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Elephant advocates share stories and photos

Writer, photographer team to describe their experiences from around the world



Dag Goering's life was forever changed on the day in 2007 when an elephant grabbed his wrist, pulled him close, and looked him directly in the eye.

The former veterinarian and current elephant crusader will be in Whistler on Tuesday, April 3 with his wife Maria Coffey to share their elephant stories.

Through their travel company, Goering and Coffey have raised money for elephant conservation initiatives around the world.

Goering said his elephant fascination started when he was studying in India and he was asked to look at a newly born elephant calf. It was while Goering was checking out the calf that he was pulled eye to eye with the baby's mother.

"I could tell there was a hell of a lot going on behind the eye," said Goering.

And so began Goering's fascination with elephants.

"We've really been inspired by this idea of businesses becoming social environmental enterprises," said Goering of what he and Coffey are up to. "In other words, businesses not just being profitable but also having a second bottom line which is contribution to the environment and to the communities where they work.

"We really want to not just run a business but we also want to feel that we're making a living and also making a difference in the world," he said.

Their business has funded a number of elephant projects, like a GPS collaring initiative involving a problem elephant in Kenya.

Between the two of them, they have a few businesses interests. Goering is an expert photographer and Coffey is an award-winning writer who was once interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. Together they also operate an international travel company.

"On all our trips across the board we're going to be taking a minimum of two per cent and contributing it to these projects," said Goering.

The presentation scheduled for Whistler, called Elephants and Other Adventures, will take place at the library and Goering said the show will feature great travel photos and elephant pictures. A few of his photos of poached elephants are disturbing so he said young children might not enjoy the presentation.

Entry into the presentation is by donation and it will begin at 7 p.m.

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