Save The Elephant

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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