Foundation Statement

The Maue Kay Foundation
a non profit 501(c) (3) charitable foundation formed in 2004 by John Kay and Jutta Maue Kay
supports individuals and organizations
engaged in the protection of

      In recent years, whether at home in North America or through travels in other parts of the world, we've increasingly come in contact with people whose efforts to protect Wildlife, the Natural Environment and Human Rights* are an inspiration to us. Providing financial assistance for their various projects is the primary mission of the Maue Kay Foundation. However we also hope to enlist additional support for their exemplary work, through the information, images and video clips, featured on our various project pages. Each page contains a link to the organization in question, in case you wish to obtain additional information, including how to make direct contributions,
Please point your mouse at the titled images on the left to view the listed project pages.

Should you wish to make a contribution by check please click here

Notes from the director:
     Friday, February 20, 2015

Our 2014 Report: The year started with a visit to the Patagonia regions of Argentina & Chile. While this South American trip was not made on behalf of MKF, we could not help but notice that the Chilean glaciers seem to be in retreat and that the various Penguin varieties – particularly the Magellanic Penguins – are struggling to maintain their numbers. We were able to observe these endearing creatures up close and were of course charmed by them. There is research in progress to mitigate their decline and reverse the trend. We hope these efforts will result in their recovery and that their numbers will stabilize. Between March and August JK & Steppenwolf played several US dates, thereby enabling MKF to continue to support its beneficiaries. It’s indeed a privilege to play with your friends for those who’ve been fans of the Wolf for decades and do this literally ‘for fun and profit’, in order for others – MKF’s recipients - to profit as well. In early September we flew to Jackson Hole, WY to participate in a fund raiser for one of those recipients, namely the Orangutan Foundation International (OFI). The event was organized by our good friend Ann Smith, whose energy seems inexhaustible when it comes to fund raising for wildlife causes. Dr. Birute Galdikas, renowned Primatologist and founder of OFI, was the event’s guest of honor. The evening started with JK performing a few songs from his solo recordings - ably assisted by husband and wife team Tucker & Kristen Smith on various string instruments – followed by the screening of JK’s video “Orangutan Odyssey” which was shot in Borneo at Camp Leakey and OFI’s Care Center for the rescued orphaned Orangutans. Thereafter Dr. Galdikas joined JK on stage where the two continued with an in-depth interview that covered OFI’s history as well as Dr. Galdikas’ research. The evening concluded with an Audience Q&A session which gave Dr. Galdikas an opportunity to elaborate on OFI’s mission and the desperate need to protect the Orangutans remaining habitat. We closed out the year with a return to Kenya. Because of the ongoing Ivory poaching crisis in Africa we decided to visit 4 of the Kenyan NGOs MKF supports, all 4 of which strive to protect and conserve Elephants, these are: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), Cynthia Moss of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE), BIG LIFE and The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. While in Nairobi we also had the pleasure of meeting Paula Kahumbu of Wildlife Direct. Paula is a passionate Elephant defender and her “Hands Off Our Elephants” campaign has created greater awareness and support in Kenya and beyond. She had much to tell us over Dinner and we were not only encouraged by what we learned, but also impressed by Paula’s energy and fierce determination. The next morning we, once again, visited the DSWT Nursery in Nairobi National Park where over 30 rescued orphan baby Elephants are currently being cared for. Head Keeper Edwin escorted us into the bush were we first met three orphans that were only two months old. These 3 were so small, fragile and still recovering from their trauma that they were kept apart from the little older orphans. It tugged at our heartstrings to see such tiny victims seek the reassurance of their Keepers, whose fingers they suck on like pacifiers. After also spending time with the much larger group of older orphans, we followed them to the bottle feeding and mud bath area where visitors and school children are able to meet the orphans from a respectful distance. The orphans’ eagerness for their large bottles of formula and their antics in the mud wallow were, as usual, a great delight to all who attended during the daily visiting hour. The following day we came to see Angela Sheldrick, her husband Robert Carr-Hartley and Dame Daphne Sheldrick. We were delighted to see that Dame Daphne was very much on the mend from the serious illness that had beset her some months prior. She is, and will always be, a woman we are exceedingly fond of and who we greatly admire. We next flew to DSWT’s Ithumba Rehabilitation Unit in Tsavo Park East. There Keeper Benjamin introduced us to the Nursery Graduates which had made the transition to Ithumba. These still milk dependant Elephants are slowly gaining the confidence to someday live in the wild again. We followed them into the bush and watched as they browsed in the company of their Keepers. It was quite obvious how much they relied on the Keepers for reassurance and guidance. The fact that some, now long wild living, ex-orphans return at times to show the Keepers their newly born babies, says more than words can adequately express. Two days later we departed for AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK and spend a couple of days learning about the Amboseli Eco System Elephants from Cynthia Moss who has been studying the pachyderms there for over 40 years. We came across several Elephant families and Cynthia, with a large binder of Elephant photos at her side, was able to identify many of them by name. The Elephants are quite accustomed to Cynthia and her vehicle and at times approached us as if to say Hello. Perhaps they were simply curious as to who those other humans with her were. What ever the case, it was a treat to be able to be so close to them, all because of their trust in Cynthia. We are very grateful for the time Cynthia set aside for us, as well as her hospitality. Although Ivory poaching continues to be a scourge in Kenya – and is even worse in other parts of Africa – the Amboseli Elephants have been relatively unaffected by poaching in the last couple of years. While the Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) certainly deserves some of the credit, much of the success can be attributed to “BIG LIFE” and its efforts. Founded in 2011 by acclaimed wildlife photographer Nick Brandt, BIG LIFE has been able to effectively combat poaching in Kenya’s Amboseli region as well as parts of Tanzania. Early one morning we drove to BIG LIFE’s Headquarters to meet with Richard Bonham, co-founder of BIG LIFE and its Chief of Operations. MKF had added BIG LIFE to its beneficiaries in 2013 and we wanted to learn more about BIG LIFE’s Rangers, Outposts, Tracking Dog Teams and Community Outreach work. Richard, a dedicated and experienced conservationist for many years, took a break from his busy schedule to give us some insight into BIG LIFE’s challenges and victories. We learned for instance that the Tracking Dog Teams will at times assist the Community in identifying and locating thieves and other ne’er-do-wells, thereby strengthening BIG LIFE’s relationship with the surrounding Community. After some up-dates, conversation and a quick Lunch with Richard, we continued our day trip by driving to one of BIG LIFE many Ranger Outposts. Located a few miles from HQ, this particular Outpost is situated on an escarpment, giving the Rangers a wide overview of the expanse below. When questionable activity is observed Rapid Response Teams are deployed, particularly when intent to poach is suspected. We left the Ranger Station by mid afternoon, returned to our camp and prepared for our morning flight to the LEWA WILDLIFE CONSERVANCY, one of our favorite places in all of Africa. By noon the next day we had arrived, settled in and were on our first exploratory drive. It was heartening to see that the variety and abundance of Lewa’s wildlife was just great as we remembered it from previous visits. The resident Elephants seemed completely comfortable in the presence of humans and at times came within a few feet of our silent, stationary vehicle. It was a joy to be able to observe them in such an intimate manner. To enable migratory herds of Elephants to pass through Lewa on to the northern regions and Samburu National Park beyond, an Elephant Corridor – including an underpass beneath a major road – has been created. This was accomplished through the cooperation of various land owners. By setting aside land for the corridor, Elephant crop raiding and human conflict has been almost entirely eliminated. Lewa CEO Mike Watson flew JK in Lewa’s helicopter for an overview of this important area as well as the Elephant underpass. Much of the successful preservation of Lewa’s wildlife can be attributed to Lewa’s Rangers, Tracking Dog Teams, related security measures and use of communication technology. But what is also crucially important is the role that Community relation plays. By providing employment at Lewa’s various Lodges and Safari Camps as well as positions as Rangers etc., education, medical care and more, Lewa has made wildlife conservation of great benefit to thousands in the surrounding Communities. This model of ‘conservation of wildlife for the benefit of all’ has been so successful that in the Northern Rangelands adjoining Lewa there are now over a dozen Community Conservancies which operate in a similar fashion. After a couple more days of meeting with Lewa’s various representatives and game drives to view Elephants, Rhinos, Cheetahs, Giraffes and more, we very reluctantly departed for home. Knowing it would not be our last visit to Lewa made it somewhat easier. Now that it’s February we already have a couple of projects and events on MKF’s Calendar for 2015, we’ll report on those on the next “Notes from the Directors”. Stay wild: JK & JMK

     Thursday, November 7, 2013

Since our Baja Gray Whale adventure in February, we’ve become more and more connected to the wildlife and conservation community. This is in great part due to our friend Ann Smith who is a tireless facilitator and fund raiser for wildlife causes. We met Ann in January while visiting the Orangutan Foundation International in Borneo and discovered that we shared a passion for wildlife conservation. She knows and supports many of MKF’s beneficiaries in East Africa and has introduced us to several more. We recently added Big Life: www.biglife.org to MKF’s list of recipients. Founded by renowned wildlife photographer Nick Brandt - whose stunning books of wildlife portraits we collect - Big Life’s trained and armed rangers have helped reduce Elephant poaching in Kenya and Tanzania, including Kenya’s Amboseli Park, where Cynthia Moss has been studying Elephants for 40 years. In June Jutta reconnected with Cynthia while both were in Jackson Hole as guests of Ann Smith and MKF now supports Cynthia’s Amboseli Trust for Elephants: www.amboselitrust.org also. Shortly before our September departure for Namibia, Ann and Imaging Spence, another new friend, invited us to join them in Jackson Hole during the Wildlife Film Festival, where our Heroine Dame Daphne Sheldrick (of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya) was to receive the Teton Outstanding Achievement Award in Conservation. In order to be there for the celebration, we flew from Namibia straight to Jackson Hole, it took 5 flights and 2 days to do it, but we made it, as did our luggage, amazing. In any case we had an absolutely marvelous time witnessing Dame Daphne’s special moments as well as meeting others whose work we greatly admire. Among these were John Hemmingway, whose National Geographic film “Battle for the Elephants” we had previously seen and Dereck & Beverly Joubert, whose astounding documentaries about Lions in Botswana, particularly their recent release “The Last Lions”, we have also greatly enjoyed. Dereck & Beverly previewed a yet to be completed film about Lions, which had an enormous effect on the audience. They are a most dedicated and charming couple and were a pleasure to meet and speak with. Another champion of wildlife, photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols, gave a presentation in Santa Barbara recently, where we were delighted to make his acquaintance. His newest book “Earth to Sky” – filled with his extraordinary images and quotes by various lovers of Elephants - encapsulates the current sad state and plight of the Elephant perfectly. All of the above mentioned men and women are engaged in the endless battle to preserve what remains of our wild living treasures and we feel honored to have made their acquaintance. Fortunately there are also major players joining the fight against Elephant and Rhino poaching and the illegal animal trade in general. The Clinton Global Initiative has committed 80 million dollars for additional rangers to be trained and equipped in Africa and the British Army has just announced it will send a contingent to Kenya to assist the Kenyan Wildlife Service. Meanwhile, Chinese Basketball star Yao Ming continues to promote the anti poaching message in his home country, which is a major recipient of ivory and Rhino horn. On November 14 the US Fish & Wildlife Service – on order to set an example and send a message - will destroy all US confiscated Ivory on hand. These are just a few positive developments which help keep our spirits afloat and our hopes alive. JK & JMK

     Thursday, March 21, 2013

As mentioned in our previous post, in February we joined a most congenial group of Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) supporters and traveled to Laguna San Ignacio in Baja Mexico to visit the Gray Whales. They arrive at this time of year to give birth and nurse their calves until they’re strong enough for the long journey to the northern feeding grounds. The Whale count in the Lagoon was around 300 when we arrived and – so we were told - roughly 10% of these were “friendly” Whales, meaning they were curious about humans and were likely to approach our small boats to be touched and even kissed. Well the good people of Baja Discoveries, whose tented camp was our temporary home, were spot on with their prediction. To our great delight we had several Whale encounters during the next few days. At times surrounded by numerous breaching and sky hopping whales, we were treated to repeated visits by females who seemed keen on introducing their young ones to us. More than once the calves – which were bigger than our boats - were gently nudged up against the side of our boats, so we could touch and stroke them. It is difficult to describe the emotions that run through you when you touch - and particularly when you make eye contact with - these enormous, gentle creatures. You wonder: what’s in this for them? We have no food to offer and the novelty of seeing humans up close must have worn off long ago for the returning adult Whales. So perhaps they are truly curious about us, now that we no longer slaughter them by the hundreds as we did not that long ago and the lagoon has become a safe sanctuary. Well be that as it may, we had an absolutely unforgettable time with these giants as well as with our fellow Whale lovers and we highly recommend a trip to the Lagoon to experience this enriching adventure. Had it not been for the long, difficult battle waged by the NRDC and its numerous allies, against the planned building of a massive Mitsubishi salt plant at the Lagoon, this pristine, UNESCO World Heritage Site would have become another despoiled and ruined gem. Having seen what was at stake and what has been preserved, we are now, more than ever, proud supporters of the NRDC. Their slogan “The Earth’s best defense” is by no means an idle boast. Until September, when we’re off to Namibia, we will continue spreading the word concerning the Elephant Ivory and Rhino horn poaching crisis by giving video and photography presentations at schools, fund raisers and the like. It will help us stay hopeful despite the almost daily onslaught of dispiriting news concerning man’s inhumanity to our fellow creatures. JK & JMK

     Monday February 4, 2013

A few days ago we returned from Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of the Island of Borneo. There we, as part of a small group that included 4 of our good friends, visited Dr. Birute Galdikas and some of the 320 Orangutan orphans that OFI is currently nurturing and protects. After first arriving in Jakarta - where JK met with Lex Hovani of the Nature Conservancy - to learn about logging and other environmental issues in Indonesia, we flew to Pangkalanbun and continued by boat, several hours up river, into the Rain Forest, finally arriving at OFI s Camp Leakey. After showing us around the camp, Dr. Birute brought our group to a feeding platform where we watched some of her charges receive a large variety of local fruits. Although we kept a proper distance, the Orangutans decide if they want to approach and meet you, it was thrilling to be so close to these gentle primates. To observe them while they interacted, swung through trees and sometimes came close to get a better look at us, well it was magical. In the afternoon we had tea with Dr. Birute - on the same Porch where in the film BORN TO BE WILD she shared her spaghetti with the female Orangutan names Siswi - when lo and behold, Siswi appeared, joined Dr. Birute and our group and enjoyed some Rambutan fruit that was brought for her. She is quite the local star and very comfortable around humans. The next few days were filled with many extraordinary experiences as we visited several other rain forest camps and release locations. No doubt for many of us the highlight was a visit to the CARE CENTER where the smallest and youngest orphans - some still in diapers - are cared for. The Center has a number of Jungle Gym type structures that the young Orangutans enjoy and use as a training ground for the skills they will need when they are released into the wild. There we also met the young male named STEPPENWOLF. Mostly he was swinging overhead but a couple of times came over to investigate us, as you can imagine this was a great delight for us. The orphans are lovingly looked after by roughly 200 of the indigenous Dayak people who work at the foundations various camps and facilities. Additionally many Volunteers from the US, Canada and elsewhere come to lend a hand for a few weeks or months. To say that all this is a labor of love is perhaps inadequate. One of the less enjoyable aspects of our visit was a seemingly endless drive, necessary in order to reach a couple of camps, through miles and miles of Palm Oil Plantations. The hundreds of thousands of acres these plantations occupy, were once unspoiled rain forest habitat for Orangutans and hundreds of other species. Unfortunately the logging, followed by more Palm Oil Plantations, continues, although some progress is being made regarding this issue. As mentioned in our previous post, in order for the OFI orphans to have a future home in the wild, OFI is in the process of acquiring significant acreage known as the RAWA KUNO LEGACY FOREST project. You can see details about this and much more at www.oranutan.org We will of course continue to support OFI s efforts in Borneo and will do our best to persuade others to do likewise. Our next journey is to the San Ignacio lagoon in Baja California, where we hope to meet some grey whales, which are there for the calving season. The good people at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) invited us to join their annual trip and we are very much looking forward to this new adventure. We will post a note when we return: JK & JMK

     Monday December 17, 2012

Just a couple of quick updates. A 12 minute video of our Nov 2012 visit to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya, featuring the Baby Orphan Elephants and their dedicated Keepers. has been posted on our You Tube Channel: www.youtube.com/mauekay. Secondly, we are leaving in a few days for Indonesia to visit Dr. Birute Galdikas and the orphaned Baby Orangutans of the Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) on the Island of Borneo. Deforestation there continues at an alarming rate and is usually followed by more Palm Oil Plantations being created on the denuded land. As a result more and more Orangutans are loosing their Habitat or are being killed. OFI is trying to raise enough funds go to: www.orangutan.org to see how you can help - to purchase a major tract of unspoiled Habitat so that the rescued Orangutans will have a suitable home once they are mature enough to be reintroduced into the wild. Well post a report of our experiences in Borneo soon after our return. All for now: JK & JMK

     Sunday April 22, 2012

Almost a year since the last update: Yes, of course thats way too long, but rather than waste space listing all the reasons for the delay, well get on with it. In November we flew to Cambodia to look in on our School project, then on to Kenya to visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphans at the Trusts Nairobi Nursery and Tsavo East Ithumba facilities. Spending time with the little pachyderms in the Bush and also feeding them their milk bottles etc. was of course thrilling and will stay etched into our memories forever. But we were also delighted to spend a little time with Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick, her daughter Angela and Angelas husband Robert Carr-Hartley, while in Nairobi and with Richard Moller our congenial host in Tsavo East. We learned much from Richard particularly concerning the endless battle to combat poaching, snaring and other problems Tsavo faces. These extraordinary people and the over 40 care givers, from various tribes, who look after the orphans with such dedication and love, we hold in the highest esteem and well continue to support their work as much as we are able. From last December through March we were occupied with our move back to California. Now that this seemingly endless time consuming inconvenience is behind us, we intend to spend more time on the foundations projects. As mentioned in the previous posting, last year we met Dr. Birute Galdikas of Orangutan Foundation International and now that Dr. Birute is in California we hope to reconnect and discuss a possible trip to Borneo to visit her charges, the now over 300 baby Orangutans. We recently received photos of a newly rescued little orphan, a male, whom Dr. Birute named Steppenwolf. He was featured as an orphan of the month on OFIs site Perhaps well get to meet this little fellow, well well see. By now the IMAX 3D Born To Be Wild film about Dr. Birutes and Dr. Dame Daphnes lifelong efforts, has received a number of awards and is the most successful non-commercial IMAX release to date. In fact there may be a follow up film in the works. The film is now available on DVD and features many extra video clips and special footage. We encourage everyone and particularly those with young children and/or grand children to get a copy and enjoy this amazing film as well as learn about the dangers facing these orphans. If you are touched as we suspect you will be by the film, please consider sponsoring a baby orangutan at: www.orangutan.org or baby elephant at: www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org It doesnt cost very much and also makes a very special gift for a child. JK & JMK

     Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dr. Birute Galdikas and Orangutan Foundation International (OFI): In our last post we mentioned that we were looking forward to meeting Dr. Birute Galdikas of OFI. We are glad to report that last Saturday, while in San Diego for an OFI benefit performance by John Kay & Steppenwolf, we had the great pleasure of doing so. We met and chatted with Dr. Birute as well as Drew Fellman, producer of the film Born To Be Wild, during the bands sound check. Before the show that evening, after screening the trailer of Born To Be Wild, featuring Dr. Birutes work in Borneo as well as Dame Daphne Sheldricks work with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya, I introduced Dr. Birute to the audience. The crowd was respectful and attentive and was clearly interested in what she had to say and relate. In addition to the benefit shows ticket sales, funds were raised for OFI through a profitable silent auction. All in all, a successful and rewarding evening. The next day Mothers Day a special OFI benefit screening of the Born To Be Wild IMAX film was held at the San Diego Science Center. During the film not a single sound was heard from the audience, a testament to the spellbinding effect of this motion picture. Drew Fellman and all who had a hand in bringing this film to life can justly be proud of having created an important document that will reach the core of anyone with a beating heart. We have seen the film 3 times and would gladly see it again. After the screening Dr. Birute and I took questions from the audience. It was heartening that some of the most concerned questions came from many young people, particularly What can one do to help preserve and protect the Orangutans. Dr. Birute ask, in fact begged them to avoid products containing Palm Oil, because most of the often illegally cleared land it is estimated that 78% of logging in Indonesia is done illegally is usually converted into yet another Palm Oil Plantation. These stretch as far as the eye can see for thousands of acres and of course enormously reduce the remaining habitat for Orangutans and all other forms of life, including indigenous people that live there. One of OFIs goals is to raise funds to purchase and protect land that has not been logged and is prime habitat for Orangutans. There is obviously no point in nurturing and raising the over 300 Orangutan orphans currently in OFIs care, if no viable habitat remains into which these orphans can be released.. Therefore, while our Foundation will certainly continue to support OFI, we encourage you to visit www.orangutan.org to learn about OFIs important work and lend a hand. There are many of our not too distant cousins at OFI, waiting for someone like you to sponsor them. JK & JMK

     Wednesday April 6, 2011

Born To Be Wild, indeed. Weeks ago we were informed that Warner Brothers was shooting an IMAX film in 3D titled Born To Be Wild about 2 truly outstanding people and their life long work, namely Dame Daphne Sheldrick of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya and Dr. Birute Galdikas of the Orangutan Foundation International in Borneo, Indonesia. Dame Daphne and her helpers have rescued, raised and reintroduced back in into the wild over 100 orphaned baby elephants, while Dr. Birute and her staff have done the same with untold orphaned baby Orangutans. Our foundation has been supporting both of these projects, so we were delighted to learn that this film will now bring the remarkable work of these two women to the attention of the greater public. You can view a trailer of the film, which is narrated by Morgan Freeman and additional clips of the making of the film etc. at: http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1810189903/video/24796643 48 hours after being notified about the production of the film, we were contacted by Science North: http://sciencenorth.ca/ whos David Lickley it turned out, is the director of the BTBW film, but Science Norths inquiry concerned a major fund raising event and not the film. After learning about the conservation related work done by and at Science North - which brings thousands of people and particularly children through its doors every year - Jutta and I agreed to participate in the planned event. Making people aware of the need to protect our global natural treasures is paramount, if we hope to preserve what is left and Science North does an admirable job of doing just that. So last Saturday, following a gala dinner, I spoke about related matters on behalf of our foundation, while Juttas wildlife and foundation project images were projected to illustrate my points. Afterwards I joined four fine local musicians who had donated their time and talent to learn several Steppenwolf songs which we performed together for a crowd of post dinner guests and those who came to only attend the fund raising party. I believe a fine time was had by all, including Jutta and myself, but most importantly much needed funds were raised to enable Science North to continue its crucial work. In May well meet Dr. Birute Galdikas and learn more about her work with the over 300 orphaned baby Orangutans that she and OFI are currently nurturing at Camp Leakey in Borneo. We will then post our report. JK & JMK

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