What about elephants

MIST

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How is Raju doing now?

Since his rescue about 4 months ago, Raju has come a long way! According to our senior veterinarian Dr. Yaduraj, "Raju's condition has improved a lot. He has gained about 100 kilos and his shoulder wound is healing."

Raju has also made some elephant friends at our sanctuary, where he has been quite a hit with the ladies. And Ge's a big fan of spending time in his pool (and what could be better than eating a delicious snack while bathing?).

Of course, it takes time and lots of good care to recover from 50 years of abuse, so Raju still has healing to do. We are committed to caring for him for the rest of his life, and to seeing him recover as much as possible from the wounds of his past.

If you would like to support Raju's ongoing care, please donate today. Thank you!

What's happening with the court case?


As you'll remember from the petition, Raju's former "owner" is attempting to get him back through the courts. So far, the hearing has been postponed several times. And one time it was almost heard, but Mr. Shahid (Raju's former owner) didn't show up. We now expect the case to be heard on November 21st, and our lawyers are confident and ready for it whenever it is finally heard.


Until then, our energies are focused on giving Raju a happy life. To keep up to date on how he is doing, you can visit our website (www.wildlifesos.org) and/or follow us on Facebook.
 

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Great news about Raju

No need to cry anymore Raju! The elephant whose tears captured the hearts of millions is finally declared free from his former owners

Raju was held in chains for more than 50 years by abusive owners in India
The animal bled from spiked shackles and lived on hand-outs from tourists
Was freed from captivity earlier this year by a UK-based wildlife charity
Elephant was seen to be shedding tears of joy when he was released
However former owners had launched a legal bid to reclaim the animal
But an Indian court ruled he is to stay with conservationists Wildlife SOS

you can read more about it in the link and see pictures and videos.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ions-finally-declared-free-former-owners.html

This
Mr Satyanarayan added: 'Raju and our herd of hope are the lucky ones. But there are 67 performing elephants in India – many of which suffer daily beatings in order to make them perform.
'We're already planning our next rescue – the desperate case of a blind elephant who is forced to perform even though she can't see for crowds. It's a pitiful case and we need to free her so she can join Raju.
'Now the public can help him live out a dignified life in peace with even a small donation,' Mr said Kartick, whose charity is dependent on public donations.
'All these elephants have known from human beings is pain and suffering – now we're asking to help us help him live out their days, with grass under their feet – free from humiliation and pain.'
To donate see Welcome to Wildlife SOS.
 

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I adore elephants! They're so precious. I love how emotional and family oriented they are. I'm currently a zoology major and plan to move to Africa to help with elephant and lion conservation. Hopefully there's some way we can help restore their population.
 

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I think this is wonderful

Christmas 2014 was an auspicious occasion for us. Not only had bountiful end of year rains transformed Tsavo, a normally arid environment into a lush green jungle adorned with wild flowers and pulsating with life, but waterholes were filled with rain water and so for elephants and others food and water was readily available for all. So it was the festive season for the elephants, the natural world generally, and for the humans who were there as the custodians of the many orphaned elephants, many of whom were now living wild. On the 23rd of December Angela and the family together with Daphne had turned up to enjoy the Ithumba dependent orphans noon mud bath, now transformed into a mini lake, where the elephants could romp and play submerging themselves during the heat of the day to cool their over heated bodies.

[video=youtube_share;6FowqjCrZMY]http://youtu.be/6FowqjCrZMY[/video]
The icing on the Xmas cake for us was an event that took place a 100 miles away at the same time at the Trust’s Voi rehabilitation unit. Ex orphan EMILY, who had been absent for much of the latter part of 2014 living a normal wild elephant life walked back to the stockades at 10.30 am on the 23rd of December to give birth to her 2nd wild born calf in the company of her erstwhile human family of Keepers who had been instrumental in her own upbringing during her formative years. This was witnessed and captured on film by the Keepers and the event was filled with trumpets and rumbles of joy from EMILY’s satellite herd of ex orphans who had accompanied her back, all of whom were eager to gently help get the new precious bundle to its feet, nudging it gently, and using their trunks to lift the baby. It was another daughter for EMILY named Emma, a little sister for EMILY’s first born Eve, who was born on the 11th of December 2008.

EMILY was orphaned in early infancy when she fell down a disused pit latrine near the Manyani Prison Camp which abuts Tsavo East National Park in 1993. She completed her milk dependent years at the Trust’s Nairobi Park Elephant Nursery before being transferred to the Trust’s Tsavo East Voi rehabilitation facility to embark on her journey back to her birthright – a normal wild life amongst the wild elephant community of the area. In the fullness of time she morphed into an extremely able matriarch, leading and guiding the younger orphans who were part of her orphaned herd and who originated from almost every elephant population throughout Kenya with even a Ugandan elephant Mweya in the mix.


EMILY is a gentle and loving elephant who transcends both worlds. She is extremely well known globally thanks to BBC’s highly acclaimed Elephant Diaries series, and the two 60 Minutes shows highlighting the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s work with special emphasis on EMILY’s story. She has once again rewritten her story by amazing us further in choosing to share such an intimate moment, seldom witnessed by anyone, with those who she trusts and loves, her human Keepers. EMILY knew that in their company she and her calf would remain safe from predators and because elephants never forget she will always love and trust the Keepers who have played such an important role in saving her life. Never could there be more tangible proof than her willingness to share her precious wild born babies with them, even allowing them to witness the birth of little ‘Emma’.

Emma is doing well and EMILY’s herd of ex orphans have remained in the orbit of the Voi stockades choosing to visit the Keepers and the dependent Voi Orphans every day since the 23rd of December with their most treasured brand new little package. Of course Emma’s presence has sent all the Voi orphans into a euphoric state as they love nothing more than tiny babies, and now they have another they can call their very own.

EMILY, who was so cruelly robbed of her elephant family when just a baby herself now has two female calves of her very own and a blood bond that will last a life time together. Sharing her family joy makes the hard work, and the much heartbreak we experience at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust worthwhile, and we thank those around the world who make our work possible. We are thrilled to share this story with you all.

http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/updates/updates.asp?ID=757
 

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RESCUING INDIA’S 67 REMAINING CIRCUS ELEPHANTS
After eradicating the brutal, centuries-old practice of dancing bears in India, Wildlife SOS is now ready to take the first steps toward rescuing all of the remaining 67 circus elephants in India.

In the first phase of this campaign, Wildlife SOS plans to facilitate the rescue of 17 elephants.

Wildlife SOS is launching a fundraising campaign to raise funds for the first phase of the circus elephant project to cover investigations, legal costs, rescue process, transport after rescue, and getting the elephants settled in their new homes. One of the circus elephants in need of immediate and urgent rescue is a female named Suzy (name changed to protect her identity).

Suzy is blind and is suffering from very poor health. Confused and lost, she is forced to stand in her own dung and urine for days. She remains chained all the time except when she is forced to perform tricks. Suzy’s mental and physical health status is very poor due to a complete lack of veterinary care, no regular exercise, no enrichment, and an unbalanced diet with poor nutrition. She is in a great deal of pain. To top it all, her dental health is severely compromised, as indicated by undigested food in her dung. She is suffering, but there is no one to help her.

“We have placed Suzy at the top of our priority list for rescue, and hope to bring her to our elephant care center in the near future,” said Geeta Seshamani, co-founder of Wildlife SOS.
“And with the help of caring people around the world, and the cooperation of the Government, she will be just one of more than a dozen elephants we will be able to rescue from the sad circus life in 2015.”http://wildlifesos.org/blog/rescuing-indias-67-remaining-circus-elephants/


BREAKING NEWS: SUZY HAS BEEN RESCUED!

We are thrilled to report that Suzy, the blind circus elephant we told you about over the Holidays, has been rescued by our team! She is currently traveling by truck from Tirupati to our rescue centre in Mathura, a journey that will take several days. The team escorting her reports that she is doing well, and that she just enjoyed a snack of bananas and fresh grass while the humans enjoyed some chai, at their latest pit stop.

As you may know, Suzy is the very first circus elephant rescued in our new circus elephant campaign. Our intention is to facilitate the rescue of all 67… wait, make that 66!… remaining circus elephants in India.

We will have more details to share in the coming days, as we post updates on Suzy’s journey on this blog and on Facebook, but we didn’t want to delay before sharing the news of this heartwarming rescue with you… it’s one that YOU made possible and we are so grateful!

One down, sixty-six to go! To make the next rescue possible, please donate today. Thank you!

UPDATE – Feb 6th, 10 am IST: Suzy has traveled 500 Km so far! Suzy is doing fine and appears used to truck travel from her circus days. We had a slight diversion due to a minor accident, but it was uneventful and all is well.

UPDATE – Feb 6th, 3pm : Stopping for a break before entering Maharashtra! Suzy wants to stretch and is out of the truck and walking in the open fields. Our elephant caretaker walks along Suzy, making her feel safe and secure.

UPDATE – Feb 6th, 6pm : We were inching closer to Maharashtra when suddenly, uh-ho! One of our jeeps broke down! Luckily, we were prepared for such things so it took us just 20 minutes to replace the broken fan belt and now we’re back en route!

UPDATE – Feb 6th, 11 pm : Great news! The convoy has now entered Maharashtra! There has been a drastic change in the weather as we are heading towards North India which is under the final spell of winters.. :) Sorry no pictures for now, as its too dark and we don’t want to trouble Suzy with the camera flash!

UPDATE – Feb 7th, 2am : The team has had a rough night. The route we are at is known for its high crime rate. Some goons even tried to stop our convoy but our drivers were aware that they just wanted to rob us and didn’t pull over. We’ve finally stopped now at a gasoline station and are going to spend the night here. It’s spooky out here.

UPDATE – Feb 7th, 10am : We are back on road and have just touched the 1000 km mark! While in the back of the truck, our care taker feeds Suzy her breakfast! We’ve also learned one thing today, Suzy prefers maize plantation over watermelons!

UPDATE – Feb 7th, 5pm : The convoy is moving at a slower pace cause we’re looking for Banana’s for Suzy’s evening meal along the route. We bought papayas, but she doesn’t like that! Also, the team members laptops and mobiles don’t have any more battery left in them! Hope we can find a pit-stop soon!
 

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I heard on the radio that China has banned the import of ivory.
It´s only for a year, but it´s always a start.
 

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Baby Elephants Kidnapped in Zimbabwe

n spite of a global outcry surrounding Zimbabwe's capture and export of approximately 80 baby elephants, the country's President Robert Mugumbe is not changing his mind. According to National Geographic's primary source in Zimbabwe, the young elephants, between two and four years old, captured in November of 2014, are being held in a capture facility in Hwange National Park. With heavily armed personnel and rangers armed with AK 47s, the area is on 'lock down'. Photos of the captive calves recently made public show clear signs of distress and trauma as analyzed by elephant experts, including IDA's Elephant Scientist, Dr. Toni Frohoff.

It is widely presumed that the buyers of these young elephants would be mostly zoos and safari parks in China and The United Arab Emirates. France was originally also cited as a buyer; yet French authorities have cancelled plans to purchase up to 20 live elephants from Zimbabwe due to concerns from global animal protection groups. If Zimbabwe won’t stop this atrocious kidnapping of elephant children from their families, then the countries that would be financially supporting it need to stop supporting it.

Global condemnation aside, currently, such export of elephants may frighteningly be considered legal. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the global treaty organization that sets rules for and monitors trade in live animals, has emphasized that they do not make the ultimate decision about these elephants. They say it is up to the importing country to determine whether the live elephants are going into "appropriate and acceptable destinations". CITES specified, "that the destination for live animals should be those that ensure that the animals are humanely treated."

This is a clear case of not only the "fox watching the henhouse", but also a case of the "fox" – as in these Chinese zoos– having demonstrated a dearth of comprehension of what is appropriate, acceptable or humane for an elephant. For example, in 2012, two zoos in China bought four elephant calves from Zimbabwe. Unable to withstand the trauma and harsh environment, three of the baby elephants died almost immediately.

Zimbabwe seems to be in the throes of an aggressive program to destroy elephant families and entire populations through the capture and export of baby elephants - bringing in $40,000 to $60,000 each. They say this is necessary to reduce an overpopulation of elephants and to bring "much needed revenue and ecological balance" to their country's struggling parks, and that selling baby elephants abroad is more humane than killing elephants to reduce herds. Yet this "overpopulation" argument is clearly based on greed and not science.

Further, one million dollars (U.S.) of Zimbabwe's precious revenue was just spent on President Robert Mugabe's birthday. His garish and ghastly birthday celebration included the slaughter of many wild animals, (with the original intention to include an elephant) served to his over 20,000 guests. A celebration for a man who, in his 35 years of power, according to the Washington Post, "is widely criticized for his human rights record, disastrous economic policies and impoverished citizenry".

As ivory poaching continues to ravage elephant populations across Africa, global ethics must translate into global action. Momentum against Mugabe’s profiteering agenda and the egregious exploitation of Zimbabwe’s wildlife heritage must grow and triumph.

Click here for more information and to see images.
http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/03/12/zimbabwe-government-selling-baby-elephants-china


https://secure2.convio.net/ida/site...B3243A2C.app262b?pagename=homepage&page=UserA
 

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Kidnapped Baby Elephant Reunited With Mother After Years Apart

After being torn from her mother’s side for a life of slavery in Thailand, a young elephant named MeBai has finally been freed and reunited with her mother after more than three years apart.

Little MeBai was taken from her mother when she was just three-years-old to go through the “training crush.” National Geographic describes this brutal practice as a centuries-old ritual intended to domesticate young elephants through pain and fear, where they’re subjected to beatings and deprived of sleep, water and food to break their spirits and make them more submissive to their owners.

According to the Elephant Nature Park (ENP), when MeBai’s training was done, her owner hired her out to a tourist camp to be used in a mahout training program and used to give tourists rides. Sadly, she stopped eating and became too thin to work. Thanks to the efforts of the ENP and its founder, Lek Chailert, her owner decided to let her go to the organization’s Pamper A Pachyderm program, which takes in elephants from trekking programs for rehabilitation.

Soon after taking her in and helping her overcome her fear of humans, her caretakers discovered MeBai’s mother Mae Yui was at a nearby tourist camp and they then convinced Mae Yui’s owner to allow her baby to visit.

Workers and volunteers embarked on a four day journey escorting MeBai by foot to bring the two back together. Despite the years they spent apart, it’s clear that neither one forgot the other. In an update, Chailert said the two were shocked and stood quiet for half an hour before they began to touch and talk non-stop to each other.

[video=youtube;YslTuEvudfU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=12&v=YslTuEvudfU[/video]

eedless to say, everyone involved is thrilled with the outcome for these two elephants. ENP wrote:

Imagine her many nights filled with panic and fear, a child alone, injured and confused, for three and half years she stood in the rain and the sun without her mother, for three and a half years she entertained the human need for subservience.

Now she enjoys the companionship of her mother – she feels like the little baby again. She feels safe when she sleeps, because her mother stands over her. She sleeps deeply and snores loud in the jungle. Some times she wakes up and tries to drink milk from her mother’s breast. It is such a beautiful moment.

More amazingly, Mae Yui’s owner also agreed to retire her and the two will now be able to spend the rest of their days together enjoying a bond that should never have been broken. They will be rehabilitated together at the Karen Elephant Experience, a project supported by ENP, with the ultimate goal of releasing them back into the wild.

Hopefully this heartwarming reunion will help remind us that elephants, and other animals used in tourism and entertainment, aren’t gimmicks to be used for profit, but intelligent, emotional beings who belong in the wild. For more info and updates on MeBai and Mae Yui, check out the Elephant Nature Park.




Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/kidnapp...h-mother-after-years-apart.html#ixzz3WvZXQ7Qd
 

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Slash is not only super guitarist, he is also very involved in the elephants' situation. When former Guns N 'Roses star played in South Africa in 2013, he knew that the animals become fewer, but not how serious the situation is.

During his trip in South Africa Slash learned more about the growing illegal ivory industry

"I was shocked to poachers are still getting away with it. Many people do not understand that if they buy an item with just a hint of ivory, it still comes from a dead elephant. If more knew, it could have a dramatic effect on the ivory trade", Slash says in an interview in Rolling Stone.

Now he hopes that the new single "Beneath the savage sun", which is about poaching of elephants, will mean an awakening and thereby a change. All proceeds from the single will go to the international animal rights organization IFAW

It´s a good thing he´s doing this...I wish Michael was here and could speak up for animals too.
 

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Once they were abused and had to work hard
They met at Elephant Nature Park where they became best friends.
One of the elephants is blind
 

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R.I.P.
So many dead elephants,maybe families to babies David Sheldrick Wildkife Trust are taking care of

Let the ivory burn
 

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After three and a half years of trying to convince and invite many elephant camp management teams, owners, family members of their business to change the way of their business to be more humane, today I would like to announce the best news of this year to all of you to know that , the biggest camp of Karnchanaburi at Saiyok district , made the decision to stop elephant riding and elephant shows of their own program, and our team will come to help to work at the project to change to be an Elephant Nature Park Model. It means that we can release 60 elephants free from work. We applaud their soulful decision. I hope that more elephant camps in Thailand will do the same way in the near future. Thanks to every one for your support and to be part of this big change. Special thanks to Khun NuNa Silpa-archa and to my husband Darrick Thomson , who always stands beside to support my work. By Lek Chialert
 

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International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos (IDAEZ): Sunday, June 28, 2015

We once again would like to remind you to join us for our International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos (IDAEZ), a global event focused on the suffering of elephants in zoos while also raising awareness about circuses and other cruel captive conditions. Please help us by clicking “going” to the event on our Facebook page redirected through www.helpelephants.com. You can help by participating online at any time by sharing posts there as well!

On June 28th, an online global demonstration will culminate, and three live demonstrations, one in Canada and two in the U.S., will be held for the three solitary elephants in North American zoos who have been alone and isolated from all other elephants for decades. IDA’s Elephant Scientist, Dr. Toni Frohoff, says, “The particular atrocities that these three elephants suffer in solitary in North American zoos will hopefully help to dispel the myth that North American – or any – zoos treat elephants humanely. Elephant advocates around the world want to see these – and all captive elephants – be released and retired to accredited sanctuaries where they can live their lives in comfort and companionship rather than in misery.”

Online Demonstration: www.HelpElephants.com

Three live demonstrations will be held from 11 am – 1 pm (local time) at:

Edmonton Valley Zoo, Alberta, Canada (MST):For Lucy, a female Asian Elephant
Contact: Tove Reece: 780-490-0905 or 780-922-4176, info@v4a.org
See: http://www.v4animals.org/#!lucy/c1bdv
THE ALAMO (for San Antonio Zoo), Texas (CST):For Lucky, a female Asian Elephant
Contact: Melissa Lesniak 210-571-3641, melissa.a.lesniak@gmail.com
Kelly Anderson 210-332-2276, kanderson@oneworldc.org
See: https://www.facebook.com/FreeLuckyFromTheSanAntonioZoo
Natural Bridge Zoo, Natural Bridge, VA(EST):For Asha, a female African Elephant
Contact: Maggie Pearson 434-327-6208, mpearson@oneworldc.org
See: https://www.facebook.com/voicesforasha?fref=ts
IDA’s Dr. Frohoff concludes, “Elephants in the wild are on the brink of going extinct and keeping them in zoos and circuses are not helping. If anything, zoos and circuses divert resources and attention away from real conservation efforts to protect elephants in the wild – where they belong.”

Photos of the elephants and banners for the event can be downloaded here.

This event compliments IDA’s Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants annual list.

http://www.idausa.org/world-unites-suffering-elephants/
 

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President Obama Announces New Restrictions on the US Ivory Trade

During his two-day visit to Kenya, President Obama announced major new restrictions that will establish a stronger ban on the United States’ domestic commercial ivory trade. The new regulations will prohibit the sale of African elephant ivory across state lines in the U.S. and will add further restrictions on where ivory can be exported internationally.

“I can announce that we’re proposing a new rule that bans the sale of virtually all ivory across our state lines, which will eliminate the market for illegal ivory in the United States,” Obama stated at a press conference in Kenya.

After China, the United States is the second largest market for ivory. Research shows that 100,000 elephants were killed in just three years between 2010 and 2012. Without immediate action, African elephant populations will continue to drop at alarming rates.

The proposed new regulations do not cover the trade of ivory within states, meaning that state legislation like California’s proposed AB96 remains important in eliminating the ivory trade. New York and New Jersey have already enacted bans on ivory sales. California’s bill banning the trade of ivory and rhino horn is now making its way through the state legislature, and fifteen other states are expected to pass legislation in the coming few years.

In addition to strengthening the United States’ ban on ivory, President Obama also announced the formation of the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance in a written statement. The Alliance is a “new voluntary partnership between major companies and non-profit organizations to reduce U.S. demand for ivory, rhino horn and other illegal wildlife products.” WCN supports this alliance and will join as one of its members.

These regulations are a huge win for wildlife conservation and will also provide economic growth in Africa in the form of wildlife-based tourism. Tourism accounts for 12% of Kenya’s economy, and Botswana has banned all sport hunting of elephants in favor of sustainable wildlife tourism. An elephant is worth far more alive than dead. When we protect endangered species, we also enhance the livelihoods of those living together with wildlife.

President Obama’s announcement is a step forward for elephants, but there is still much work to be done around the world to end the current poaching crisis.

Wildlife Conservation Network is committed to saving the world’s remaining elephants. WCN has partnered with Save the Elephants to form the Elephant Crisis Fund, a coalition that tackles poaching, ivory trafficking, and ivory demand. The ECF quickly identifies and funds the most innovative and effective projects in order to conserve elephants. Through the ECF, more than $4 million has been sent to 37 partners around that world that are tackling poaching, ivory trafficking, and demand for ivory.

Photo courtesy of Frank af Petersens. Article by Juliet Norvig.
http://wildnet.org/updates/president-obama-announces-new-restrictions-us-ivory-trade
 

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World Elephant Day
On August 12, 2012, the inaugural World Elephant Day was launched to bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants. The elephant is loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, yet we balance on the brink of seeing the last of this magnificent creature.

We admire elephants in part because they demonstrate what we consider the finest human traits: empathy, self-awareness, and social intelligence. But the way we treat them puts on display the very worst of human behavior.”

– Graydon Carter, Editor of Vanity Fair

The escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are just some of the threats to both African and Asian elephants. Working towards better protection for wild elephants, improving enforcement policies to prevent the illegal poaching and trade of ivory, conserving elephant habitats, better treatment for captive elephants and, when appropriate, reintroducing captive elephants into natural, protected sanctuaries are the goals that numerous elephant conservation organizations are focusing on around the world.
http://worldelephantday.org/about

World Elephant Day asks you to experience elephants in non-exploitive and sustainable environments where elephants can thrive under care and protection. On World Elephant Day, August 12, express your concern, share your knowledge and support solutions for the better care of captive and wild elephants alike.

Elephants are simply one more natural resource that is being caught up in human greed on the one hand and human need on the other. We somehow need people to become reacquainted with nature or they can have no clue as to the interrelatedness of cause and effect.”

– Dr. Stephen Blake, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
 

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Tortured for tourists: Chained to the same spot for 20 years. Beaten into submission at secret jungle training camps. The terrible plight of Indian elephants by LIZ JONES
Asian elephants are being chained to tree stumps and beaten with metal sticks at temples in Kerala, southern India
Before arriving at the temples they are forced to spend months at secret 'training' camps where they are tortured
In Mail on Sunday special report, Liz Jones visited one such camp to investigate how the animals are treated
Here, she makes a desperate plea for their release and lays bare the unimaginable cruelty they face every day
By LIZ JONES FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY
PUBLISHED: 21:00 GMT, 15 August 2015 | UPDATED: 09:08 GMT, 17 August 2015

At first, I don’t believe they are living, breathing animals.
They seem like statues, or stuffed exhibits in a museum – 57 of them, studded around a patch of scrubby forest. Then one of the elephants, Nandan, a 43-year-old tusker, or male, begins to bellow and struggle against the chains that bind his hind feet to a stump and his front legs to a tree, cutting into his flesh. He cannot lie down. He cannot stretch out his hind legs. He cannot reach the water butt, which is empty anyway.
A temple employee – this is where the Guruvayur Temple in Kerala, southern India, houses its elephants – blows his whistle: it’s a command for the elephant to stand still. I creep closer, pushing past hundreds of families on a day out. I am with Duncan McNair, the London lawyer who founded the non-government organisation Save The Asian Elephants (STAE) in January, and Dr Nameer, a professor and Head of the Centre for Wildlife Studies in Kerala.


Nandan cuts a pathetic figure at the Guruvayur Temple, with his hind feet bound to a stump and his front legs chained to a tree. It means the male elephant cannot lie down, stretch or even reach a nearby water butt

‘How long has he been chained like this?’ I ask Prof Nameer. ‘He has been chained in that spot, never released even for an hour, for 20 years,’ he replies.
We reach the next elephant a few yards away. This is Padmanabhan, who has been at the temple for 35 years. A hind leg hangs at a terrible angle; he wobbles on three legs, all chained.

Prof Nameer tells me his leg was broken deliberately 15 years ago to subdue him. Research fellow Harish Sudhakar tells me later that this elephant too has not moved from his spot in 20 years.
We move on. A 15-year-old elephant, Lakshmi Narayan, is with his mahout or trainer in a fetid pool of shallow water. The mahout, a vicious-faced little thug, has been trying for 30 minutes to get the animal to lie down. Lakshmi can’t, as the chains are too tight. The mahout, with an audience of families, becomes angry, humiliated.
Prof Nameer translates what the mahout says: ‘He will be taught later.’
This means a beating with iron bars. This elephant, by the way, was a gift to the temple from Indian film star Suresh Gopi.

Another elephant, Vinayaka, is on his side, being hosed by his mahouts (most have two). It is a brutal, rough business. A stick is propped against one ear. The elephant’s eye is swivelling, desperate. Prof Nameer tells me: ‘Everyone thinks, “Oh, the mahout and elephant have such a bond.” See that stick? That is propped behind an ear, for washing.
Each morning and evening they are beaten with poles for up to an hour
‘The elephant has learned that if he moves his head, the stick will fall. And if the stick falls, the elephant knows he will enter a “traumatic cycle”. Sudhakar tells me a common practice is to insert a nail above the elephant’s toe. The wound heals over. If the mahout wants total obedience, all he has to do is press that button.’

At the entrance to the temple is Devi. She has been chained to this spot for 35 years. As a female, she is never taken to festivals, so has never, ever moved. Not one inch. Prof Nameer has asked the temple leaders (politicians, businessmen) to allow the animals to be walked for one hour a day; they refused. He has drawn plans to build enclosures, but has received no response. But aren’t festivals at least a nice day out?
He laughs. ‘From October to May, an elephant will take part in 100 to 150 festivals. They will travel 3,720 miles in three months on a flat-bed truck. They are surrounded by thousands of people, noise, firecrackers.’
They are routinely temporarily blinded, to make them wholly dependent on the mahout, and if in ‘musth’ (when males are ready to mate), they are given injections to suppress the hormones. Three elephants died due to these this year.

The second-best-known elephant in Kerala was paraded at Thrissur Pooram, an annual Hindu festival, where 84 elephants take part in elaborate costume. He was in musth, therefore unpredictable, so all of his feet were injured to render him immobile.
The only food given here is dry palm leaves. An elephant in the wild will eat a wide variety of grasses, fruit, leaves and vegetables. In the wild, an elephant will drink 140 to 200 litres of water a day. Here, they are lucky if they get five to ten. It turns out there are vets on call. But an expert from the Centre for Wildlife Studies says: ‘They are not even qualified. They promote bad welfare to earn more money.’

Prof Nameer tried to bring in a Western vet to assess the elephants, but permission was refused. Elephants are now big business. Each is worth £80,000, and can earn anything up to £5,000 an hour for appearing at festivals and weddings.
The next day, I meet Sreedhar Vijayakrishnan, who is researching for his doctorate in elephant behaviour. I ask him about the elephants’ training. These methods, he tells me, ‘have only really been happening for 50 years, as the money-making opportunities increased’. He adds: ‘The training of elephants before that time used positive techniques. The mahouts loved their animals. Now it is very different. I have seen elephants tortured to death. They want to make the maximum money in the shortest time.’
Does this happen to every elephant? ‘Yes. It is not possible to ride them, to use them in noisy festivals, if they have not been broken down. They are very sensitive creatures.’


How is it done? ‘They use a kraal. The process is called pajan.’ The kraal or ‘crushing cage’ is a wooden pen which confines the elephant so that he can’t move or lie down.
Pajan means that, having been isolated, confined, starved, dehydrated and kept awake by noise, each morning and evening the elephant is beaten with poles, for up to an hour. For six months.

I don’t believe him. This isn’t possible. Why hasn’t one of those BBC travelogues warned me about this?

I have to see what happens to the elephants for myself. I travel with Duncan McNair to Karnataka, the adjoining state to Kerala. We drive deep into the forest. With us is a conservationist, who cannot be named for fear of reprisals. We stop at a gate with an ominous sign: ‘No members of the public allowed.’ I soon find out why.
My guide, after hours of negotiation, gets us inside, where there are 30 captured wild elephants, including babies. I am the first Westerner to set foot inside this camp. I see a magnificent tusker, but he is so thin, his head is a skull; they are fed straw and rice. Children of the mahouts who live on site in huts start to throw rocks at him, and the giant, hobbled by chains, retreats, trembling.

The conservationist tells me the elephant has post-traumatic stress disorder. ‘He is 40. He was captured, trained, and chained in a temple for ten years. He went berserk, killed a pilgrim, and so he was sent back here to be corrected. He was tied to a tree for eight weeks.’
The mahouts, tribal people who have been living and working with elephants for generations, gather around me. One has a video on his smartphone (they all have smartphones; the government pays their salaries). They howl with laughter as the video shows a wild elephant being captured by dozens of men – using elephants to corner it. This elephant is due here the next day. I go to see his fate, walking past elephants, all chained, many with only one eye (blinding is common).
I walk past baby elephants, so inquisitive, and see one get beaten with an ankush – a stick with a metal hook on the end; all the baby was doing was coming to say hello.
And then I see it. The kraal. It has two rooms, each containing a teenage male in a space so small he cannot move. These are ‘rogues’, each accused of killing five men. A woman in a sari is hovering, and asks for my name and phone number. It turns out she is in charge of the 60 mahouts here. I ask how long the two males have been in the kraal.
‘Six months,’ she replies. They have no shade, no free access to water. They have been beaten for an hour, twice a day, every day. I look into the eye of the poor creature on the right. He knows what is about to happen to him. A mahout raises his arm, and lands a blow on his head: the hollow sound is the most chilling I’ve ever heard. The elephant squeezes his eyes shut, and tears run down his face


I can't watch any longer, I can’t be party to this. Of all the animal abuse stories I have covered in the past 30 years, this is by far the worst. The conservationist tells me a few of the mahouts do not want to beat the elephants, but believe they have no choice: ‘The mahout has to exert complete dominance over the animal. The older the elephant, the longer it takes.’
Has every elephant you see giving rides in festivals, on safari, been through this process? ‘Yes.’
Back at our hotel, he shows me a video he filmed last year of an elephant in that very kraal, beaten so badly he ends up upside-down, trumpeting in terror.
He then shows me a shopping list sent to this camp from the most respected reserves in India: Corbett Tiger Reserve wants five tuskers; another, Kanha National Park, wants ten elephants. If you are visiting these sites next year, you could well be sitting on the back of the poor creature I saw beaten that day.
It was a visit to the Guruvayur Temple one year ago, and the suffering of the elephants there, that prompted Duncan McNair to form STAE. ‘Captive elephants are hideously treated,’ he says. ‘Used since ancient times for work and war, this is how we repay them. Without raising public awareness, and serious commercial and political engagement now, the Asian elephant is doomed, in our lifetime, and by our hands.’

Sreedhar Vijayakrishnan tells me that the 25,000 wild elephants now left in India (a collapse from more than a million in 1900) are in peril due to new developments announced by the government, which in turn means they will clash even more with farmers, and deemed ‘rogue’ or ‘problem’, which means they can be captured and trained.
There are almost 4,000 captive elephants, 80 per cent of which are in Kerala.
I asked Indian families at the Guruvayur Temple what they thought of the elephants. While some said it was sad, most thought the animals were fine; everyone was laughing. They had each paid to enter the temple, while Hindus from all over the world donate money.

Later that day I meet theologian and elephant expert Venkita Chalam, a man who has received death threats for his views. We discuss whether condemning the way the animals are kept will be perceived as attacking Hinduism (as so many people have told me since I arrived in Kerala, I will be insulting traditions going back thousands of years). He shakes his head.

‘It is the opposite of Hinduism. There were no elephants at that temple before 1969, which is when Hindu families, experiencing hard times due to land reforms, donated their elephants because they could no longer care for them,’ he says.
‘With the oil boom in the 1970s, when lots of Indians became rich, donating a “sacred” elephant became a status symbol.
‘And using elephants in festivals only started in the mid-1970s. This is not ancient, this is new.’


What can we do about this modern-day horror, this daily torturing of the most loved animal to have ever padded upon the planet? And why am I writing about this issue now?
After meetings with STAE, David Cameron, in his 2015 Election manifesto, pledged to help the Asian elephant; he will meet the Indian prime minister in London this autumn.
We have to hold him to this promise. And most importantly, according to Geeta Seshamani of Wildlife SOS, which brought about the end of bear-dancing in India in 2009 and rescued Raju, the 51-year-old elephant blinded by repeated beatings on his head: ‘You can refuse to go on holiday in India with a travel company that promises interaction with elephants.
'The key force is tourism. The government will not end this: in fact, it is about to classify the elephant as vermin. Britain must lead the way.’


I met Raju, as tall as a skyscraper, on Thursday, at the charity’s refuge outside New Delhi. His forgiveness at what mankind has done to him was the most humbling experience I’ve ever had.


STAE, which says it respects India’s religious traditions, has written to more than 200 leading UK travel companies. Some, such as Responsible Travel, have withdrawn from offering any elephant interaction.
But, of course, some luxury safari firms send tourists to Kanha National Park, which ordered elephants from the very camp I visited, offering tourists the chance to ‘see tigers in their natural habitat from the back of an elephant!’, are still luring animal lovers who have no idea of this brutal business. If you have booked one of these holidays, cancel it.


I rode an elephant to Angkor Watt in Cambodia. I had my photo taken with an elephant in Kerala a couple of years ago, the very animal used by Julia Roberts in a movie. I didn’t know I was giving oxygen to the abuse. But I know now. You know now.
When I met Nandan, and Devi, and the two prisoners at the camp in Karnataka, I looked them in the eye. I saw shock, and incomprehension at what they had done to deserve decades of torture. I promised I would help them. The kraal and ankush, like the shoes, teeth and hair at Belsen, should exist only in a museum.
Those two bewildered males are still in that kraal, in pain from arthritis from standing for so long, terrified, depressed. Nandan is there still.
Don’t let him have to endure it for one more day. We have to release the 57 elephants in that temple, and close down the secretive ‘training’ camps: there are 12 in all.
Wildlife SOS has told me it can take them. We have to release them. We have to release them. We have to release them.
Www.STAE.org
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...rrible-plight-Indian-elephants-LIZ-JONES.html

There are pictures in the link

I´ve posted earlier about Raju the elephant who cried of joy when they removed the chains he had to wear for 50 years.
These elephants are crying for fear ,sadness.
We must help them to cry happy tears too

Wild elephants are not only killed for their ivory, they are captured for this business too.
We have to save them
 

MIST

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[video=youtube;UeKYgyE7xqE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeKYgyE7xqE[/video]
Don´t take babyelephants from their families , or any elefant from his /her family
 

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^^^^ It's wonderful to see activists fighting for the rights of animals. Gives you hope that those who mistreat, abuse and kill
them won't have the last word. God bless all those who are dedicating their lives to protecting elephants and their habitat.

Elephants are such magnificent creatures, so incredibly bright and deeply emotional. LOVE THEM!!!

CPxl98l_U8_AAa7_Q9.jpg


CQ065kg_WUAM06el.jpg


And MIST......I know I've said this before, but it begs repeating. Your dedication to animal causes is nothing short of inspiring. THANK YOU for having created this thread and all others :)
 
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MIST

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Before I came to MJJC I didn´t know anythjng about puppymills, sharkfinning, bearbilefarms and how elephants were abused.
Another fan posted a link to animal rescue site , I went there, started to sign petitions and then I came to other sides too..
Before I came to MJJC I thought it was too tiring to read articles in English.
I´ve learned a lot of how bad animals are treated but also that we can do something about it.
I think knowledge is the key to many things..and I want to tell some things I have learned.
Sometimes I wonder how did I come to this story..
I think I can understand Michael´s dedication to help children and I believe if he had known about abused animals, healthy animals killed in shelters etc he had wanted to help too.
You can Always do something to help but you can´t do it all alone

If you are going to Thailand and want to see elephants you can work as a volunteer
[video=youtube;T8QIBKXtw8I]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8QIBKXtw8I[/video]
I thnk it´s great, helping anials, Children, planting trees


Another good program now begins at the camp opposite of our Park called the Elephant Care program. This program is run under our supervision and consultation. The project is being run by the local villager there, to take the elephant out of riding. The visitor will spend all day long to walk with the elephant, to forage, swim and play in the river and roll in the mud. If you want to spend all day long with the elephant, to help rehab them and bring them to roam free, please come to support this good program.

We need volunteers every day to participate with this exciting program of learning to care for elephants and therefor show the world that elephants can respond better to love than they can to bull hooks. We believe caring people can learn to communicate with elephants within 1 day.

This project is intended to be a single day activity and therefore not appropriate for people who want to experience volunteering for longer period.
[video=youtube;SoPLVSFKdaA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoPLVSFKdaA[/video]

Schedule of the day

8:00am - 8:30am pick up from your Chiang Mai city hotel or 7:40am from our office

After a safety talk, learn the basic concept and language to use through out the day with the elephants and prepare food items to take across the river to meet the elephants.

Cross the river & cut more food supplies and meet the elephants. Feed and learn to communicate and motivate with care and love

After lunch continue with elephant communication and experience walking with them to the river and even swimming nearby.

*Return to the Elephant Kitchen and prepare more food for the following days feeding.

*(The kitchen is visited if time allows. During the rainy season the walk may take longer which may not permit this activity. If this is the case, guides will introduce you to some of the herd at the park.)

4:00pm - Depart Elephant Nature Park and return to Chiang Mai at about 5:30pm.
http://www.elephantnaturepark.org/enp/en/49-elephant-care
 

MIST

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Freedom for the Holidays -
Circus Elephants Mia and Sita Rescued!

Greetings!

After 50 years in the circus, Mia and Sita will be spending the holidays with the Herd of Hope! Even as you read this, they are on the road with our team, traveling to their new home at the rescue center.

They are both in their 50s, and are in critical need of some good veterinary care and some good rest. Can you help them with a gift today?


Mia, the more spirited of the two, has developed cloudiness in her eyes. She has significant, swelling in both hind feet, as well as abscesses in her toenails - which means she can't even walk properly and standing on concrete must be unbearably painful.

Sita is more mild mannered than Mia, but no less in need of rescue. Her right front leg never healed properly from an old fracture and she cannot bend it. Her left front leg is hyperextended, putting pressure on her foot, which has led to nail cracks and abscesses. Because of these problems, she has likely not been able to lie down and rest properly in more than a year!

They need foot baths with healing oils... soft surfaces and long hours in a pool that takes the weight off their feet.

When we launched our circus elephant campaign nearly a year ago, 67 elephants were living in Indian circuses. So far this year, you've helped us rescue 7 of them. Together, we have rescued more than 10% of India's circus elephants in just one year!

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact...b79b7&ch=1da1a2f0-69ef-11e4-8e2b-d4ae527b79b7
 

MIST

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Moving elephants in Côte d'Ivoire to a safe place
[video=youtube;lGyUqGT1dsU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGyUqGT1dsU[/video]

It`s sad that one of them died
 
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