French nationality, trained as animal keeper, started to work for animal parks in France at the age of 23. She quickly took an interest in the cause of wild animals and, as soon as she graduated as “animal keeper in zoologic park”, she started specialising in the work with elephants. Keen to learn more about elephants’ natural environment, she undertook her first trip to Nepal in 2013 and, from that point on, kept returning every year to help tending the captive elephants held in Sauraha, a small village located on the outside of the National Park of Chitwan. Her aim is to bring up to date tools, techniques and knowledge designed to enable the local keepers and owners to improve the living conditions and the state of health of their elephants, which also implies understanding and working with the mahouts. In 2015 and 2016 she also spent months in India, at a private elephant camp, where she lived in the jungle and was able to observe elephants roaming around in their natural habitat at close range and thus to complete her knowledge in the field.
Belgian nationality, educated as a lawyer, started her career as a barrister at the Brussels’ bar, then spent a few years in the capacity of a company lawyer before shifting to the European trade association sector where she spent the main part of her career as the deputy, then managing director of a European banking association established in Brussels. She stepped down in 2014 to turn to a field which had always been closest to her heart, animal welfare, and started studying Ethology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 2015. Keen to be in the field and being a regular visitor of Nepal since 1998, it is during a trip in the South of the country that she discovers the extreme cruelty of the captive elephants’ living conditions and decides to launch an initiative aiming at changing the local methods, i.e. SU4E.
Born in Montreal and studied biology at Concordia University. He has been a lifelong gadabout, animal lover and nature enthusiast. Growing up, his heroes were people like Jane Goodall & Jacques Cousteau. He has spent his adult life moving through a variety of occupations, from world traveller to businessman, oil-field worker to art gallery owner, gaining invaluable knowledge & experience along the way. Soon after deciding to make his home in Nepal, he met his wife Floriane and she introduced him to an elephant. He was immediately smitten (by both) and felt compelled to devote his time and energy to help. He believes the path to achieve lasting positive change is through compassion & education.
Project manager, Vicky Shah is a 20 year old Nepali who grew up in Sauraha working in his family’s hotel business. Soon after completing his studies in management and tourism, he met Michael and a friendship blossomed. He began working for us part time, doing little things, but soon carved a place for himself in the organization (and our hearts). His experience in hospitality, plus a natural charm, make Vicky a perfect communicator. He is invaluable at bridging cultural or language gaps and ensuring things run smoothly. Living next to the jungle in Chitwan, Vicky has always had a strong connection to nature. For Vicky, joining SU4E gives him a chance to change mentalities and an opportunity to belong to a cause that is close to his heart, improving the living conditions of elephants. Vicky greets every new task with enthusiasm, his leadership and energy to improve the life of the elephants he has grown up with is nothing short of inspiring.