I LOVE ELEPHANTS : Those Who Feel a Special Connection to Elephants & the Cause of Elephant Conservation

American Teen Who Aspires to Study Elephants Seeks Advice


My name is *** ***. (Letter edited to protect the privacy of submitter) I am a senior at ***  High School in  ***, ***. This year I am taking an advanced placement class called *** *** *** ***  ### . In this class each student comes up with a research project of their own and completes it throughout the school year. We then go to research competitions in the spring and present our final reports.

I have always loved elephants. I love to read about elephants and I try to incorporate them into my life in any way I can, whether it be in school or out of school. I hope to someday go into a profession that allows me to work closely with elephants, and ideally, conduct research on their unique behaviors. When I enrolled in {###} I knew immediately that I wanted to study elephants, and I have since decided to study the effects of trauma on reproduction rates among elephants. However, I live in ***** USA, where there are no elephants available to study.

I am wondering if you know of anyone I can contact to get more information about how to study elephants in a place where there are no elephants, or if you have any information you could offer yourselves. I have reached out to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee by phone and email and have gotten no response, so any information you can offer would be much appreciated.

Thank you.”

***Letter edited to protect the privacy of submitter.                                                                                                 Note by Savannah Crisp: This is a STEM honors science course


elephants facing each other tanzania by william Warby cc flickr

Image: CC Flickr: Two Elephants in Tanzania by William Warby

ESH reply:

Hello ***,

Thank you for writing to Elephant Spoken Here and for caring so much about elephants that you want to devote your career to them. Although I do not personally know any of these individuals they are well known in the world of elephant conservation and as elephant researchers here in the USA.  And even though you aspire a more hands-on profession as an elephant researcher I would try connecting with any of them.

(And don’t forget to join in with the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos this Saturday  7 October 2017. March for elephant conservation. Our elephants need us.)


Image: CC Flickr: Elephant close up eating leaves by William Warby



1)      PAWS  in Northern California.  co-founded in 1984 by Ed Stewart and the late Pat Derby (sadly, she passed away in 2013)

2)      Elephant Aid International  in Georgia. Founder Carol Buckley. This elephant sanctuary is currently being built and there are currently “no elephants on the grounds” but they still offer volunteer opportunities .

Carol Buckley had formerly established The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.

3)      Elephant advocate (teen) Taegen Yardley  from Vermont has had contact with some stellar individuals in the elephant conservation world. see links from ESH.

Here is her twitter link.

4)      Juliette West  (teen) was featured in the film “How I Became an Elephant

and she worked with some prominent elephant researchers and carers

I just found a recent article about her.

Best wishes in your elephant endeavors.


Savannah Crisp

P.S.  … I wish I could provide you with more information. You, like Taegen and Juliette inspire other students and young adults to serve elephants in any capacity. So would love to hear of your progress!


baby elephant cc flickr by darren smith for I Love Elephants

Image: CC Flickr: Baby Elephant by Darren Smith


Image: CC Flickr: Featured Baby Elephant by Darren Smith, CC Flickr: Two Elephants & Elephant Close Up Eating Leaves by William Warby


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