nepal's first Elephant Refuge and Seeks Donations on Indiegogo with trips in Nepal

Chitwan Nepal Elephant Refuge

Mom and Baby Elephant

“We have a perfect location with a beautiful river running through it. Water is a precious resource here which will now be protected by the foundation to be used by the elephants, the local children, and fishermen in permanent trust.” Donna Marshall, Direct Aid Nepal

Direct Aid Nepal is excited to announce that they have started the first refuge in Chitwan Nepal for rescued and retired private elephants. Direct Aid Nepal is a United States 501c3 charity. They have started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo and are seeking donations in exchange for travel in Nepal.

This year Direct Aid built the first chain free corrals for private elephants in Sauraha Nepal. Chain free corrals allow captive elephants to be free from their bondage of chains while they are home and not working.  They also retired their first elephants from working conditions.  A baby bull elephant, Samrat Gaj and in conjunction with Association Moey, 60 year old Lucky Kali.  Lucky Kali had spent her life in the logging industry and then in the tourist industry.

“We have a perfect location with a beautiful river running through it.  Water is a precious resource here which will now be protected by the foundation to be used by the elephants, the local children, and fishermen in permanent trust.” Said Donna Marshall, Founder of Direct Aid Nepal.  “Our goals are multifaceted. It will cost $400,000 to legally secure the elephants, pay for their care in full, hire staff and prepare the property for elephants. We are going to need a lot of support to bring this dream to life”.

Donna Marshall, founder of Direct Aid Nepal, has spent a great deal of time initiating a development plan for the elephant refuge. She has created a temporary set up with chain free corrals, complete with toys, a watering system and considers the welfare of the mahouts (elephant caretakers) as a top priority. Ms. Marshall has been an advocate of elephants in the United States and in Nepal for decades. This year her organization provided the support to retire the first residents of the refuge, the foundation also sponsored the first foot care program at Sapana by Carol Buckley. 

Since the earthquake in 2015, and with a changing socioeconomic environment, private elephant owners are seeking alternatives for their very expensive elephants. Tourism has changed and the educated consumer does not wish to have elephants subjected to cruelty with elephant rides and inhumane chaining.

The Refuge will become the center of training for all mahouts.  Here they will teach humane training and continue to have foot care clinics.  

Direct Aid Nepal will evaluate the 108 private elephants in Nepal and the board will determine at least once per year which elephants should be retired from the community and then will negotiate their retirement with the private owner with the stipulation that the elephant cannot be replaced.  The Refuge has confirmed they already have a list of 6 elephants that desperately need help. 

They have created some clever reward packages to entice financial support to back the project. There is a trip for everyone and different price points but each includes a visit to the Refuge to see the elephants. And for those that can’t travel there are smaller donation packages available. Every penny helps!

For more information:
Phone: 1-978 290 4343
One Blackburn Center
Gloucester, MA 01930
http://www.directaidnepal.com
https://www.facebook.com/nepaldirectaid/
https://www.instagram.com/directaidnepal/

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Donna Marshall
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