Saving a species

A Tulsa conservationist fights to protect elephants.



Through online research, Tulsan Phillip Hathaway discovered the troubling impact of poaching on African elephants. In response, he launched the nonprofit ElephantRescue.net in 2015.

John Shoemaker

At first glance, Tulsa seems to be an unusual location for a nonprofit devoted to ending elephant poaching. 

However, the founder of the relatively new ElephantRescue.net, Phillip Hathaway, explains, “The people here are gregariously friendly. You can have a great conversation with a stranger at the grocery checkout. This makes it easy to spread the word.”

Hathaway, who grew up in Oklahoma City, circled the globe twice after spending time in the military and attending Oklahoma City University and the University of Kent in England. He moved to Tulsa to be near family.

Always an animal lover, he says elephants have a special place in his heart because they possess what he calls the “divine traits” of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control.”

He learned through online research in 2014 that elephants were in danger of extinction and was shocked to find how quickly the species was disappearing. 

“We’ve lost 780,000 African elephants since 1980 to poachers,” he says. “There were 1.2 million African elephants in 1980 but only 420,000 in 2012.” 

In response to these troubling statistics, he founded ElephantRescue.net, whose mission is to ensure a safe, natural environment for all elephants. It became a 501(c)(3) in 2015.

Hathaway blames corrupt African leaders and the demand for ivory in southeast Asia for the elephant killings. 

“China has 20 percent of the world’s population but only 7 percent of the arable land,” he says. “So, they must import raw material, and they’ve quite literally colonized Africa for this purpose (they barter mining, oil drilling and highway and infrastructure work in Africa for raw material). This gives them a feeling that they can take what they want, including elephant tusks.”

Hathaway hopes to put an end to this dangerous trend with ElephantRescue.net.

“To stop the killing, it is essential to destroy all stockpiles of ivory immediately for they always go to market, which in turn, drives demand and more killing,” he says.

This is part of the plan Hathway has developed to prevent elephant extinction; the entire plan is available on the group’s website. He says efforts will begin in Botswana, which is home to half of the African elephant herds. 

“We will support Botswana through reforestation, water conservation, herd management and other ways” in cooperation with the government, he explains. “From Botswana, our work will spread to elephant ranges in other countries. We also hope to manage and purchase land bordering elephant ranges to control unprecedented human encroachment.” 

Hathway, who is ElephantRescue.net’s sole staff member, says the organization has raised a little more than $2,000. However, saving a species could cost tens of millions of dollars and could take decades.

There are several ways Tulsans can support ElephantRescue.net, including attending a black-tie fundraiser planned for September. Volunteers also are needed. But the most helpful way, he says, is to make a tax-deductible donation on the group’s website. 

“Phillip’s dedication to the welfare and preservation of elephants as naturally wild and free to roam the many miles they travel each day is without question,” says ElephantRescue.net Advisory Board Member Donald Feare, an animal welfare attorney in Arlington, Texas, who has worked with Hathaway for the past year. “He has taken on a David vs. Goliath battle worldwide even knowing he is fighting an uphill battle.”  

Hathaway has another business, which is based on a book he wrote, that helps students discover their talents. Although he has only traveled to Africa once, he expects to eventually live there half the year. He has spent the past 14 months trying to get ElephantRescue.net off the ground from Tulsa. 

“Much of the job of rescuing is done by faxes, emails, letters from attorneys, etc., that I do right from my little home office,” he says. “Traveling is costly and often is not the best use of the elephants’ money — airfare and two weeks of accommodations for one person in Africa costs about $7,500.”

Although elephant conservation has many obstacles, Hathaway is confident that ElephantRescue.net will help end poaching.

“It is a long, hard war,” he says, “but we shall win.”

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »You Might Like

I love you, sweetie

Inspired by Valentine’s Day, I started reading about sugar.

Artificial intelligence

The push for STEM curriculum in schools is turning students into robot-building marvels.

Jane Walton

The ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ of leadership advising is an author, business consultant.
Edit Module

Add your comment:

 

Get the best in arts, entertainment and more straight to your inbox.

Join our email list

Edit ModuleShow Tags

August 2019

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

KOSU Radio hosts a screening of Ken Burns new documentary “Country Music” at Circle Cinema Sun, Aug. 25 at 2 p.m., ahead of its premiere on PBS stations. This screening will provide an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Circle Cinema
10 S. Lewis Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »


Telephone: 918-551-6768
Contact Name: Chuck Foxen
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Talk one-on-one with reps from non-profit agencies looking for volunteers, like you! TCC faculty will be there to answer questions about Service Learning. Free and open to the public. Info:...

Cost: free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Who wants to CHALK 🎨 some 🎃Pumpkins🎃?! Join us on Tuesday August 27, 2019 at Zios (81st and Lewis)! Click the link below to register 👇...

Cost: $35.00

Where:
Zios
8112 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Sponsor: Chalked Squared
Telephone: 918-284-6492
Contact Name: Elizabeth Hardy
Website »

More information

Weary of that old workout routine? Bored with basketball? Soccer getting stale? How about the sport of kings? Try FENCING! Give us 2 hours and we'll give you an active, physically and mentally...

Cost: Free

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-92-2663
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Why walk through grief alone when you can participate in GriefShare’s highly acclaimed 13-week video-based support group with others experiencing the same? This group offers a comfortable...

Cost: $15

Where:
Asbury United Methodist Church
6767 S Mingo Rd
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Sponsor: Asbury LifeCare Ministry
Telephone: 918-392-1146
Contact Name: Ruth Winn
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Have you been dreaming of owning one of the world's best charcoal grill? Been waiting for the right time to buy a new Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grill or add another one to your collection? Well, this...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grills Retail Showroom
1313 South Lewis Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »


Sponsor: Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grills
Telephone: 918-665-8220
Contact Name: Jennifer Caudle
Website »

More information

Have you been dreaming of owning one of the world's best charcoal grill? Been waiting for the right time to buy a new Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grill or add another one to your collection? Well, this...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grills Retail Showroom
1313 South Lewis Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »


Sponsor: Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grills
Telephone: 918-665-8220
Contact Name: Jennifer Caudle
Website »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

See The Dinosaurs and Unicorn Come Alive At The Circus   The 2019 edition of CIRCUS SAURUS will feature artists from around the world.  Immerse yourself into a mythological quest...

Cost: Advance Tickets $14- Adult $6 child

Where:
West of Plaza Santa Cecilia
2160 S. Garnett Rd.
Tulsa, OK  74129
View map »


Sponsor: Carson & Barnes Circus
Telephone: 580-743-7292
Contact Name: Circus Saurus
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Lazy V 105’ Pasture Festival is an annual action-packed, four-day phenomenon of live events at Riverbend Arena at Owens Ranch in Inola, Oklahoma that includes: team roping, calf roping,...

Cost: $15 - $40

Where:
Riverbend Arena at Owens' Ranch
12900 E. 600 Rd.
Inola, OK  74036
View map »


Sponsor: Riverbend Arena at Owens' Ranch
Telephone: 405-417-6191
Contact Name: Eric Owens
Website »

More information

Have you been dreaming of owning one of the world's best charcoal grill? Been waiting for the right time to buy a new Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grill or add another one to your collection? Well, this...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grills Retail Showroom
1313 South Lewis Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »


Sponsor: Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grills
Telephone: 918-665-8220
Contact Name: Hasty-Bake Retail Showroom
Website »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

See The Dinosaurs and Unicorn Come Alive At The Circus   The 2019 edition of CIRCUS SAURUS will feature artists from around the world.  Immerse yourself into a mythological quest...

Cost: Advance Tickets $14- Adult $6 child

Where:
West of Plaza Santa Cecilia
2160 S. Garnett Rd.
Tulsa, OK  74129
View map »


Sponsor: Carson & Barnes Circus
Telephone: 580-743-7292
Contact Name: Circus Saurus
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Have you been dreaming of owning one of the world's best charcoal grill? Been waiting for the right time to buy a new Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grill or add another one to your collection? Well, this...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grills Retail Showroom
1313 South Lewis Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »


Sponsor: Hasty-Bake Charcoal Grills
Telephone: 918-665-8220
Contact Name: Hasty-Bake Retail Showroom
Website »

More information

The Lazy V 105’ Pasture Festival is an annual action-packed, four-day phenomenon of live events at Riverbend Arena at Owens Ranch in Inola, Oklahoma that includes: team roping, calf roping,...

Cost: $15 - $40

Where:
Riverbend Arena at Owens' Ranch
12900 E. 600 Rd.
Inola, OK  74036
View map »


Sponsor: Riverbend Arena at Owens' Ranch
Telephone: 405-417-6191
Contact Name: Eric Owens
Website »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

See The Dinosaurs and Unicorn Come Alive At The Circus   The 2019 edition of CIRCUS SAURUS will feature artists from around the world.  Immerse yourself into a mythological quest...

Cost: Advance Tickets $14- Adult $6 child

Where:
West of Plaza Santa Cecilia
2160 S. Garnett Rd.
Tulsa, OK  74129
View map »


Sponsor: Carson & Barnes Circus
Telephone: 580-743-7292
Contact Name: Circus Saurus
Website »

More information

Enjoy smooth jazz, end-of-summer breezes, chilled wine and high-end concessions.  Book a room and/or tickets now. This year’s event is more of a ‘boutique’ event with a portion of all...

Cost: $20-$179

Where:
POSTOAK Lodge and Retreat
5323 W. 31st St. N.
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Telephone: 918-425-2112
Website »

More information

America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
View map »


Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Where:
ONEOK Field
201 N Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

What's New


3.02: Getting Schooled — Dr. Deborah Gist

A conversation with Dr. Deborah Gist, superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools, about the new school year and managing one of the state's largest public school districts with low funding.

Comments

Oklahoma's Best-Sellers: Aug. 18

Based on total number of book sales at Magic City Books, Best of Books in Edmond, Brace Books and More in Ponca City, and Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City.

Comments

How do you create affordable housing for all Tulsans?

Q&A with Becky Gligo, City of Tulsa's first housing policy director

Comments

Video: Onifade's Cookie Co.

Comments: 1

3:01: Higher Education - Dr. Leigh Goodson

Dr. Leigh Goodson, president and CEO of Tulsa Community College, on TCC's 50th anniversary, the Tulsa Achieves program and the importance of going to college in 2019.

Comments