Culver City News


The elephant whisperer

Thu, Nov 11 2010 10:12 AM Posted By: Lori Fusaro

By Lori Fusaro

Ellie DeSilva, a long-time Culver City resident is the president and co-founder of nonprofit Indigo Rhythms and has traveled the world, working with organizations such as the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya, the Millennium Elephant Foundation in Sri Lanka and Karma Rescue here in the United States.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing DeSilva for five years and her devotion to animals never ceases to amaze me. She has a heart as big as Africa, which she has traveled to several times to help baby elephants whose parents have been killed by poachers. She has become a miracle worker for them and is responsible for helping them grow up, despite their losing parents at such a young age.

“I have long since had a deep and profound connection to the elephants,” DeSilva said. “Even as a child, I remember obsessing about them and writing about them every chance I would get in school.”

DeSilva had just ventured out on her new career path when she received the invitation from Dame Daphne Sheldrick to go to Kenya to work with her orphaned elephants. “I immediately bought a ticket and was on my way,” DeSilva said.

“Upon my first meeting with all of the baby elephants, there was an instant and mutual love and respect. Not only was I there to heal them but they were there to heal me. And I have been back every year since then. Coincidentally, in Kenya, they call the elephants eles, pronounced exactly like my own name, ironic and yet not,” she opined.

DeSilva spent every day with the elephants and their keepers in the bush.

“I didn’t realize it at the time, but the keepers were taking a great interest in what I was doing because they saw the results right away.” The animals seemed to transform immediately, so the keepers asked DeSilva to teach them. And of course, she couldn’t say no.

After her African adventure, a trip to Asia was inevitable. Her next stop was Sri Lanka, to work with the Asian elephants. The life of a Sri Lankan elephant is even harder than that of the ones in Africa because there is so much elephant-human conflict, fighting over the small areas of habitable land. Her healing sessions were much more challenging. They were also much more necessary.

Not everyone is open to her healing abilities. She has dealt with doubters and naysayers.  She doesn’t let that stop her though.

“I worked with a woman who was one of the board members of the Cetacean Society International, but she wanted me to keep my work confidential. She felt that some of the other board members might not be as open to the work that I do,” DeSilva said.

After her first healing session on a humpback whale, many minds were changed.

“To me, whales and elephants have very similar energies, just living in two different kinds of environments,” she said.

Ellie continues her endeavors with Indigo Rhythms, teaching the human caretakers as well as healing the animals. She says is proud to help educate people about the trauma these wild animals endure because of human violence. She is amazingly humble. She says she can’t see what a tremendous gift she has and gives so freely, saying “It never ceases to amaze me how much I learn from the animals I work with, as they continue to show me, more and more, just how connected we all are. In their teachings, I am constantly reminded of the fact that everything is energy, vibrating at all different levels, sometimes taking physical form and that everything we need to heal ourselves is within us but because of our rational minds, we sometimes forget how.”

She adds, “It is our animal companions who help us to remember by acting as mirrors for us while we are looking outside of ourselves, instead of looking within.


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