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#183 Sumatran Elephant

Critically Endangered

I can't believe it, I have painted an animal every day for half a year, not missing a single day! It feels like there should be some sort of fanfare or sparkles or something. Something that originally was intended to last for a month has gone for 183 days. This one almost didn't even get finished in time. I painted an elephant and was almost done, when I realized that part of the paper had a defect. I couldn't fix it, so I had to start over. Problem was, my neck started to act up. That ended up with me in bed for hours using a heating pad. When my neck is like that, it usually lasts about 2 or 3 days but only the first day is especially bad. The problem is, I have to finish another painting today. I managed to get this one done thankfully, even though it is a 9"x12" painting. I'm still in pain, but I'm really rather proud of myself that I got it done with 15 minutes to spare.

The Sumatran Elephant is actually a subspecies of the Asian elephant, but my project means my rules and to celebrate doing half a year I'm doing a subspecies. The photo here is of Packy the Elephant. I can't remember now if I shared his picture before or not. I took it when I got to go in the back elephant yard with the elephants at the Oregon Zoo. We didn't get to go in with Packy or the other bull elephant because that wasn't safe, we just got to go behind the first fence so we could see him better. I did get to feed one of the young females. That was an amazing experience. This post is ending up a lot less informative that most of them. I'm exhausted and have to finish my best friend's daughter's painting still, and I'm in pain too.

When searching for information on the Sumatran elephant, I would say that over half of the pages that came up were articles on how yet another one had been poached. Often they were poisoned. Many were ones that didn't even have tusks (females don't really develop noticeable ones at all) so they weren't killed only for ivory. Most of their range is not in protected areas, and not just illegal logging but the creation of palm plantations have taken their habitat. The elephants don't move out of the area just because their home is no longer there, so then they become a problem to the plantation owners. Their numbers have dropped over 80% in the last 75 years. It doesn't seem that is going to stop either.

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