We have started a fund raiser to help a baby elephant!
You might wonder why…..?
I met Namal the baby elephant when we were in Sri Lanka in October 2014, with the expressed purpose of seeing elephants in the wild.
Namal is one of the many adorable baby elephants who live at a center for orphaned baby elephants. They are all given milk at feeding times, and then they go off to rest and play in the shade under the trees nearby.
Namal, though, is different.
This baby elephant cannot walk very far. He lost one of his back legs when he stood on a poachers trap at the tender age of four months old. As a result, Namal cannot hang with the other elephants, which would be the natural tendency ~ to be part of the herd!
At present Namal has a “makeshift” prosthetic. Not very sophisticated, nor very effective. He can walk, but he certainly cannot go far, and cannot run. In addition, with elephants being so big and so heavy and growing so fast, his back is already being compromised due to not having enough support and being off balance.
When we met Namal we were so touched by his sweet loving disposition and difficult life circumstances. We vowed to do our best to help him, and here we are.
We cannot do this on our own. We really will need help from other animal lovers to make this happen for Namal!
We kicked off the Namal fundraiser at the first exhibition at the Flat Iron Building which I participated in… after our move in of not even a week. We set up the Indiegogo site to facilitate donations… and we’re off thanks to early donations by friends and animal lovers and advocates all over the world.
It will be a long, complex project.
Complex because it requires integration and coordination between professionals and organizations, both in the U.S. and Sri Lanka to make this happen.
The first priority, of course, is to secure the right technical partners to address the difficult technical challenge of creating a prosthetic leg for an animal that is already 1900lbs (at 3 years old!) and growing fast.
We are already in discussions with the Illinois Institute of Technology, in Chicago, which has a rapid prototyping capability and is willing to help with both their engineering students and their fast prototyping lab.
This will allow the quick 3D printing of a prosthetic leg in a material that will not bear Namal’s weight, but will allow us to fit the leg on Namal’s stump to make sure the measurements are correct.
Of course, to do this, we first need measurements of Namal’s leg, and that will be done by another University, near Colombo, Sri Lanka. Our focus, for now, is to orchestrate all the right capabilities, but also to find adequate funding to cover the costs that the Universities won’t cover themselves.
Our ability to carry this to completion will depend on people spreading the word to their friends and other animal lovers.
Please take the time to check out the link and to make donations, no matter how small. It all adds up.
Thank you to those who have donated already and got the fundraiser off the ground!
I really do believe that it does not do much good to see animals suffering and or in pain and just say “Oh it’s so sad”.
For me personally, I need to take the next step. Make an effort to make a difference. Even for one elephant, one baby elephant in Sri Lanka, if his life is happier and improves, then the effort and the time is all worth it.
Animals rely on humans. It is up to us to take care of them and to advocate for them.