A Gift for Elephant Lovers and the Elephants They Love

Help fund the SMART Houdah Prototype: minimise risk of elephant injury

NEW YORK, Dec. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The Great Indian Elephant Safari is currently seeking crowd funding for the prototype phase in the development of a new SMART Houdah. An innovative new elephant passenger seat designed to minimise the risk of elephant injury by lifting passenger weight off the elephant's spine. To accomplish this we need your help. To pledge your support and find out more go to: http://www.rockethub.com/projects/37340-smart-houdah-prototype-minimising-risk-of-elephant-injury

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131224/MN38126)


  1. click the link and pledge your own support, receive limited edition gifts and other exciting opportunities
  2. share this link with your network and ask them to do the same
  3. accept our gratitude and, of course, the gratitude of all the elephants, mahouts and their families who will benefit from this project

Sarah Lawton, Project Leader and Communications Director for The Great Indian Elephant Safari explains; "I began my adventure with elephants when Colonel John Blashford-Snell accepted me onto his team as a Science Officer on the Nepal-Bardia Giant Elephant Expedition (Scientific Exploration Society, 2012). In Nepal, I met my first elephants, both domestic and wild, and experienced my first elephant-back safari."

A year later, when I was asked if I would help promote tourism in the Manas National Park in Northeast India, to provide a sustainable and respectable living for the mahouts (elephant drivers), their families and their elephants, I jumped at the opportunity."

"To make it all happen, my partners and I established exclusive relationships with Bodoland Tourism and several local community organisations with expertise on conservation and elephants. We then set up The Great Indian Elephant Safari (TGIES) and are currently working on setting up The Great Indian Elephant Retreat to raise on-going funds."

"I believe that sustainable conservation must account for the environment and all its inhabitants; human, fauna and flora, as an entire ecosystem. I am determined that the work we carry out benefits the entire local community, while ensuring the health and wellbeing of the Manas elephants, both domestic and wild."

Many elephants are already domesticated and cannot safely be returned to the wild. Originally trained for work in the logging industry, the elephants and their mahouts must seek a new way to live. They must have a safe, sustainable way to live and make a respectable living for their mahouts, and the mahout's family. His children must have the funds to go to school.

"I believe that the development of a new, SMART houdah is an essential step towards the presentation of a truly responsible elephant safari experience. This current design has been put together by the talented product design consultants at 3Di, Northampton. We now need your help to turn their ideas into a test prototype, to make sure it does what it is designed to do; minimise load pressure borne by the elephant's spine," appealed Lawton.

The SMART houdah is an 'open source' hardware project, and will be developed outside of any patents and/or intellectual property limitations. The prototype will be tested using proven scientific pressure testing methods and its performance analysed by specialist scientists. The final design will be freely available to benefit domestic elephants throughout the world. All scientific results will be made available online.

Anyone wishing to support, participate in, and keep up with the project should visit: http://www.rockethub.com/projects/37340-smart-houdah-prototype-minimising-risk-of-elephant-injury

Media Contact: Sarah Lawton, for Content Ltd., 01234 712120, sarah@for-content.com

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SOURCE The Great Indian Elephant Safari



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