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SAVING ASIAN ELEPHANTS from EXTINCTION

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(click to view)

Watch our famous
ORIGINAL Elephant Painting
video on National Geographic

'Wild On Tape'

Airing again soon On NGeo Channel

Your purchase of elephant art directly contributes to supporting the Asian elephants who are rapidly becoming extinct and in need of help now. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were about 200,000 Asian elephants. Now, only a few thousand are left in Thailand. This is why we feel strongly about supporting the Thai Elephant Conservation campaign. Conservation is a very complex issue that requires integrated solutions. Purchasing these authentic elephant paintings is one part of the solution and tremendously helps pay for food, medical and environmental programs.

Only some elephants enjoy and have this amazing talent to paint. These elephants are treated very well and learn to paint with positive behavioral training techniques with favorite foods and positive words and touch. We have done considerable research and are in contact with high level officials such as the Special Pachyderm Advisor to the Thai Queen's Foundation; research teams from the Smithsonian; veterinarians from the Department of Large Animal and Wildlife Sciences; Mahout University; and many others to ensure that the highest standards of elephant management are followed.

Yes, we would prefer and these elephants would prefer to be in the wild. But, reintroduction efforts have not been successful and despite efforts to protect them, these animals are in great danger of becoming extinct. As symbols of majesty and power, they are an important part of Thai history. Losing these gentle giants would also lose a big part of Thai culture and another beautiful creation in the world. Many believe that the future of the Asian elephant depends on well managed private elephant camps where the elephants are treated well and allowed to have babies.

Go to Artisan Stories to see interviews with Elephant Art Trainer Mahouts and their elephants.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Liz and Mark traveled back to Guatemala to meet with more artisans and develop more unique jewelry and scarves. Brought back some amazingly soft scarves made from bamboo fibers. 9/6 thru 9/15.

Liz and Mark coordinated a humanitarian trip to Guatemala for 24 people to learn about how Fair Trade empowers artisans to have a better life, to deliver 24 slightly used laptop computers to a school, and to build clean burning stoves for ten of the poorest families. 5/17 thru 6/3.

Liz and Mark traveled to South Costa Rica in order to meet with remote hill tribe villagers and design new jewelry items using local natural materials. 1/11 thru 1/28

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Exotic World News:

Vroman's BookStore
Unique moment with Asian elephant brings global media attention to owners of Exotic World Gifts

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ExoticWorldGifts.com is proud to be a part of one of the largest bookstores in America.  Vroman's has created a Fair Trade area where their patrons are educated about the importance of Fair Trade, provided with visually stimulating products to experience, and enticed to read about the artisans and their story of being empowered by the sale of their high quality products.

Soapstone hearts and animals from Kenya - handcrafted bowls from Bali, comfi scarves from Thailand - creative purses from Cambodia - colorful change purses from Guatemala - animal shaped bookends - treasure boxes - journals made from recycled cotton and more.

People can read about the products and the importance of being a conscious consumer - connecting people consciously so that the world will be a better place.

In 2007, when local residents Liz Allen and Mark Fangue were on a buying trip for artifacts for their new business, Exotic World Gifts, they discovered an elephant camp in northern Thailand. They had no way of knowing then that this retreat for Asian elephants would bring them global media attention. But when an elephant ambled toward an easel, toting her paint box in her swinging trunk, then meticulously painted a picture of herself, the couple knew that this was no ordinary event.
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>The elephant was captured on Fangue's high definition video camera and then shared on YouTube for the world to witness. “It blew my mind,” said Fangue as he recalled filming the painting pachyderm in a recent interview. “When you watch the video and you hear the person say, 'Oh my God!' that's me.”

 
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