Warm Blankets for Cold Elephants
As parts of the world are currently experiencing near-record cold conditions, do not be fooled that climate change is a hoax. The mere denial of climate change is the hoax as at the same time some places are experiencing record cold conditions, others are suffering high temperatures at the other extreme. Therefore, climate change is causing a total re-orientation of "normal weather" conditions as we once knew them. Moreover, overall temperatures for the world as a whole continue to rise. Warming in the Arctic may be releasing more frigid air to move southward. All of this change does not just imply that inland property will become beaches, it is evident that more tropical locations will be subject to cold conditions for which native animals have limited protection.
When the cold found its way to the Winga Baw Camp in the Bago Region of Myanmar there was an immediate health problem for its seven orphaned baby elephants. Fortunately, a number of giant crocheted and knitted blankets from Blankets for Baby Rhinos saved the day. Blankets for Baby Rhinos is a group of over 1,500 knitters and crocheters that were brought together by Sue Brown who founded a wildlife conservation organization in November 2016 on Facebook.
Jo Carris, a coordinator for Blankets for Baby Rhinos in France, commented that the group of some 1,500 knitters and crocheters are scattered around the globe with the largest concentration of them located in South Africa followed by the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Europe. Although 95 per cent of the craftspeople are women, there are men participating in both knitting and crocheting.
It is not only the baby elephants who need the additional warmth, the senior elephants also suffer from the extreme cold. The elephants shown below live at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
It is easy to conjure up an image of massive charities with hordes of staff, huge overheads and plush offices which only provide a small portion of their donations to the true cause. On the other hand, when you see an effort based solely on volunteers and craft labor, it is a special way to "make merit" or "tham boon" as the Thai people call it.
A young lady in South Africa named Angie Goody, shown below, often drives long distances to pick up and deliver the hand-crafted blankets. She is a brave person to be that close to a mature rhino.
If any of you have the skill set, you too can join the ranks of the other participants. Ms. Caris offers some size guidelines for baby elephants suggesting blankets of 120 centimeters by 120 centimeters (47 inches by 47 inches) for baby elephants and 120 centimeters by 160 centimeters (47 inches by 63 inches) for toddlers of four months or older. She indicates that most members use 100 percent acrylic yarn since it is easy to wash and wears well. There are no design limits so the craftspeople can let their imagination run wild. You make them and there will be elephants waiting for them to survive ever-changing weather patterns.
Should you happen to be in Comfort, Texas to visit The Elephant Story for a Black Ivory Coffee, drop by the Tinsmith's Wife at 405 7th Street (shown below) as it is widely known as one of the best knitting establishments in the world. What better karma could there be than buying knitting supplies for orphaned elephants in the same village as The Elephant Story. Moreover, you could always close the afternoon back on High Street with a glass of wine and bite at High's Café & Store. There are not many places you could find such diversity and charm in a small, iconic Hill Country town.