Hampstead couple named special projects volunteers of the year by Elephant Aid International

HAMPSTEAD, NC (WWAY) — Julie and Dillon Forbes have been named the Elephant Aid International (EAI) Special Projects Volunteers of the Year for 2021, the organization announced Saturday.

The Pender County couple was picked for the honor from a world-wide group of volunteers who assist EAI.

“We were excited about the opportunity to help animals while working outside with people,” Julie and Dillon Forbes said. “Plus, we wanted to see this vision for elephants come to fruition.”

Since the spring of 2016, Julie and Dillon have worked tirelessly preparing the grounds of the EAI Elephant Refuge North America (ERNA) in Attapulgus, Georgia, for the arrival of two elephants namded Bo and Tarra.

Bo, a 10,000-pound male Asian elephant, and Tarra, a 9,000-pound female Asian elephant, became residents of ERNA last year.

Elephant Aid International was founded in 2009, and is a nonprofit organization working to end the worldwide suffering of captive elephants by creating innovative approaches to their care and management.

EAI gives hands-on assistance to improve elephant welfare; teaches humane methods of training and handling; raises public awareness of the lives and needs of elephants; and models new standards of care at its Elephant Refuge North America (ERNA), where elephants can retire, recover, and thrive.

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