Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Solving a Problem for Performing Animals

Okay, this is non-watch related.  Well no, that's not accurate.  Let's say that it is "semi-watch" related.

You may recall the Tag-Heuer ad with the baby lion, the uproar, the request to re-think and remove the ad, and Tag-Heuer's response that the circus in question ensured that their animals all went to the very good "retirement parks" when their performing days were over.  One bit of information not provided was just where these parks might be...

In trying to research this I have learned precious little but will endeavor to pursue this item as much as possible, and promise an update when I have it.

But in the meantime, it would seem that there are really NOT that many retirement parks for performing animals in Europe - or at least if they are they are as closely kept a secret as Patek Philippe's "secret sauce"  ; )

So in the interest of not complaining, but looking for a positive action, allow me to inform you of a project to create a retirement home for performing circus animals that is currently being operated through Indiegoggo -


Tempus Fugit will be making a donation of 100 Euros, and we welcome anyone reading this to make some small donation if they care to.

Here's the scoop, straight from the source:

Building a Retirement Home for Elephants in Europe

We NEED to raise 340,000€ by 31st March 2015 for a much needed elephant retirement home in France!

Why do we need a retirement home for elephants in Europe?
There are currently 141 elephants in circuses and 540 elephants living in zoos across Europe.
With a ban on elephants in circuses currently sweeping throughout European countries  like Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Austria and the realisation by many circus owners that such large animals are becoming impossible to transport through increasingly busy towns and cities, more and more elephants are being retired from circus life. Relocating the elephants back to their country of origin is not always a realistic option, but creating a safe haven for them in Europe is.
We have paid a deposit of €40,000 and received €60,000 in donations. We urgently need €340,000 by 31st March 2015 to buy the land. If we do not succeed there will be no retirement home for these elephants!!
Elephant Haven are planning to build six stables with heated living quarters with a large outside paddock which will always be accessible to the elephants day and night. The living quarters consist of six interconnecting sand stables with nursing and training walls, separated by a corridor that can be used for introductions and provide additional interior space.
Outside there will be at least 5 Acres/2 Hectares of parkland per elephant, including lakes and woodland, providing privacy for new arrivals who require solitude. The small hills encourage mobility, trees and shrubs provide scratching posts and a source of enrichment and exploration.

There will be guided tours, schools & groups can come over and do some activities, there also will be a place available for workshops, conferences etc... 
About us :
Tony and Sofie are from Belgium. They are passionate about this project, about animals and about nature, and they want to share that passion. They are devoted to providing a place for elephants to enjoy their old age.
Tony Verhulst has been working at the Antwerp Zoo / Planckendael since 1993, where he has been full time caring for the elephants since 2001. Tony has gained international experience with elephants. 
This passion and knowledge was the evolutionary start of the Elephant Haven project.
Sofie Goetghebeur has been working at the Antwerp Zoo since 1993. She has experience in the care of birds, small monkeys, okapi, marine mammals, gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees coming from an animal center, and elephants.
The Founders had a vision of creating a Haven for elephants to retire and to facilitate the re-socialization and rehabilitation of captive-kept elephants whilst providing information and research into their complex needs and behaviors.
Tony and Sofie have assembled a team of experts and organisations who share their passion for elephants with the aim to create a European ‘Elephant Haven’.

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