The moment Dag Goering came face to face with an elephant while working as a veterinarian in India in 2007, he knew he had to do whatever he could to protect these great creatures.
Goering and his wife Maria Coffey are the co-founders of Elephant Earth Initiative, a non-profit organization that funds an anti-elephant poaching program in Kenya, along with other initiatives that benefit elephants and the humans they interact with.
Goering and Coffey plan to share their passion for elephants with the public through an art exhibit opening on Saturday (Oct. 4).
“I really want to bring across the magnificence of these amazing animals,” said Goering. “It’s a very positive and upbeat exhibit, but I’m also drawing awareness to some of the issues between elephants and humans.”
The exhibit features photographs taken by Goering, as well as collages, artifacts and information about elephants. It will be an opportunity for people to learn all about elephants and the issues surrounding them. There will also be petitions against the illegal poaching of elephants available to sign.
“If elephants are slaughtered at this rate, they’ll be extinct within 20 years,” said Coeffey.
After the opening of the exhibit, there will be a candlelight vigil for the elephants. Starting after 6 p.m., people will walk from Dales Gallery to the Parliament Building with candles.
The vigil is in conjunction with marches happening in more than 100 cities around the world on the same day.
The following day, there will be a panel discussion and presentation about Elephant Earth. Each year, Goering and Coffey organize 100-mile treks in Kenya. People who have participated in these treks will be speaking about their experiences.
“We feel impelled to help the effort to protect these magnificent animals,” said Coffey.
The exhibit, Elephant Enigma, opens Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. At Dales Gallery at 537 Fisgard St. The panel discussion will also be at Dales Gallery on Oct. 5 from 4 to 6 p.m.