Born Free Launches “What Elephants Like”

17 August 2015 | Born Free USA News Release

Washington, D.C. — Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, has launched a new educational campaign for children called “What Elephants Like” (www.whatelephantslike.org). The aim is to help parents start an important conversation about the delicate issue of elephant suffering, without using any graphic language or images. The initiative includes an interactive website; a powerful 30 second video voiced by actress Selma Blair; and a children’s storybook, all designed and produced for Born Free USA by Goodby Silverstein & Partners.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and the Born Free Foundation, “The shocking mistreatment of wild animals used for entertainment has gone on far too long. The goal of this initiative is to provide families with attractive, kid-friendly, non-graphic tools that can help promote an age-appropriate, meaningful conversation. Born Free is dedicated to empowering future conservationists by helping them understand at a young age what is happening in wildlife conservation, and learn how they can make a difference. Elephants—and all wild animals—belong in the wild, and no one is too young to understand that.”

The 30 second video features five elephants, with one attempting to stand on a barrel in the wild. The message is that elephants in entertainment have no choice and are forced to do something that is unnatural.

The storybook, What Elephants Like, by Joel Lugar, produced by Born Free USA, with illustrations by Evan Schultz and Tyler Jensen, is a beautiful children’s book that appropriately entertains and enlightens readers with the message of keeping wildlife in the wild. The book is available at www.whatelephantslike.org as a free e-book, downloadable PDF, and coloring book, and can be purchased ($15.99, softcover, color, 8″ x 10″, 28 pages) at www.createspace.com/4856106.

The website also offers fun facts about elephants and more information about how people can get involved.

Roberts adds, “The goal for the book, video, and website is to explain that these are extraordinary animals, and when you see them confined behind bars or forced to do tricks and perform, it is not natural, humane, or acceptable. We want kids to understand that these highly intelligent, sensitive, gentle giants deserve to thrive in the wild.”

Fun Facts about Elephants

  • There are three species of elephant: African savannah, African forest, and Asian.
  • Elephants live in family groups that combine to form herds.
  • Elephant family groups are matriarchal, which means that one of the older females is the leader.
  • Elephants are very social. They like to hang out with other elephants and communicate in various ways, from loud trumpeting to low rumbling (so low that humans can’t even hear it) that other elephants can hear more than two miles away.
  • Elephants use their trunks for a lot of different things, including reaching for food, blowing water onto their backs to cool off, and even as a snorkel for breathing while under water.
  • Elephants can live up to 70 years in the wild.
  • Elephants are happier in the wild; they should live free. But, they are at risk of being captured for circuses and zoos, or being killed by poachers for their ivory tusks.
  • They are herbivores, meaning they only eat plants like grass, fruit, bark, and twigs.
  • They use their tusks to dig and find water, clear pathways through the forest, shake fruit out of trees, and make scratches on tree trunks to mark their territory.

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

Media Contact: Rodi Rosensweig, 203/270-8929, Rodicompany@earthlink.net


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