As the old cliché goes, if you build it they will come.
Well, even though we're not even finished building Elephant Refuge North America (ERNA), the elephants are already coming!
I am thrilled to tell you that upon the request of the government of Puerto Rico, Mundi, a 34-year-old female African elephant who has been living at the Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo in Mayaguëz, will become ERNA's first resident!
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló made this very progressive decision in late August after determining that ERNA would be the perfect retirement home for Mundi.
At that point, we anticipated it would take us three months to prepare for the move. Those of you who've followed my work know the size and complexity of such a move, and that it allows little room for error.
But now, post-Hurricane Maria, we need to move Mundi as soon as possible.
Since it is still hurricane season, Mundi cannot be transported by ship. She will fly on a specially chartered cargo plane, the costs of which we expect to be as much as $300,000.
I will travel to Puerto Rico next week to meet with officials and begin making plans for Mundi's move.
At the same time, we must raise the funds to cover this massive, but incredibly rewarding, operation.
Think of Mundi, who has lived alone for 29 years, discovering her new elephant paradise in Georgia. Think of the transformation Mundi will undergo as she discovers her full "elephantness" for the first time since she was a baby. Imagine her pleasure to learn what a forest is, to play in lakes, to nap peacefully in a pasture and to do what she wants when she wants.
One world...one elephant at a time. Let's bring Mundi home!
As always, thank you for your generosity and support,
Founder and CEO
Elephant Aid International