The idea for an Elephant Charter emerged from a growing conviction held by elephant biologists that elephants are deserving of some form of Bill of Rights. Over the years Cynthia Moss and Joyce Poole discussed the concept and in November, 2001, Joyce articulated it in her keynote address to the 22nd Annual Elephant Manager's Workshop held by Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Since that time the scientific evidence on elephant cognitive abilities has continued to amass in the literature just as the threats to elephant survival and welfare have steadily increased. So when in June 2005 Joyce received an email from Peter Stroud, a member of the Asian Elephant Specialist Group, asking whether she would be willing to develop a Charter for Elephants, the real work began.
Joyce Poole and ElephantVoices colleague, Petter Granli, have collaborated with key elephant social behavior experts to write The Elephant Charter. Together with its authors, Joyce Poole, Cynthia Moss, Raman Sukumar, Andrea Turkalo and Katy Payne, other scientists and individuals have contributed their time, expertise and support to the further development of it. We especially thank Drs. Harvey Croze, Keith Lindsay, Phyllis Lee, Elizabeth Archie, Lucy Bates and Karen McComb and Lisa Kane and Peter Stroud for their advice and comments that helped to sharpen its focus.