In July 2012, Asian Elephant Support was introduced to Mamatha Sathyanarayana, a young biology teacher from Mysore, India. Along with her teaching responsibilities, she is also very involved in wildlife conservation. She facilitates many educational workshops about wildlife and the forest for the local village children.
In 2011, Mamatha received a small grant from the International Elephant Foundation (IEF) to develop a Human-Elephant Coexistence workshop for children in her home state of Karnataka. She submitted an abstract on this workshop to the International Zoo Educators organization, hoping to present her work at the 2012 conference hosted by the Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom. Her abstract was accepted and we were delighted to assist with partial funding to help defray her travel expenses.She was truly grateful to be able to attend this conference and sent us a few pictures and a summary of what this opportunity meant to her. She advised there was record attendance which gave her the opportunity to meet many eminent educators from all over the world. The conference schedule was packed with case studies, papers, workshops, and poster presentations, providing her with a lot of new ideas to take home. Even with the busy schedule, there was time to enjoy the Chester Zoo and an opportunity to see the old historic city of Chester.
Sharing knowledge is invaluable and we feel it is important to share the good conservation work that is being done in Asia with the Western world. Dedicated educators like Mamatha Sathyanarayana, whose passion for wildlife involves teaching both in and out of the classroom, represent a very important element in elephant conservation. With Mamatha’s help, her students will grow into adults with a better understanding of our wonderful planet and its amazing and precious creatures and wild places. Thank you, Mamatha, and our very best wishes to you!