What about elephants

MIST

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Ivory is not beautiful, it’s barbaric

Growing up in our two up, two down terraced house on the Southside of Edinburgh, I shared my bedroom with a cherished family heirloom – my granny’s mini-grand. This beautiful piano had been to the other side of the world and back. It ended up taking up half my room and a whole lot of my life. I taught myself to play on it, bashing out the sevenths while pretending to be (pre-Wings) McCartney. Now I think of that piano with total revulsion. I believe anyone in the possession of ivory should feel the same. It is over. It has to be.

Look at the knife handles or antique toothpick and then think of the dead mother with her face hacked off as her tuskless, helpless one-year-old tries to nudge her back to life. Google image search is always a useful resource. I feel no differently about the thought of a gorilla-hand ashtray (yes, they are a thing in parts of the Far East) or a nice cool glass of lion bone wine (ditto). One more time: ivory is so over.

We have learned a lot about these extraordinary intelligent animals since King Leopold of the Belgians mutilated his way through the great herds of the Congo. Elephants mourn, they weep and they show empathy. This not Disney. It’s science. Any evolutionary biologist will tell you why, and any ethologist and scientist in the field will send you peer-reviewed papers that are a total revelation (they were to me). Oh, and by way the ivory from natural wastage or natural causes is infinitesimal and does tend to set a rather bad example. It. Is. Not. Beautiful.

What is it with human exceptionalism? Are we the special species? Surely realising that we aren’t shouldn’t be too far beyond our almighty intellectual grasp.

The UK is the largest exporter of ivory in the EU, ivory is traded within our borders
Here’s the topical poser. Despite committing in its last two election manifestos to end the UK ivory trade, why has our government failed to impose a total ban? The UK is the largest exporter of ivory in the EU, ivory is traded within our borders, and investigations into the UK ivory trade have repeatedly revealed illegal ivory items being passed off as legal. Even the planned partial ban on ivory sales – which is still being debated – would not cover items produced before 1947. The question echoing round the country right now is this: “How is it that we are doing so little, while China, the country that has constantly and rightly been considered the main culprit for elephant poaching, has now made greater commitments than the UK?” It’s a great question.

China, doing more than us? Extraordinary. Amazing. As Kafka might say, “Don’t bloody well bring me into this.” Thirty-one African states where elephants range said, “Enough is enough”, and pressured China to act. Eventually, with an eye on the bottom line of its African investments, China agreed. Roll on Hong Kong. Those same African states are making the same pleas to us and can’t quite believe what is not happening.

Here’s the recent timeline. At the end of 2016 China announced that it would close its ivory trade by the end of 2017: that by 31 March it would close its state-funded ivory carving factories and build from that to a full ban. The US, the second largest market for ivory, has imposed a near-complete ban on ivory sales across state lines. Individual states are passing their own bans to further restrict sales within their boundaries.


Yet here we are in February 2017, and the British government still intends to allow the free trade of ivory items produced before 1947. Many but by no means everyone in the antiques industry claim it will be damaged irrevocably if it can’t sell old pieces. I refer the sincere and honourable members to those gorilla-hand ashtrays. Exquisite.

Incidentally, the Trumpian future is less certain. While we can see the notorious photo of Eric Trump swinging an elephant’s trophy tail after the gleeful kill, perhaps we should be pragmatic and re-frame the issue for the President’s friends and family. Save the elephant or there’ll be nothing left for you to to shoot.

Banning all ivory sales in the UK will not save the elephants on its own – if only it were that simple – but campaigners argue it will bring the UK back to pole position in seeking to ensure elephants survive, and might allow us to seek greater action by other nations. This seems to be what the UK public wants. More than 85% have stated their support for a total ban on the ivory trade.

Let’s not forget the most obvious truth. The only true value of ivory is to an elephant; it was only ever the vanity and greed of humans that placed a financial value on it. Those of us living today can and must remove that false valuation. There is no greater mission, no more important cause to champion than the fight to save an animal that inhabited this earth long before homo sapiens pitched up. We are better than this.

Back to the piano, then. Should the government strike the right chord? Take a sad song and make it better? With my proper adherence to BBC impartiality, I of course can’t take a position on any matter of government policy. But let me just say this: I have a view.

We’re putting together a database of what can be done to help elephants – please send your ideas and suggestions to elephant.conservation@theguardian.com and join in our live chat next week.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-...s-not-beautiful-its-barbaric?CMP=share_btn_fb
 

MIST

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I think this is one of the greatest gifts in life

It’s a girl
Today yielded a wonderful surprise as ex-orphan Kinna, now living back in the wild, arrived to the Ithumba stockades at dawn with a perfect wild born baby girl, fresh from the womb and just hours old. We have called this precious little girl Kama, after the Hindu God of Love.
The first thing Kinna and her attentive entourage of ex orphan Nannies did this morning was share their joy with Benjamin and all the Ithumba Keepers, whose gentle nurturing gave them their second chance at life. It’s something we’ve seen time and time again with our ex orphans and their wild born babies showing that, despite living fully wild lives, they choose to share the joy of family with their ‘former’ family - it is the most natural thing for them to do.
Rescued as a week old infant back in 1999, Kinna never knew her wild mother so to see her now, with the beginnings of her own family, surrounded by the gentle love and care of those who grew up with her at the Nursery, and later here at Ithumba, is the ultimate reward, and a true testament to the success of our Orphans’ Project. It seems that Kama has arrived at the perfect time too as, despite the desperately dry conditions in Tsavo right now, the clouds are building and beginning to loom, spelling the onset of impending rains.
You can read more about new mum Kinna at: www.thedswt.org/kinna
 

MIST

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Publicerades den 31 jan. 2017
We went to see about Sook Jai four months ago after a friend told us her story, and he could no longer think of her carrying on to work when she was blind, deaf and old. She deserved better than this, and to be free from harm.

Sook Jai's life is much the same as every captive elephant, working many different jobs over the course of their lives, some more arduous than others, all an affront to their dignity.

Sook Jai's life passed through the hands of a number of men. She moved from job to job and from one place to another, working relentlessly until falling down.

Sook Jai had the good fortune of being found by a caring soul who wanted to help to change her life. She was twice lucky when Joan Baez chose to help sponsor SookJai to living free from cruelty for the rest of her life .

As for many rescues , it does not always proceed readily, but much time must be spent talking with the owner and to manage with the ministry papers for health and legal matters.

Finally the day came to take her journey and when we arrived in the Park , Sook Jai reached up her trunk to smell her new home, sending low rumbles out into the field, tears running down her face.

A peaceful life is hers now.

Though her eyes are dim and hearing faint, we hope that love will be a light for her living.

Learn more by visit: http://www.saveelephant.org
 

MIST

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BIDDING ADIEU TO OUR BELOVED ELEPHANT, SITA

From day one, she turned our lives upside down. Sita’s 2,100 km journey to her new home with us, the maiden journey of our then newly designed elephant ambulance, began in the pouring rain. Torrential showers threatening to flood the city and sabotage the rescue, Sita and her companion elephant Mia were loaded by moonlight, during the briefest respite from the angry weather.

With a badly fused limb from a broken leg that was never allowed to heal, to a painful case of ankylosis in both front legs, and abscesses riddling her feet and toenails, forced to work despite her old age and debility, even as her kidneys and liver grew steadily weaker from age and malnutrition, Sita was possibly the worst case of neglect we’d ever seen in a circus elephant, or in any other elephant for that matter. When you work with captive elephants, you see a lot of pain and suffering, but you’re also blessed with the chance to experience the immense capacity to forgive and the enviable resilience that is so special to elephants– and this last year and a half with Sita has been testament to why elephants don’t ever, ever belong in captivity, why making them perform or beg or entertain for our amusement is an insult to their sentience and their capacity to feel, love and trust and the amazing intelligence that allows them to understand and comprehend the betrayal of this love and trust. Sita did not deserve the life she had. No elephant does.

We did everything we could to make her life comfortable, and to help her heal at her own pace. Footbaths, a nutritious healthy diet, short leisurely walks whenever she felt up to it, baths and painkillers. We bought a full-time crane for the nights she would slip and fall and struggle to get back to her feet, so we could always be around to help her back up, and even keep her strapped on for a bit to get the weight off her limbs as we gave her treats and reassurance. Our veterinary team were angels, steeling themselves against the pain of knowing better than everyone else what she was going through, and remaining determined to make her better despite fully understanding the challenge of it. Her keepers were her guardians, by her side for every painful step, their hands running reassuringly along her trunk through every treatment. Slowly, this withdrawn elephant began allowing us a glimpse into her personality, as she slowly started to trust us.


Sita was quite unlike any other elephant we’ve ever rescued or known. She was a calm spirit, more reserved than her best friends Mia and Rhea, and kept more to herself. Even the day she was reunited with Rhea, the third elephant from their circus who we were only able to rescue six months after Mia and Sita’s arrival at our sanctuary, Sita’s welcome to her long-lost friend was deceptively serene. She rumbled softly, linked trunks with her sister elephants, and caressed and comforted them both in a private oasis of peace that she created for them.

She was aware of her strength, firmly moving the vets away if any treatment bothered her, but gentle enough to never hurt anyone. But more than her physical strength, it was her resilience, her mental strength and her calm fighting spirit that pulled the hardest on our heartstrings. Sita fought every day of her life – to walk, to move, to live. Fate had dealt her the cruellest of cards for nearly her entire life, but she was determined to make the best of the freedom she had while with us.
There was not one visitor, one keeper, one staff member, one volunteer to ECCC during her brief stay with us that was not both moved by her plight and awestruck by her determination to fight her circumstances.

For the last few months Sita spent her time in a specially designed enclosure that we built for her – with a gunny sack wall and support pole for her to lean against when she needed rest and freshly ploughed mud that was gentle on her worn out feet. She loved her new space, finally seeming at ease, and resting against the support provided for her, finally getting some restful nights.

Then last night, the exhaustion of nearly 60 years of agony caught up with her. Sita refused to eat, refusing even the medication the vets tried to give her. She had always been the elephant that knew her own strength and she knew when it was giving way, and when it was time to let go. She passed away quietly, gradually sinking to her knees, and breaking all of our hearts.

We found out today that the impaired circulation to her vital organs, caused by her immobility and inability to rest, had caused them to fail leading to her demise.

Along with the staff, Mia and Rhea said their goodbyes this morning, in a quiet and sombre manner, quite unlike their usual boisterous selves, that we feel she would have appreciated.

Her time with us was brief, too brief. For her more than 56 years of captivity and cruelty, she had just a year and a half with us. It pains us to know we didn’t have more time with her, to undo all those years of neglect, to make right the wrongs done to her at human hands, to give her a real chance at a healthy life, the life of a free elephant. But we hope that we were the respite in the storm that her life had been. That just like the night of her rescue, loading her and Mia in the briefest of dry spells between the torrential downpour, Sita had a taste of respite – of kindness, of healing, of trust and of so much love- during her time here, and that wherever she is now, the clouds beneath her are white and soft and gentle on her tired feet.

Sleep well, Sita, and know that there’s always a special place in all our hearts for you – cushioned with gunny sacks and support poles and freshly ploughed land and full of love and ardent missing.

http://wildlifesos.org/blog/bidding-adieu-to-our-beloved-elephant-sita/
 

myosotis

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Karma:

A South African big game hunter died after being crushed by an elephant cow that had been shot on a game reserve in Zimbabwe at the weekend.

Theunis Botha, 51, was leading a hunt with clients when the group accidentally walked into the middle of a breeding herd of elephants at the Good Luck Farm near Hwange National Park late on Friday afternoon, Zimparks spokesman Mr Simukai Nyasha said.

Three of the elephant cows charged the hunters. Mr Botha fired a shot from his rifle but he was caught by surprise by a fourth cow that stormed them from the side, the Afrikaans news site Netwerk24 reported.

One of the hunters shot the elephant after she lifted Botha with her trunk.The elephant then collapsed on top of Mr Botha, who has five children with his wife Carike Botha.

Mr Botha was a highly regarded houndsman and frequently led leopard and lion hunting safaris with his pack of dogs.

The website of his company Game Hounds Safaris says he pioneered traditional European-style “Monteria hunts” in southern Africa.

In Monteira hunts large packs of dogs are used to drive deer and boar towards hunters who then open fire on the animals.

Mr Botha was a specialist at hunting leopards with his big game hounds.

He would often travel to the United States to find wealthy customers to take part in trophy hunting in southern Africa.

Mr Botha’s body was taken to Hwange Colliery Hospital mortuary on Saturday.

Condolences poured from hunters, who mourned the death of a “world-class houndsman” after Mrs Botha announced her husband’s death on their joint Facebook page.

Mr Botha was close friends with Scott van Zyl, 44, who was killed by crocodiles while hunting in Zimbabwe last month.

Mr Van Zyl was on a hunt at the Chikwaraka camp in Zimbabwe when he disappeared on April 7.

His backpack was found on the banks of the Limpopo River days later.

DNA samples taken from contents found in the stomachs of two crocodiles that were shot during the search matched Mr Van Zyl.

Last year a tourist, Stephen Coetzee was trampled to death by a female elephant in Hwange National Park.

Mr Coetzee, from Bulawayo, was taking pictures of the animals when they charged.

Villagers in Hwange and the surrounding nearby areas often complained of losing livestock and crops to elephants in the area.

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world...ephant/ar-BBBmltm?li=BBoPWjQ&ocid=mailsignout
 

myosotis

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Not about elephants...but about Rhinos, from 'Saving the Survivors' FB page:

The STS team travelled to a different province last week to assist an owner that had one of his rhinos poached a week before. We dehorned several rhino and found almost a perfect heart in the horn of the big bull. They just stay one of the most magnificent animals on the face of the planet....
Saving the Survivors - Creating Hope from Hurt - ERP initiative

https://www.facebook.com/savingthesurvivors/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED

http://[URL=https://imageshack.com/i/pnjuhB49j] [/URL]
 

MIST

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I have posted some videos from David Sheldrick wildlife trust, they don´t only save elephant babies , they save other babies too.
Like Humprey the little hippo.Unfortunately she became sick and died 6 months later
[video=youtube;uqWHcaBxMMM]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqWHcaBxMMM[/video]
 

Pure Simplicity

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The problem is that ivory trading that threatens elephants is banned internationally. But the domestic trade of ivory within countries is legal nearly everywhere.
 

MIST

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Rare Footage Shows Violent Capture of Young Wild Elephants in Zimbabwe to be Sold to China
[video=youtube;DdhrAozBA2o]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdhrAozBA2o[/video]
The wildlife trade is incredibly profitable for those involved in the exploitation and transaction of the wild animals. Although the illegal wildlife trade runs rampant globally, the legal wildlife trade is still responsible for blatant acts of animal cruelty.

In the above video from The Guardian, we see very rare footage of the capture of wild elephants in Zimbabwe to be sold and shipped to China. Although the practice is legal, video and photographic documentation of it is rare. In the video, helicopters fly over a herd, shoot tranquilizer darts at the animals, then swoop in to disperse the rest of the herd coming to the aid of fallen elephants. After capturers land and aggressively load the pachyderms onto their truck, more violence in inflicted on them, including incessant slapping, trunk twisting, and kicking in the head with heavy boots. Animal experts estimate the young elephants to be in the process of weaning or just barely weaned.

Although Zimbabwe and China are the world’s biggest participants in the trade of wild elephants, several other countries including Namibia, Swaziland, Mexico, and the United States are active in the trade of wild elephants. It is estimated that 1,000 wild African and Asian elephants were captured and sold globally in similar ways from 1995-2015.

As the video shows, physical abuse toward animals is an acceptable practice for capturers.

Since the practices of the wildlife trade are typically kept secret, most people are unaware that this goes on, so PLEASE share this with your network to increase awareness of this serious important issue
 

Cats-whiskas

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It just breaks my heart. I work for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in UK. The way we treat the animals of this planet is disgusting. They are living, breathing creatures with feelings just like us.
 

MIST

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Interior Department to allow imports of elephant and lion trophies from Africa, reversing Obama policies

With barely contained enthusiasm, Safari Club International (SCI) announced on its own initiative today that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has reversed critical elephant protections established during the Obama administration, allowing imports of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. For decades, Zimbabwe has been run by a dictator who has targeted and killed his political opponents, and operated the country’s wildlife management program as something of a live auction. Remember, it was Zimbabwe where Walter Palmer shot Cecil, one of the most beloved and well-studied African lions, who was lured out of a national park for the killing. Palmer paid a big fee even though it did irreparable damage to the nation’s reputation.

The United States has listed African elephants under the federal Endangered Species Act, and hunting trophies can only be imported if the federal government finds that killing them positively enhances the survival of the species. Under the prior administration, FWS made the eminently reasonable decision that Zimbabwe – one of the most corrupt countries on earth – was not managing its elephant population in a sustainable manner. Government officials allegedly have been involved in both poaching of elephants and illegal export of ivory tusks. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe even celebrated his birthday last year by feasting on an elephant.

Zimbabwe’s elephant population has declined six percent since 2001 and evidence shows that poaching has increased in areas where trophy hunting is permitted (such as in the Chirisa and Chete safari areas). A number of problems with Zimbabwe’s elephant management remain unresolved to date: the lack of an elephant management plan; lack of sufficient data on population numbers and trends; anemic enforcement of wildlife laws; lack of information about how money derived from trophy hunting by U.S. hunters is distributed within Zimbabwe; and lack of a national mechanism, such as government support, to sustain elephant conservation efforts in the country.

This jarring announcement comes on the same day that global news sources report that Mr. Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s aging dictator, is under house arrest following a military coup. This fact in and of itself highlights the absurdity and illegal nature of the FWS decision to find that Zimbabwe is capable of ensuring that elephant conservation and trophy hunting are properly managed. During the last two years, poachers in the country have poisoned several dozen elephants, including young calves. Government officials cash in by capturing elephant calves who are still dependent on their mothers and exporting them to China for use in zoos. Perhaps not surprisingly, a hunting outfitter advertised elephant hunts in Zimbabwe as soon as the SCI announcement was made public. It’s a venal and nefarious, pay-to-slay arrangement that Zimbabwe has set up with the trophy hunting industry.

Notably, an FWS decision to allow imports of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe is legally required to be published in the Federal Register, and no such formal decision has yet appeared. That SCI, the largest pro-trophy-hunting lobby group, announced this decision suggests an uncomfortably cozy and even improper relationship between trophy hunting interests and the Department of the Interior.

SCI’s announcement indicates that elephant trophies will also be allowed to be imported from Zambia. The elephant population in Zambia has suffered a dramatic decrease over the last few decades, from more than 200,000 elephants in 1972 to just a little over 21,000 according to the Great Elephant Census in 2016. Ivory trafficking remains a threat to the country’s elephant population.

Even more ominous, the FWS has just erected a new website that provides a guide to trophy hunters seeking to import lion trophies. Just last year the FWS listed the lion as threatened with extinction under the Endangered Species Act, set up criteria that must be met before the FWS would allow the import of lion trophies, and prohibited imports of trophies from captive lion populations hunted in fenced enclosures – commonly referred to as canned lion hunting – in South Africa.

Unbelievably the news gets even worse, as the Department of the Interior has also just announced that it is forming a euphemistically named advisory group, the International Wildlife Conservation Council, that would allow trophy hunters an even more prominent seat at the table of government decision-making, ignoring the copious science that trophy hunting undermines the conservation of threatened and endangered species.

Let’s be clear: elephants are on the list of threatened species; the global community has rallied to stem the ivory trade; and now, the U.S. government is giving American trophy hunters the green light to kill them.

What kind of message does it send to say to the world that poor Africans who are struggling to survive cannot kill elephants in order to use or sell their parts to make a living, but that it’s just fine for rich Americans to slay the beasts for their tusks to keep as trophies?

The anti-colonial revolution that Mugabe helped lead in 1980 is a distant memory, and a new form of colonialism has taken effect in the bowels of the Zimbabwean government – with rich, white trophy hunters allowed, for a fee, to plunder wildlife for personal benefit. It’s time for the era of the trophy killing of Africa’s most majestic and endangered animals to come to a final close, and the United States should not be retreating from that commitment.

https://blog.humanesociety.org/wayn...trophies-africa-reversing-obama-policies.html

It´s so sad
 

MIST

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Wildlife S.O.S
3 tim ·
Your voices are being heard, let's keep up the pressure on to keep the elephant trophy ban in place. President Trump has just tweeted that he is going to put big game trophy decision on hold. Thank you for raising your voices for the elephants. Please keep the pressure up by signing the petition.
https://e-activist.com/page/16468/action/1?ea.tracking.id=trump

[video=youtube;CD8lCFU_2HY]https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=CD8lCFU_2HY[/video]
 
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MIST

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How We’re Failing Elephants: The Connection Between the Ivory Trade and Zoos

What do you have in common with an elephant? Well, a lot. From grieving for lost loved ones and comforting their friends, to getting chatty with herd mates and checking ourselves out in the mirror, these magnificent creatures have demonstrated endless behaviors many people thought were unique to humans.

What’s more, elephants are a very popular character in cultures all over the world. Unfortunately, this does not shield these animals from being abused and even killed by humans. With less than 650,000 elephants remaining on the planet, they are in real danger of extinction, and it’s our job to protect them. One of the biggest threats elephants faces: poaching.

Elephant Poaching Is an International Crisis
For decades, elephants have faced the looming threat of extinction as tusks are savagely ripped from their faces to satisfy the global demand for ivory. This illegal trade is fraught with corruption on every level, and profits often go towards funding for dangerous terrorist groups.

The ivory crisis has been making headlines recently as more and more U.S. municipalities are being held accountable for their participation in the illegal ivory trade. While many people may assume that the ivory trade is a distant phenomenon, only occurring in far off countries where elephants reside, this could not be further from the truth. It is estimated that around one elephant is killed every 15 minutes for their tusks, totaling out to the loss of 100 elephants a day. Given the slow reproduction rates of elephants, many scientists believe they could be extinct from the wild within the next 20 years.

The world’s elephant population was severely depleted during the 20th-century as a direct result of the worldwide ivory trade. In an effort to protect the elephant population, an international ban on ivory was enacted in 1989; however, under this legislation, any ivory that was in circulation before the ban could still be imported and exported. In light of this “loophole,” new ivory has been able to slip into circulation with traders falsifying documents and antiquing ivory products to make them appear as if they pre-date the ban.

When an elephant is killed for their ivory, it affects not only the particular elephant involved but also their entire family. Baby elephants are cruelly deprived of their mothers while older elephants are deprived of their children, sisters, or brothers. The bond between elephant mothers and their babies is akin to that of human mothers and children.

Elephants naturally live in matriarchal groups, headed by an older female elephant who is usually replaced by her eldest daughter when she dies. The group typically comprises of the matriarch, her daughters, and their calves. The females assist one another with the care and rearing of their young while adult males roam in separate “bachelor” groups. The deep, loving bonds between elephant families and herd members persist until death but when the family is torn apart by poachers, those bonds are tragically lost forever.

So what can we do as concerned citizens to stop the ivory trade? The first step is obvious: stop purchasing wild animal products. Every ivory trinket was created from an elephant that was killed. But what else can animal lovers do? Many zoos offer strong positions against the ivory trade and boast about their conversation efforts, urging supporters to not buy ivory but are zoos helping or hurting elephants?

Are Zoos Helping Stop the Ivory Trade?
One of the many ways that people learn about animals (or at least think they do) is by visiting zoos. Many zoos operate under the guise that their captive breeding programs help to preserve species and that putting animals on display is a form of conservation. But, in reality, zoos purchase their animals, taking them from their wild habitat and forcing them into captivity to generate a profit.

When adult elephants are killed for their tusks, many orphaned baby elephants are then sold into a life of captivity. For instance, in 2015, a group of elephant calves was exported from Zimbabwe, months after they were captured from the wild for sale to zoos in China. More recently, in May of 2017, Namibia, sold five baby elephants to a zoo in Dubai for an undisclosed price.

Zoos may argue that keeping animals in captivity works to maintain the species, but according to animal welfare organization, Born Free USA, that may not be helping. The prime risk to elephants is poaching in the wild. Even with the elephant population low, it isn’t so low to justify literally taking elephants from their native habitat and placing them in captivity for protection.

Elephants in the wild are threatened by poachers hoping to cash in on their ivory tusks, but captive elephants don’t fare much better. In fact, research shows that statistics show that mortality rates of elephants increase significantly at zoos.

Wild elephants can live on average to age 75, the typical life expectancy among captive animals is only 20-30 years.

There is little debate that poaching of elephants is a brutal practice,” Born Free Prashant Khetan told One Green Planet. “This does not, however, justify the placement or breeding of elephants in zoos. To the contrary, statistics show that mortality rates of elephants increase significantly at zoos, not to mention the known risks at zoos of physical ailments, psychological issues, and even disease. Moreover, there is no evidence to show that so-called conservation of elephants in zoos will impact the decline of elephants due to poaching.”

Zoos aim to teach us about wild animals and their natural habitats, but what they feature is a sad replica of a “natural” environment and animals who have been forcibly removed from their families and lives to be put on display for profit. Cramped conditions and hard floors cause arthritis and issues with their feet and joints. Psychological distress from by the absence of exercise and companionship leads captive elephants to exhibit abnormal, repetitive behaviors like head bobbing. Some zoos still use negative reinforcement training, like prodding animals with painful bullhooks. This practice aggravates elephants and led to more than 135 human injuries and 18 human deaths since 1990.

Elephants Deserve Better
Simply put, zoos are perpetuating the idea that elephants are ours either to take a photo of, ride, keep in captivity, use in the circus or use their tusks for ivory. No animal should have to generate income for humans in order to be considered worthy. These animals are deprived of their natural social structures and behaviors and consequently reduced to mentally and physically distressed stand-ins for the animals they should be. It has been proven that zoos do not have any educational value for children.

Elephants kept in captivity are chronically overweight with 40 percent of captive elephants considered obese and regularly display clear signs of mental zoochosis, such as excessive grooming, rocking back and forth, pacing, twisting of the neck, or self-mutilation. In addition, they frequently succumb to illnesses and diseases not often encountered in the wild, including tuberculosis, deadly foot disease, arthritis, infertility, and more.

Life in a zoo is already damaging enough for elephants, who are highly intelligent and emotional beings that experience joy, love, grief, compassion, altruism, rage and stress, just like humans do. In the wild, they rely on complex and tightly-knit family structures that are rarely kept intact in captivity and are unquestionably disrupted by human activity, which invokes great anxiety, stress and even trauma in these animals.

What You Can Do
There is a compromise. Elephant sanctuaries keep the animals away from poachers while giving them space, resources and social contact they need to be happy and lead their natural healthy and active lives. It’s much more fun to watch elephants playing naturally than standing around in a small zoo enclosure, and sanctuary life gives observers an accurate picture of true elephant behavior.

We can also make a real difference for these animals in the wild by concentrating our efforts – and donation dollars – on anti-poaching groups. Over 1,000 wildlife rangers charged with protecting endangered species have been killed by poachers in the past 10 years. If we hope to protect precious species, we need to help protect the people putting their lives on the line. To learn more about groups working to end poaching, click here.

By spreading awareness about the plight of elephants and all of world’s endangered wildlife, we can help people see the consequences of their actions. Share this post and help save these amazing animals while they’re still here.

For more information on how you can play your part in the fight to save elephants, check out some of the resources below:

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Elephant Conservation page
World Elephant Day
World Wildlife Fund’s African Elephant Program
Save Elephant Foundation
 

MIST

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This is Chanda! She is a 31-year-old female elephant from whom both her calves were snatched away (first born, Peanut, and the second born, Suman). She spends her days slaving at the #AmerFort, slowly and excruciatingly making her way to the top of the fort with a heavy carrier pressing down on her protruding spine, filled with tourists and a handler that keeps a sharpened stick always at the ready to punish her for any steps out of place or any exhausted resistance.
She must be in unimaginable anguish, but the pain of losing her babies – twice – must be infinitely worse.
Just as the authorities turn a blind eye to the plight of her and her baby, Suman, they turn a deaf ear to #WildlifeSOS's repeated attempts to ask for their assistance. We feel helpless, but we will not give up on Suman and her family.

Here are ways you can help reunite this family:
- Sign the #petition to the Chief Wildlife Warden asking for their freedom. He has the power to take action on their behalf: https://bit.ly/2IA3jwa

- Share this link with people who love elephants that explains the campaign: http://wildlifesos.org/save-suman/

- Boycott elephant attractions in Jaipur like the Amer Fort, and report to your travel agent/guide that the reason you don’t want to go is because of the cruelty inflicted upon the elephants there.

However, if you or someone you know is visiting Jaipur- tell them to keep an eye out for elephant #112 (Chanda) carrying tourists up to the fort. Send any information to us at info@wildlifesos.org.
#SaveSuman #SaveChanda #ReuniteTheFamily

Thank you for your compassion!
https://www.facebook.com/wildlifesosindia/
 
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Elephant baby needs help from her mother
 

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As the autumn tourist season takes off in Vietnam, the country's first ethical elephant tours have begun.
The elephants in Yok Don National Park used to be chained all day waiting for tourists who they would have to carry round the park
They had no opportunity to interact with each other, to forage in the forest, to drink from rivers or to roam freely.
Thanks to the work of Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare team and funding from Olsen Animal Trust, the elephants now roam free. They play with each other, they search for the food they want to eat, and they never have to give rides to tourists.
Visitors trek through the forest to observe the elephants behaving naturally in the wild.
It's a unique and breathtaking experience for any visitor and it has completly changed the lives of the elephants.
Elephant rides only exists because tourists are willing to pay for them. If tourist choose ethical tours instead, the rides will stop.
You have the ability to choose compassion and change the world
.
 

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20 Arrows In One Elephant
Posted November 2, 2018 by Claire Bolles

On Sunday, October 28, a herd of elephants was in the community land across the Mara River from Mara North Conservancy (pictured left). Mara Elephant Project rangers got the call to come move them into safety and along with the Karen Blixen Camp Ree Park Safari helicopter they intervened to mitigate human-elephant conflict as rapidly as possible.
The MEP helicopter and rangers got there just in time as the villagers were using arrows and spears to attack the elephants. MEP C.E.O. Marc Goss used the helicopter to quickly move the elephants along before injuries occurred but unfortunately an older calf was unable to keep pace with the group and received 20 arrow wounds before crossing the Mara River into safety! Two other members of her herd also suffered injuries caused by arrows.er members of her herd also suffered injuries caused by arrows.

So, the human-elephant conflict mitigation mission then became a mission to save this elephant’s life. Kenya Wildlife Service vet Dr. Limo was called in from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Mara Mobile Vet Unit and it was an all-hands-on-deck situation with time of the essence. MEP, KWS, Narok County Government, MEP rangers and C.E.O. and Dr. Limo’s staff all had to help out to remove the 20 arrows from this poor calf. After she was taken care of, we then treated the other two individuals and pulled out four arrows from them


Soon after finishing this treatment we received a report from the MEP patrol team in Olarro Conservancy that there was a bull elephant with an arrow wound that needed immediate attention. We are pleased to announce that with this team effort, the calf and all of the elephants treated that day are expected to make a full recovery.

There is a war of space going on in the Mara ecosystem and working with the community to live alongside wildlife is a key approach to ensuring MEP fulfills our mission. There is no winner in human-elephant conflict situations, but what MEP can guarantee is that we will show up, provide support for the community and ensure elephants are protected in the process. However, for this to be the case, the community must work with MEP and allow us to do our job in high stress situations. This was not the case with this Mara River herd.

It appeared that the crowd attacking these elephants were doing so for the pure sport of it as there were no ripe crops in the area at the time and no one reported damage to private property. So, a meeting was called on October 31 with the elders of this community across from the Mara River. Representatives from both KWS and MEP were in attendance and the elders from the community asked for forgiveness for the young men who attacked the elephants. Our combined statement was that though we appreciate the elder’s sentiment, it was not good enough as these elephants were attacked aggressively for no apparent reason. Secondly, they continued to attack the herd after MEP and KWS arrived on the scene which should have been their cue to hand over the situation. We settled that the suspects we are able to identify would be prosecgrowuted and that next time the elephants cross the river they will stay in their houses while the authorities and MEP handle the situation.

Mara Elephant Project will deploy all of our techniques and technologies to keep the elephants inside Mara North Conservancy. Our ranger presence along the Mara River should help stop elephants from crossing into community land, but ultimately, we need to build a fence on the far side of the river to keep the elephants and hippos out of private farm land. Though it’s not an ideal solution, as this is a traditional corridor for elephants, it might just save their lives down the road as this community continues to

https://maraelephantproject.org/20-...mEyRdLeLQiJvM_3gQHlAamZ27cXZz96IFbSqzK8fgXv2I
 
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