Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wild at Heart: The Elephant

Over the next few days, I will be bringing you previews of the work that will be exhibited this Saturday, May 26th at "Wild at Heart: Keep Wildlife in the Wild," the endangered species benefit that Andrew Hosner and I are co-curating at Thinkspace. 20% of the proceeds of the show will go to Born Free USA to help threatened wildlife. Hope to see you there!

Henrik Uldalen "Untitled"

In the wild, Elephants can live for 80 years or more, and females spend their entire lives in tightly knit family groups made up of mothers, daughters, sisters and aunts. With the largest brains of any land animal, they have been known to demonstrate intellectual behaviors including grief, altruism, compassion, self-awareness, art making and the use of tools. The African elephant once roamed the entire continent of Africa, and the Asian elephant ranged from Syria to northern China and the islands of Indonesia. These abundant populations have been reduced to small groups in isolated areas south of the Sahara and in India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia. In 1930, there were believed to be as many as 10 million African elephants. By 1989, when they were added to the endangered species list, there were only 600,000 remaining, less than 10% of their original number. At the turn of the 20th century, there were an estimated 200,000 Asian elephants in existence. Today there are about 40,000 left in the wild.

Demand for ivory, combined with habitat loss from human settlement, has led to a dramatic decline in elephant populations in the last few decades. Born Free supports many elephant protection and conservation efforts, including providing resources to the Elephant Transit Home in Sri Lanka, which cares for orphaned elephants until they are old enough to be released into a nature preserve.

Jillian Ludwig "Jusqu'a la mort"

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