Support Asian Elephant Conservation with Holiday Gifts that Give Back

The holiday season is upon us! As you start your holiday shopping, consider giving a unique gift that gives back.

From notebooks and weekend totes to performance shirts and cozy blankets, our Elephant Store has the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Best of all, your purchase will directly support our work to protect endangered Asian elephants and their habitats.

Read on to get inspired with our 2020 holiday gift guide.

For the Wildlife Lover…

Symbolically adopt a wild Asian elephant with our Elephant Adoption Kit. Each animal available for adoption represents a real individual from the population in Udawalawe, Sri Lanka. Adopters receive a Certificate of Adoption, exclusive information and updates about the elephant, and the option to add an adorable plush. 

For the Student…

Whether students are back in school or participating in remote learning, they all need a notebook. The cover of this lined spiral notebook features a beautiful painting of an elephant in a forest. It’s perfect for class notes, and your student will feel inspired every time they look at it – especially if they are learning about wildlife or nature! 

For the Cute Baby…

Just like human babies, elephant calves are known to get a little dirty. This soft baby bodysuit features a picture of a muddy elephant calf with the words, “Rub my tummy and say you love me.” Does it get any cuter than that? 

For the Tech Lover…

A smartphone case is the perfect stocking stuffer for anyone on your list. This case is available in various sizes to fit both iPhone and Galaxy models, and features a variety of colors and designs. 

For the Cozy Homebody…

2020 is the year of working from home. This means that formal office clothes have been pushed to the back of the closet and replaced with more comfortable options, like this french terry pullover – cozy and cute! 

For the Traveler…

Any traveler knows how useful a zippered pouch can be. It helps organize everything from electronics to toiletries. The Elephant Store also has tote bags, weekender bags, and even laundry bags for all travel needs.

For the Coffee Lover…

We all know that person who can’t get through the day without a cup of coffee…or three. You can’t go wrong with a mug! This coffee mug is printed with a Asian elephant alongside a philosophical quote, “I think…therefore I must exist.” The Elephant Store also has travel mugs for those always on the go. 

For the Fitness Junkie…

A muscle tank is versatile enough to be worn jogging, biking, or doing yoga. And let’s be real, a picture of an elephant makes any workout more enjoyable! 

Elephants are more than just cute and cuddly animals. They are ecosystem engineers and key players in our environment, with important roles like dispersing and fertilizing seeds and creating micro-habitats for smaller species like insects and amphibians. Needless to say, Asian elephants are definitely on the “nice list”! Help protect these endangered animals by shopping for gifts that give back

If you’re shopping for other gifts on Amazon, don’t forget to shop through Amazon Smile and designate us as your preferred charity to make a donation to our nonprofit organization at zero cost to you!  

Happy holidays from all of us at Trunks & Leaves! 

Can Lemongrass Help Reduce Human-Elephant Conflict in Sri Lanka?

By Salik Ansar  

So-called human-elephant conflict has been a recurring issue in Sri Lanka for years. With no viable and permanent solution, different organizations and groups come up with their own plan and methods of dealing with this dilemma. Some, of course, favor humanity at the cost of the wildlife.

With farmers constantly suffering from crop raids and elephants being subjected to agonizing forms of repellents, Trunks & Leaves dedicated our energy and resources to finding a suitable solution to this issue. Our aim is to achieve peaceful coexistence between people and elephants by developing sustainable agricultural models that are compatible with elephants and, at the same time, securing the livelihoods of farmers. We believe that the solution to this is to understand the problem from both angles: the elephants and the farmers.

A few months ago, we partnered with HDDeS Pvt Ltd, one of the largest exporters of spices, essences and floral extracts in Sri Lanka, to test if incense sticks can deter elephants. This project has been set back due to the pandemic but is still ongoing. But we are now exploring ways to develop alternate sources of income for farmers who lose crops to elephants.

The climate and landscape of the Udawalawe region are fertile for plants like lemongrass, and the value of this plant has increased due to the commercial importance of aromatic oil. This is a product HDDeS needs, and research shows that it is not preferred by elephants. Thus, Trunks & Leaves and HDDeS Pvt. Ltd are interested in trying lemongrass as a supplementary crop to provide additional income which can hopefully offset losses from elephants.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) is an aromatic and tall sedge that grows in many parts of tropical and sub-tropical Southeast Asia and Africa.
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Social Media & Wildlife Tourism: Powerful Tools for Good and Bad

Earlier this month, we launched the Ethical Elephant Experiences campaign to shine a light on the issues that irresponsible wildlife tourism can present and to encourage travelers and travel companies to commit to responsible practices.

Before COVID-19 halted travel, wildlife tourism was becoming increasingly popular, and elephant experiences were at the top of many people’s bucket lists. Wildlife attractions account for 20-40 percent of all tourism worldwide, with up to 6 million people visiting these sites each year. In Asia, there are over 3,800 elephants living in captivity. This is a significant number when you take into account that there are only 40,000-50,000 Asian elephants left in the wild.

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