The Elephant’s Trumpet: A Story of a Loving Mother and the Future of a Herd

The love of family along with the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo is helping one mother elephant preserve her species that has become endangered due to habitat loss and the extreme poaching for ivory tusks.

The Elephant’s Trumpet: A Story of a Loving Mother and the Future of a Herd from Kevin Charles Moore on Vimeo.

Rozie is an Asian elephant that was born to the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo in 1993 for the purpose of maintaining the species. Since then Rozie has mothered two of her own offspring and is helping ensure a future for the Asian elephant species, not just a memory.

Currently the BioPark has seven Asian elephants two of them being young males and five females counting the newest edition, Rozie’s very young calf Jazmine. The park is one of the few United States facilities to have success in breeding and raising elephants in captivity. This is very beneficial to maintaining the species since the Asian elephant population is constantly threatened by human activities in the wild.

The ABQ BioPark Zoo At A Glance. Click to Enhance. (ABQ BioPark Zoo Brochure Map)

The ABQ BioPark Zoo At A Glance. Click to Enhance. (ABQ BioPark Zoo Brochure Map)

Before Rozie’s birth the park didn’t have what it has today in the herd. Female Asian elephants are very social and often form groups that become herds; these groups are lead by the matriarch. The matriarch is the oldest female of the group. By creating the herd the park is able to allow the elephants to have the natural dynamic and social structure seen in the wild. This also helps the zookeepers understand and care for the elephant’s physical and psychological wellbeing.

Currently there are five species of elephants that are endangered and other elephant species like the African elephant are vulnerable to this threat. The biggest threat to elephants in the wild is the shrinking habitat, poaching and illegal sale of ivory. The loss of habitat means elephants are living closer to human society and a struggle for food can cause the devastation of a farmer’s crop. This puts elephants at risk for retaliation from a farmer to insure crop loss or damage doesn’t happen again. The majority of the time elephants are poached specifically for the ivory in their tusks and then sold on illegal markets, aiding to the dwindling population. The United States Congress recognized this struggle in 1997 and introduced the Asian Elephant Conservation Act, which allows funding for the conservation of Asian elephants.

Baby Jazmine and her Grandmother Alice playing in the yard at the ABQ BioPark. (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

Baby Jazmine and her Grandmother Alice playing in the yard at the ABQ BioPark. (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

On February 11th, 2014 the Press Secretary for The White House released a fact sheet on the National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking. The goal is to establish principles for the United States to combat illegal wildlife trade and ban the commercial trade of elephant ivory. This is to ensure that the United States is not a contributing factor to the diminishing numbers of endangered species due to illegal trade or poaching.

Local Holocaust and Intolerance Museum Combats Hate Through Education

Hate and intolerance have been a part of an unfortunate world history and even current modern events. The Holocaust and Intolerance Museum of New Mexico is helping Albuquerque and the world remember these injustices; in hopes to prevent future acts of hate and genocide.

Local Holocaust and Intolerance Museum Combats Hate Through Education from Kevin Charles Moore on Vimeo.

While hate and intolerance are words that seem ugly on their own, they can become something tragically worse. These words are actions that can become violent and damaging to everyone involved. Unfortunately these are words that are not out grown even though they are not words known to a new born. In a Tolerance for Teen’s factoid it states that, an individual is not born with hate for a whole group of people for any reason other than one’s own bias. But instead this form of hate is a learned behavior. Since this is a learned behavior it means hate and intolerance can be avoided.

The word “hate crime” wasn’t really in use until after World War II, in which a government attempted a racial genocide. The Holocaust was a period of time from January 30th 1933 until May 8th 1945. During this time more than six million Jews and five million others deemed as inferior by Hitler and the German Nazi regime were systematically exterminated. Some of the five million included homosexuals, mentally or physically impaired, Gypsies, religious groups and anyone who really opposed the Nazi regime. Even before the Holocaust there was the Armenian Genocide of the early 20th century by the Ottoman government. The Ottomans also attempted a systematic extermination, by forced deportations and massacres of the Armenians in what is now modern day Turkey.

Harold L. Folley, volunteer at the Holocaust and Intolerance Museum of New Mexico in Albuquerque. (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

Harold L. Folley, volunteer at the Holocaust and Intolerance Museum of New Mexico in Albuquerque. (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

Additionally the United States has also had moments of hate and intolerance, from slavery in the 17th to 19th centuries to modern intolerance of sexual orientation, race and religion. The Southern Poverty Law Center monitors some 1,007 known hate groups operating across the United States. In the 2012 statistics released by the FBI in the Offense Type by Bias Motivation report, race has the highest total offenses. The total offenses motivated by sexual orientation and religion combined do not even total the offenses committed on a race bias. While the majority of hate crimes in the United States are race motivated, the offender is mostly driven by the desire for excitement.

The Holocaust and Intolerance Museum of New Mexico stands as a reminder that nothing good comes from intolerance and hate based on what a person is as opposed to who they are: a son, a mother, a daughter or even a father. While the museum is that reminder it promotes people to be the conduit of change against all forms of hate.

Medical Marijuana and the Rise of the Political Push for Legalization in New Mexico

The New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program or MCP was established in 2007 for New Mexico residents. In a recent push by State Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque), New Mexico could be the next state to legalize marijuana.

Medical Marijuana and the Rise of the Political Push for Legalization in New Mexico from Kevin Charles Moore on Vimeo.

With the recent introduction of SJR 10 by New Mexico State Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) the push for legal recreational use of marijuana in New Mexico has begun. The bill is much like Colorado’s Amendment 64 and will allow New Mexico to regulate the production, sale and taxation of marijuana. This bill will also allow residents 21 years of age and older to legally posses marijuana for personal use. It is reported in a poll conducted by Gallup in 2013, that most Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana. While currently marijuana is not legal for recreational use in New Mexico, the state does have a Medical Cannabis Program in place.

Currently under the guidelines of the Medical Cannabis Program or MCP patients must have one of the 17 qualifying conditions to be eligible. But stipulations on the New Mexico Department of Health website states that, “If your patient does not have a qualifying condition and you feel they would benefit from the medical use of cannabis, that person can petition the Medical Advisory Board to add their condition to the current list.” While you can find most of the information for eligibility on the New Mexico Department of Health’s website; places like Peace Medical Marijuana Consultants help patients to get a better understanding of the program.

As of August 30th, 2013 it is reported on the New Mexico Department of Health’s website that there are 9960 active patients. To get enrolled you can contact places like Peace Medical Marijuana Consultants or follow the guidelines outlines on New Mexico Department of Health’s website. While it may seem easy to apply yourself, Peace Medical Marijuana Consultants offer a friendly face to help you understand the laws and know what is within your rights as a patient.

Peace Medical Marijuana Consultants in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

Peace Medical Marijuana Consultants in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

New and returning patients fill out the same application with a submission that includes a copy of their New Mexico driver’s license or state identification. The state only allows residents of New Mexico to apply to the program. You must also provide medical documentation that supports the diagnosis of the condition from the list of 17 outlined by the New Mexico Department of Health. This must include past treatments with the dates of service and the possible benefit vs. risk of Medical Cannabis. Finally, qualifying patients will be provided with a Patient ID Card and a list of Licensed Non-Profit Producers or LNPP for short.

If you would like to read more about the laws behind the MCP you can review the rules on the Law Enforcement Information Sheet available at New Mexico Department of Health.