Dear Friends and Supporters,

Given that this is our last e-newsletter of the year, we wanted to modify our usual format so I could send each and every one of you my personal thanks and gratitude for your support.

Normally this would be a year’s end message, looking back at our accomplishments and activities of the last 12 months.

But given the momentous events of the last few months, I can’t help but think of this as a message celebrating new beginnings.

I hope many of you know by now that after a 10-year legal battle, I moved Tarra, my lifetime friend and teacher, to Elephant Refuge North America and Georgia’s warmer climate. Tarra is 47 and must stay active and mobile to combat her progressive osteoarthritis. She will now also have the autonomy to choose who she wants to spend time with, how she wants to spend her time and where she wants to explore.
My reunion with Tarra reconfirmed my belief in the power of relationships to undergird our lives. From the moment we arrived back at the Refuge and she stepped out of her custom designed trailer, Tarra and I picked up from where we left off, as though no time had passed since we last saw each other. We are both older and wiser but we were never apart in our hearts.
Tarra arrived to find a ready-made family waiting for her – Bo, the castrated bull elephant, Elephant Refuge North America’s first resident, and Mala, the stray dog who adopted us earlier this year. I knew Bo, with his mellow personality, and Tarra would be compatible, and they are. Bo and Mala had already developed a fun-filled friendship; now Tarra has joined them, in seventh heaven to have her first canine companion since Bella died.

I hope you’ll enjoy these articles from People magazine and USA Today on Tarra’s and my reunion.

If you’d like to keep up with Tarra’s, Bo’s and Mala’s adventures as they happen, I’m pleased to tell you that I’ve resumed writing my EleDiaries. I hope you’ll follow along.
This year the strong relationships we’ve built internationally enabled us to help elephants in Nepal who were suffering the fallout of the covid-caused tourism shutdown. Thanks to your support we were able to supplement the diets of elephants, such as Maya Kali, Chanchal Kali, and Lucki Kali, whose owners lost their income.

In March, I returned to Nepal for a month to trim feet and continue teaching foot care to mahouts (elephant handlers). It was so good to reconnect with friends I’ve made during the 10 years I’ve visited the country.
In September, EAI participated in an effort headed by Pro Public, a Nepali legal firm, to compel the government to stop the cross-border trade in captive elephants between Nepal and India. Although the government has had the power to stop the trade all along, it wasn’t enforcing its own regulations.

As a result of Pro Public’s action, Nepal’s Supreme Court issued an interim order to immediately halt the international smuggling, sale and transfer of elephants. It also instructed all owners to register and microchip (for identification purposes) their elephants.

Which brings me back to you, our friends and supporters. You were with us through all the ups and downs of 2021. Depending on the particular event, we celebrated, laughed or cried together. You were there for us when we needed to raise money quickly for an urgent cause. You were there for us on social media, liking and sharing our posts and posting positive comments. And you were there for us as you asked probing questions so you could learn and better serve the cause of elephants. Knowing you are always by my side, whether we’re trimming working elephants’ feet in Nepal or here at home feeding Tarra and Bo (and Mala, of course), means the world to me.

All we’ve accomplished in 2021 bodes well for the new year. I hope you’ll continue to learn about the plight of captive-held elephants and ways to help them, and will invite others to join us on the journey.

The pandemic and its disruption are still with us but I’m feeling great optimism as we prepare to enter the new year. I hope you are, too. I hope you and your loved ones enjoy happy, healthy and warm holidays. Let Tarra, Bo and Mala be our guides as we enter 2022 with expectations of good things to come!

Thank you and best wishes,
Carol Buckley
Founder and CEO
Elephant Aid International
As always, we greatly appreciate your interest, commitment and help. You make our work for elephants possible. Thank you!
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