Where are all the baby elephants?

Where are all the baby elephants?

IU School of Public Health

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We love elephants! Sadly the forest elephant population has declined by 62%. Help fund research to unlock answers about elephant life cycles so we can save these wonderful creatures & learn something about ourselves too.

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Forest elephants live in the forests of central and western Africa. They are highly understudied, unique creatures. Although smaller and less gregarious than the savanna elephants found in eastern and southern Africa, they have huge effects on their habitat. Little is known about their basic biology or ecology. This research project will study the length of the forest elephant’s estrous cycle and how their health relates to their reproduction.

Elephants share many behavioral characteristics with humans. The info and knowledge gained through research led by Dr. Daniella Chusyd, an elephant researcher at the IU School of Public Health at IU Bloomington, will not only help to conserve elephants but also offer translational opportunities to better understand ourselves.

Two important priorities set at the School of Public Health are understanding human reproductive health and aging. As a Morris Animal Foundation postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Chusyd is dedicated to understanding elephant reproduction and health, which closely coincides with our own health and aging cycles. Your generous gift will fund elephant research and expand the research portfolio of the IU School of Public Health.

All animals instinctively want to pass on their genes, so why do forest elephants wait so long to reproduce? Through her research, Dr. Chusyd is trying to understand why African forest elephants have their first baby more than a decade later in life than African savanna elephants. Answers to these questions may unlock answers to our own human reproduction and aging processes. 

Your support for this research is greatly appreciated. At the following giving levels, you can enjoy some unique opportunities:

  • $500 donors receives monthly updates and a Skype Q&A from the field
  • $1000 donors have an opportunity to “adopt” an elephant, receiving photographs and life history information
  • $3000 donors will have an opportunity to name an elephant in our study

Please consider a gift today!

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The Indiana University Foundation solicits tax-deductible private contributions for the benefit of Indiana University and is registered to solicit charitable contributions in all states requiring registration. For our full disclosure statement, see http://go.iu.edu/89n.

Gifts will be administered by the Indiana University Foundation, which represents Indiana University, including the IU School of Medicine. This is not a gift to Indiana University Health, and the Indiana University Health Foundation will not play a role in administering these accounts.