The Original Dwellers

Sponsored by Savills

Sharing space with the human race: This is our CoExistence story

From India with love. Our herd is named after the humans who made us: The Adivasi. These humans live within nature’s laws and rhythms and understand about the forest we share.  They believe animals have an equal right to live on this earth and know what to plant, where to walk and how coexist with us all. This is how it’s always been.  

‘Adi’ means original and ‘vasi’ means dweller.  The Adivasi are the indigenous people of India and have created each member of our elephant herd, through the knowledge and observation of our real wild counterparts with whom they closely live. We a been crafted by human hand from a plant called lantana. We have no use for this invasive, toxic and fast growing plant which is choking our forest homes. By removing it, a great service has been done to our forest home and theirs. 

Elephant Family respects the rights and knowledge of indigenous people who raise the question, if some people can live with elephants, surely we can learn to live with beavers, badgers and bring back our fast vanishing birds and butterflies.


Removing invasive species

Elephant Family works in partnership with Dr Tarsh Thekaekara, a pioneering elephant conservationist interested in more human inclusive models of nature conservation. His area of work includes work on Lantana camara – mapping it in Mudumalai, Bandipur and Wayanad. Tarsh also investigates how people and elephants share space, particularly in the Nilgiris and finding ways to minimise negative interactions. Tarsh Thekarkara, his talented wife Shubhra Nayar and Elephant Family’s Ruth Ganesh together conceived and created the CoExistence exhibition. 

Sponsored by Savills: proud to be supporting CoExistence and the work of Elephant Family.