The Asian Elephant
Art & Conservation
Project (AEACP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving
the diminishing number of Asian elephants left on our planet
through its work with domesticated elephants. The AEACP raises
funds through donations and the sale of artwork created by
elephants in order to fulfill its mission.
The AEACP exists
- improve the welfare
of domesticated elephants by facilitating appropriate standards
of training, care, food and habitat.
- help support the
efforts of conservation organizations working to sustain
and protect wild elephant populations.
mission includes the following interrelated initiatives:
I. Domesticated Elephant
The AEACP recognizes
that the vast majority of Asian elephants, Elephas maximus,
exist within the context of long-standing
cultural traditions of domesticity and that there is
an obligation to
provide these elephants with the best care possible.
The AEACP benefits domesticated elephants by:
- promoting the paintings
done by the elephants as a safe, creative alternative source
of income to other activities
elephants and their caretakers must resort to, such
as illegal logging or begging for handouts on city streets.
- improving veterinary
access. Each elephant participating in AEACP programs is
regularly inspected and treated
veterinarians. The AEACP also seeks to increase veterinary
access in general by establishing scholarship programs
training of elephant specialists.
- furthering the education
of traditional elephant caretakers (“mahouts” or “pawangs”).
Through workshops, seminars and cultural exchange,
elephant caretakers learn the best traditional as well
as modern methods in training,
safety and care. This education will be augmented
through the distribution of elephant management handbooks
and training videos
translated into multiple languages.
- raising funds for
projects designed to meet specific needs of local elephant
camps such as water filtration
II. Conservation Initiative:
The AEACP supports
the premise that wherever possible, the most humane treatment
of elephants is achieved
them to exist naturally in their native habitats. Therefore
funds raised by the AEACP’s work with domesticated
elephants are also used to help support:
- preservation and management of protected
natural habitats for wild elephant populations.
- established conservation agencies such as
WildAid that initiate re-introduction projects and successfully
work against illegal
III. Humanitarian Initiative:
The long-term protection and welfare of
domesticated elephants is integrally linked to the quality
of life of their caretakers
and members of the surrounding community. As such, AEACP
- direct income to elephant caretakers earned
through the sale of artwork painted by their elephants
- funding for projects designed to improve
overall quality of life for members of the community. Such
projects would be relevant
to local environmental and economic needs. Examples could
include education and cultural programs, as well as public
such as such as libraries, water and sanitation projects,
IV. Artistic Initiative:
Originally conceived as a conceptual art
project, the AEACP pushes the boundaries of art as charity,
our notions of artist and intent. The AEACP:
- supervises the gentle teaching of various
painting techniques to elephants and caretakers using non-toxic
- encourages the development and exploration
of individual artistic styles, sometimes in collaboration
with local artists.
- raises public awareness through worldwide
elephant art exhibitions, lectures, and auctions that showcase
the plight of domesticated
elephants and wild elephants facing extinction.
developing an affordable line of non-toxic quality paints
for use by elephants and caretakers as well
children in developing countries.