This may sound like a plea for help.
I am impressed by other organizations interested in elephants that have set up effective strategies to draw attention to the issues and connect people to the problem. The Bronx Zoo set a world record for origami elephants to draw attention to the problem of elephant poaching. Rajeev N Kurup and Kerala Suffering Elephants maintain daily Facebook postings about the plight of elephants.
When our documentary 'Elephants in the Coffee' is shown, we need to offer some way for viewers to connect with the issue. Could they buy some elephant-safe coffee? Could they subscribe to a Facebook page or Twitter feed? Can they support a fund to send a mahout child to school?
One of the difficulties is the complexities of issues involved here. We support elephants, but we also support farmers. And given the rising numbers of captive elephants, we see a growing need for a respected and professional group of mahouts to care for those elephants.
After watching our documentary, people ask us, what are we supposed to do? There should be some call to action. Ideas are welcome.
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Dr. Thomas Grant
Professor of Journalism at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College