Save The Elephant

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An elephant we saw on way through Masanigudi and Bandipur Reserve Forests, South India

I have yet to meet someone who says that they hate elephants. I love them – they represent all the best in humans – love, affection, a sense of community. Besides they do so much for our forests. Watch Elephant Grows The Forest here:

Sadly, we have forgotten just how precious these creatures are. It is estimated that there are  about 450-750k African elephants and only about 35-40k Asian elephants in the world today. Poaching, climatic change and habitat loss are causes the elephant population to reduce drastically.

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A baby elephant in Masanigudi/Bandipur Reserve Forests, South India

China with its endless appetite for ivory is driving poaching across Africa and Asia.

Highly emotional and completely guileless, elephants mourn their dead—and across Africa, they are grieving daily as demand from China’s “suddenly wealthy” has driven the price of ivory to $700 a pound or more. With tens of thousands of elephants being slaughtered each year for their tusks, raising the specter of an “extinction vortex,” Alex Shoumatoff…read more here.

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The same elephant in picture 1

Apart from torturing and killing elephants for their ivory, there are several cruel practices used to train elephants to perform as tourist attractions.  One example is the phajaan – a violent, ritualized separation and breaking ceremony, used in Thailand.  View this National Geographic presentation for more information.  Remember those ‘cute’ elephants painting? The fact is that elephants don’t paint.  Someone came up with the idea to ‘train’ them to do so. I don’t want to begin to imagine what they went through to learn painting.

Closer home, there have been reports from South India of ‘elephant taunting’ – a bizarre and incredibly dangerous activity in which onlookers harass elephants to the point of retaliation.

Let’s not even start with the cruelty to circus elephants… 🙁

The cruelty seems unending.

Thankfully, there are several individuals and organizations who are working to conserve and protect elephants. I invite you to read these articles/pages today or bookmark them to read later:
What can tourism do about wildlife poaching – silence is not an option.

Elephant Partners on Facebook

Elephant Voices on Facebook

Each of us too can make decisions and take steps to make a difference. Here are some ideas:

  • Sign The Elephant Charter today. Go here to do this.
  • Avoid buying anything made from ivory.
  • Don’t patronize shows that are geared to tourists, including elephant safaris. Visit elephant sanctuaries instead.
  • Make your next travel experience one in which you spend time as a volunteer for a wildlife project.
  • Increase awareness by writing and sharing about cruel practices and how we can help in wildlife conservation.
  • Find a baby elephant adoption program – read more here.

Save the elephant!

PS: I would like to acknowledge that I was inspired by this particular post from Holes in My Sole written by Jim McIntosh. Jim does a lot to spread awareness.

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Today we’re on S of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge.

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31 Comments

  1. Any animal for that matter is harmless till it is instigated. We must do what best we can to save them.

    Also, my nephew is die hard fan of elephants and has all sorts of stuffed toys, hard toys, t-shirts all with elephants and of course he paints their pictures too 🙂

  2. When I visit the zoo, I can spend hours staring at the elephants. They truly are magnificent creatures. It’s a shame the Republican Party in America had to take them as their symbol. They do not give the beautiful elephant a good image.

  3. Oh my! How can people subject these sensitive and intelligent animals to cruelty and abuse? There are these elephants which take the tourists for a ride to the Amer Fort, in Jaipur. In the past, so many casualties have happened because of these rides. It came to light that the ill, weak, overworked and even blind elephants are used for this commercial activity. There were protests to ban the elephant rides here, they stopped for a while but guess, they are back in action again! 😐

  4. I sometimes really wonder whats with these Chinese eh ? They want tiger parts and elephant parts… tell these people to make do with chicken… or else we will finish the planet.. no jungles will survive without the tigers and the elephants… sigh..

  5. I loved the video! It says so much!

    In fact all the creatures are created to balance our earth. We are disturbing the chain. We have started experiencing the reaction and it will get worse in years to come.

    Loved the post, Corrine! Came here via Dhiren!

  6. Jim

    Thrilled to see more caring people writing about the plight of the elephants. Sadly your numbers are a wee bit high. Probably a lot less than that. Africa is losing 30,000 a year now- it’s a war out there!

  7. Afshan

    Good message via your post.
    video is interesting too !!
    I have seen elephants in Jim corbett and even in COORG and in various places
    They are reserved in national parks but some times tortured
    Anwyay good tips and links. will go thru them

  8. Elephants are such gentle animals – they look after and protect their young so well. Really sad how humans who are supposed to be evolved animals torture and destroy.
    btw I love that tune from Hatari.

  9. Jim does such wonderful work creating awareness and making people think about important issues. You too are one such person, Corinne. Champion of the underdog, glad to have met you. Thanks for sharing this post.

  10. Thanks for sharing Corinne. I remember feeling guilty after an elephant safari through the rainforest. I hated and chose not to sit through the ‘dance’ that they made little baby elephants perform for tourists.

  11. Laxmi addanki

    Thank you for a very thought provoking post. I am an animal activist and cannot really fathom what humans do to animals. Thanks for all the info and links 🙂 I am sure the kiddo would be ecstatic about the ‘adoption’ option 🙂

  12. Roshni

    I remember your phajaan post, Corinne! Thank you for putting the call of action bullet points at the end so that we can at least do our small bit to try and stop all these cruel practices.

  13. Thanks for your article Corinne, and for sharing a link to my article on tourism and poaching. Your readers might also like to know about Fair Game, the organisation i have set up to help tourists and travellers find the best safari holidays where they are actively helping support the fight against poaching, often simply by choosing where to spend their money. The website is at http://www.fairgame.travel

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