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December 2012
                        Hope Elephants logo

In This Issue...

Note From Dr. Jim
Settling In....
Education Update
How to Arrange a Visit
Hope Elephant Museum and       Store
How You Can Help
Quick Links
Like us on Facebook

Visit Our Website!
How to Arrange a Visit

We welcome visitors and want individuals, families, schools and other groups to come to our facility and learn from our staff and our elephants. However, because we are not an entertainment venue, we do not allow walk-up visitors. All visitors must sign-up in advance for a scheduled presentation. Here is more information:


Read More.... Visiting


Introducing The Hope Elephants Museum Store!



The Hope Elephants Museum Store at 29 Main Street, Camden, is stocked with a variety of elephant-related merchandise.

Fine art photographs of our resident elephants, Rosie and Opal, by Hope's Amy Wilton are available in two sizes, mounted and ready for gift giving or your own wall. Her 5x7 note cards are as suitable for framing as for mailing.

Elephant hats integrating long trunks and floppy ears delight the children who stop in and would be a perfect holiday gift.

Hope Elephants logo items such as t-shirts, hoodies, hats, bandanas, bracelets, pencils and pens are available, but the shelves are also stocked with hand crafted jewelry and ornaments, zipped elephant-shaped small purses, logo water bottles, stuffed elephants, and tote bags that zip into themselves to carry easily in a purse to have handy when needed. Other conservation-related gift items are also available.


Pre-Holiday Store hours are:

Monday through Friday,  

12 a.m. to 5 p.m.,  

Saturdays 6 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


All profits go Hope Elephants a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose goals are to care for elephants with medical needs by employing state of the art veterinary therapeutic treatments and to serve as an educational platform for the issues of wildlife conservation using the example of elephants.


For more information about us, see our website at or follow us on Facebook.


For directions, click here


How You Can Help  


Hope Elephants is dedicated to helping retired and or injured circus elephants. It is not an entertainment venue but rather an educational destination where visitors will have an opportunity to see, hear and interact with the animals as a platform to present the big issues surrounding conservation, habitat destruction and ecology. Our efforts are entirely supported by charitable contributions. Hope Elephants is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and therefore contributions will be tax deductible to the greatest extent permissible by law. Please consider contributing to Hope Elephants to help support our elephants and our educational programming.


See for more information on our programs and opportunities to get involved. And please follow us on Facebook.  

Welcome to the Hope Elephants Newsletter!

You are receiving this because of a past interest in Hope Elephants, and we hope you will enjoy the news and stories within. If you can think of anybody else that would like to receive the Hope Elephants Newsletter, please forward this to them so that they can join our mailing list. If you do not want to receive future newsletters, please select "unsubscribe" below.  


Our big news this month is that...THE ELEPHANTS HAVE ARRIVED!! Rosie and Opal arrived in October and are settling into their new home! We have more news too, but first....  

A Note From Dr. Jim

Hello Friends!   


Rosie and Opal arrived on October 20th and we are so excited to finally have them here in their new home. I can honestly say that they have just experienced the best two months they've had for a very long time. They have been spending plenty of time outdoors exploring their paddock and have been thoroughly enjoying all of the features that we have for them there.  Rosie is especially liking the sand piles which she uses to help rest her injured leg. Even though we have only just started their exercise and physical therapy regime, Rosie and Opal are already showing signs of increased joint function. And they seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves.  I am so pleased to see that.


We are feeding them a diet of high quality hay (with much greater nutritional content then they have been used to) supplemented with generous servings of fresh fruits and vegetables. We humans should eat so well! The "girls" have gained some much needed weight since they arrived and are now looking quite healthy. We are very thankful to our friends at Aldermere Farm in Rockport, for selling us hay at a reduced rate - elephants eat a lot of hay! We also want to thank French and Brawn in Camden for donating ten pounds of fruits and vegetables per day, and our dedicated volunteer who drives to Camden every day to pick them up.  Rankins Hardware has started carrying Purina Elephant Chow, and has generously been supplying it to us at cost. We also want to thank Rankins for mounting a fundraising campaign at the cash resisters in both their Camden and Hope locations.

Additionally, Coastside Bio Resources of Stonington, donated to Rosie and Opal a lifetime supply of its EquuSea brand of chondroitin glucosamine! We want to thank these local businesses for their support in helping us keep Rosie and Opal fed and healthy.  Please consider them as you finish up your holiday shopping. 


As you've undoubtedly seen, Rosie and Opal have been getting a lot of press attention, which we appreciate.  It helps us get out our message regarding conservation and, importantly, it lets people know we are here as an educational resource for Maine and beyond. We've also had several local photographers out to take portraits of Rosie and Opal, including Chris Pinchbeck, Peter Ralston and Amy Wilton, of Hope. Amy is donating the profits of prints and cards available at our new store in Camden. We are excited about this store, where we sell a variety of elephant-related items to help us raise funds to sustain our organization. Please come visit us and check it out! 

We can use your support too!  If you can't make it out to our store, another way you can help is by taking your bottles and cans to the Coastal Opportunities bottle redemption center in Camden, and letting them know you want to donate to Hope Elephants.

Happy holidays from Hope Elephants.  I hope we'll see you in the new year!

Dr. Jim

getting water  
Settling In....
The elephants are here and well and have been enjoying themselves immensely as they settle into their new home.
Our facility is specially equipped to make Rosie's and Opal's lives more comfortable. Their indoor pen in the barn is extra roomy and has a radiant heated sand floor. They have been used to standing on cement, so the warm sand floor is not just more comfortable - it's much easier on their arthritic joints. Because of Rosie's old shoulder injury, it's hard for her to get up after she lies down. There are sand berms in the barn and outside in the pasture that she can lie against, which really help her.

The outside paddock is a full acre, which gives these two elephants a lot more freedom than they are used to having. And it's a fun filled acre too! Along with sand piles, there are apple trees, a meadow area where they can graze and even a large brush pile that they can play with and explore. They like to chew on sticks they take out, and this gives them a nice fiber addition to their diet. The following is Dr. Jim's account of some landscaping recently done by Opal...

"We noticed her inspecting a very old apple tree that had two trunks. Her exam included first a tasting, then a testing of the strength of the tree itself. A shake, then a nudge, then a push, and half the tree was on the ground! Less than two minutes later, the other half splayed out on the other side. Good job, Opal! Lots of sticks ready for chewing! Luckily there are several other larger and more robust apple trees remaining for the future!"


  Rosie napping

Rosie on her first full day at Hope Elephants, resting on the sand berm that was created for her in the paddock. Because of nerve damage in her left shoulder that began affecting her years ago, it is difficult for her to lie down and get back up on a flat surface. These sand berms allow her to sleep or rest comfortably, and to get up more easily. (Photo by Tom Laurita)  



Rosie rising

Rosie on her first full day at Hope Elephants, using the berm that was created before her arrival to make it easier for her rise from a resting position. (Photo by Tom Laurita) 


 King of mountain

The sand berms also make darn good spots for playing King of the Mountain! (Photo by Barbara Hatch)



Education Update
CB Education
               Photo by Chris Pinchbeck

Hope Elephants has made great progress on our educational mission. By experiencing elephants not as curiosities, but as fellow sentient beings that deserve our respect, we hope to provide school children and visitors of all ages with the inspiration to find their own way of pursuing wildlife and habitat conservation. Dr. Jim is a wealth of knowledge on elephant behavior, science and history and has been sharing that knowledge with visitors who have come to our facility for presentations. So far, we have had over 1,700 visitors, and a large percentage of those have been local school children. 

Asian elephants are amazing creatures - smart, sensitive, curious - and endangered. Because of rapidly growing human populations, the Asian elephant's habitat is shrinking fast and poaching for ivory, meat and hides is still a widespread problem. At this point, they are threatened by extinction in the wild.

The next step in our educational mission will be the completion of a visitor's center to make the human experience at our facility even more valuable, and the finalization of a multidisciplinary curriculum based on our elephants, which we will make available to educators in Maine and further afield.  We are raising funds now to help make these plans a reality.

When you look into an elephant's eye, and hear the deep resonance of their communication, it is a truly profound experience. Our hope is that as people see and learn up close, how special these animals are, they will be moved to help with conservation efforts for elephants and other species, everywhere.   

Amy Wilton eyes
Look into an elephants eye . . . (Photo by Amy Wilton) 


Wishing Happy Holidays and a very happy and healthy New Year to all of you-



Rosie, Opal and all of us at Hope Elephants