Justice for Elephant Starved, Beaten, and Killed

 

Lamxi the elephant was malnourished and beaten for 30 years of her life. When she was no longer useful to her abusers, they apparently left her alone to die in a small brick shed. Demand that these people are found and prosecuted for their heinous crime against this beautiful elephant.

Source: Justice for Elephant Starved, Beaten, and Killed

The tragic lives of India’s mistreated captive elephants

bbc.co.uk
The tragic lives of India’s mistreated captive elephants
By Soutik Biswas India correspondent
6-8 minutes
Rajeshwari is dead
Image caption Rajeshwari died days after an animal lover sought the court’s permission to put her down

For more than a month, Rajeshwari, a 42-year-old temple elephant in India, lay desultorily on a patch of sand, her forelimb and femur broken and her body ravaged by sores.

An animal lover went to the court, seeking to put her down. The court said the pachyderm could be “euthanised” after the vets examined her. On Saturday afternoon, she died anyway.

Rajeshwari had led a hard life since she was sold to the temple in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in 1990. She would stand on stone floors for long hours to bless devotees and perform rituals like pouring or bringing water to the deities.

In 2004, she fell from an open truck on the way to a “rejuvenation” camp for captive elephants and broke her leg. She lived in pain ever since with a misshapen limb. Recently, she broke her femur when authorities used an earthmover to flip her and treat her. After that, say activists who visited the temple to check on her condition, the largely disabled pachyderm just wasted to death.

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Rajeshwari’s tragic story mirrors the sorry state of many of 4,000 captive elephants in India, mostly in the states of Assam, Kerala, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. India, according to a World Animal Protection report, is widely considered the “birthplace of taming elephants for use by humans” – a practice which began thousands of years ago. (In comparison, India has 27,000 elephants in the wild.)

In southern India, pachyderms are rented out during religious festivals for noisy parades and processions, including weddings and shop and hotel openings. They travel long distances in open vehicles and walk on tarred roads in the scorching sun for hours. (They have often gone on the run at temple festivals and killed devotees.)

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Elephants are used for religious processions in Kerala

Elsewhere, chained and saddled elephants are used for rides, sometimes carting tourists up and down steep forts, or entertaining tourists who wish to touch, bathe and ride them. They are also hired by political parties for campaign processions, and by companies for promoting their goods in trade fairs. They are rented out for tourism in the national parks, used for anti-depredation squads, logging activities and lately even for begging on highways.

According to media reports, more than 70 captive elephants have died under “unnatural conditions and at a young age” in private custody in just three states – Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Rajasthan – between 2015 and 2017. Some 12 captive elephants have died this year in Kerala alone. “Most of these deaths are due to torture, abuse, overwork or faulty management practices,” says Suparna Ganguly, president of the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre.
‘Gross ignorance’

It’s not surprising to see why.

Lack of space and habitat to exercise and graze in natural surroundings means elephants lodged in captivity are shackled for long hours in concrete sheds with stone floors. This is enough to make the animal sick. They usually get foot rot, a condition where their feet develop abscesses and thinning pads, sometimes leading to severe infection. When outside, constant exposure to the glare of sun can affect their eyesight. Ms Ganguly blames this on “gross ignorance on part of the keepers and managers”.

Then there’s the poor diet. Elephants are slow eaters, and in the wild typically eat more than 100 kinds of roots, shoots, grasses, foliage and tubers. In captivity, their diets are severely restricted. In parts of northern India, for example, the animals have access only to glucose-rich dried sugarcane fodder. Vets say many of them suffer from intestinal infection, septicaemia and lung-related infections. The life expectancy of captive elephants in Kerala, according to a report, has dipped to below 40 years from 70-75 years a couple of decades ago.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Elephants kept in captivity are used for tourist rides in Assam

There’s not even enough places to shelter rescued and ailing elephants. There are five of them in India – including three private rescue centres – that house some 40 elephants, not enough considering the high population of captive animals.

Tamil Nadu holds month-long rejuvenation camps for temple elephants, where the animals can rest, get treated and interact with other elephants in a natural environment. Elephants are trucked into these camps from distant places and many elephants have had accidents resulting in deaths due to their inability to cope with road transport or because they fall down from trucks.

India’s Supreme Court has outlawed the sale and exhibition of elephants at a well-known animal fair, and directed authorities to ban the use of elephants in religious functions to reduce their demand. More than 350 captive elephants in Kerala and Rajasthan are “illegal” – they don’t have any ownership papers. Despite adequate laws – including a powerful animal protection law and guidelines to protect captive elephants – not enough is being done to protect them, say activists.
Lucrative trade

One reason is captive elephants are a lucrative trade. The owner of an elephant in Kerala, for example, can easily make up to 70,000 rupees ($1053; £754) for a single day’s appearance at a religious festival during the busy season.

“For the first time in the history of India’s captive elephant business, the murky underworld of elephant trade has been split wide open – decades of elephant trafficking, the ghastly nexus between poachers capturing young elephants and their collusion with private trade coupled with neglect, corruption and apathy on part of government departments have led to the unacceptable conditions today,” says Ms Ganguly.

The top court is expected to pass further – and final orders – on protection of the mistreated elephants soon. There may be hope yet.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/world-asia-india-43862182

Baby Elephant Throwing a Tantrum

World’s First Collapsible, Reusable Straw Fits Right On Your Keychain

 

 

ecowatch.com
World’s First Collapsible, Reusable Straw Fits Right On Your Keychain
Lorraine Chow
3 minutes

Straws suck—literally and figuratively. Americans throw away 500 million of these single-use plastics everyday day, clogging landfills, polluting oceans and causing harm to aquatic creatures.

And while reusable straws made of bamboo or metal already exist on the market, the Santa Fe-based team at FinalStraw have invented the world’s first collapsible, reusable straw you can conveniently attach to your keychain so you won’t forget to bring your own when you’re on the go.

The FinalStraw consists of a foldable stainless steel straw, a tiny squeegee to keep the straw clean and a recycled plastic case that’s no bigger than a smartphone.

To help reduce plastic straw use, every FinalStraw also includes five information cards for you to leave with your bill at restaurants that still serve plastic straws. According to the campaign, “we hope to make the public more aware of the devastating effects of plastic pollution and use that awareness to pressure restaurants to stop serving straws.”

A lot of buzz has already generated around the project. A feature on BuzzFeed Video has generated 9.4 million views and counting. A successful Kickstarter, now with more than 11,000 backers, easily blew past the team’s initial $12,500 goal. More than $500,000 has been raised so far with more than 20 days to go.

“The success of our Kickstarter just goes to show that people want reusables, they just need to be convenient and make sense,” FinalStraw co-founder Emma Cohen told EcoWatch in an email.

The start-up recently partnered with the Plastic Pollution Coalition’s The Last Plastic Straw Movement for a limited edition Earth Day straw, where part of the proceeds were donated to the organization.

Now that they’ve hit their fundraising goal, Cohen said the team is looking forward to teaming up with more organizations to give back to the community and to continue making more sleek, convenient reusable to-go ware.

“Our mission is to make sure we provide people with the highest quality, socially responsible and coolest reusables possible,” she said.

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FinalStraw costs $20 on Kickstarter and comes with a lifetime warranty. The estimated delivery is November 2018.

https://www.ecowatch.com/finalstraw-collapsible-straw-2562955647.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=e12c646d61-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-e12c646d61-86074753

Baby Elephant Takes The Quick Route Downhill

When to Expect Hummingbirds in Your Yard This Spring

audubon.org
When to Expect Hummingbirds in Your Yard This Spring
By Geoffrey S. LeBaron
5-6 minutes

As warmer weather approaches, multitudes of migrant birds are on track for arrival in North America. Among them are those favorite avian gems, hummingbirds. The spring arrival—or year-round presence—of hummingbirds in yards varies across the country, but current studies point out some new potential challenges to migrating hummingbirds, such as changing bloom times of nectar plants and an earlier arrival of spring on their wintering and breeding grounds. Here we’ve gathered general guidelines to current hummingbird migration patterns for various sections of the country, as well some tips on the different feeding strategies you can use to attract them to your yard. Additionally, you can also learn more about how to help hummingbirds below.
Eastern United States

Over most of the eastern two-thirds of North America, from central Canada southward, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird reigns supreme. Predominantly a neotropical migrant, it winters from southern Mexico to Costa Rica. Each spring, this species arrives in numbers along the Gulf Coast by early March, filtering northward over the next two months until arriving in northern states and southern provinces by late April or early May. Migrating males usually arrive a week or so before females at any given location. Climate change is affecting the migration of Ruby-throats, though. As conditions warm on the wintering grounds, data indicate that they leave their winter homes earlier on their way to the Gulf Coast. Interestingly, it also appears that hummingbirds then hang around in the Gulf Coast for longer than normal, perhaps to recuperate from their trip across the Gulf of Mexico.

Migrating hummingbirds start to visit flowering plants and nectar feeders in March and usually stick around through May. To have resources ready for northward migrants in regions where hummingbirds are absent in the winter, it’s best to put nectar out by early March if you live in the Southeast, and by late April if you live in the Northeast.
Southeastern United States

The Southeastern coast, from Cape Hatteras southward, in Florida, and especially around the Gulf Coast, is different from the rest of the eastern United States. Here hummingbirds are likely to be present year-round, with both higher diversity and greater numbers of birds present in winter! As such, supplying nectar sources and insect-laded gardens is appropriate year-round in these regions. In coastal Texas and Louisiana, hummingbirds may visit feeders in the late winter and early spring.
Mountainous West

In the mountainous West, a variety of hummingbirds, including Broad-tailed, Black-chinned, Rufous, and Calliope, arrive in spring as the first flowers bloom. Starting in early March, these species will appear in yards near the Mexican border, and by early to mid-May will be found in the northern Rockies. Rufous Hummingbirds winter primarily in southern Mexico and breed as far north as southeastern Alaska. These hardy little birds can survive sub-freezing temperatures on practically any night of the year, but they can’t go without nectar and small insects, none of which are available in the winter in this region. Climate change and earlier blooming times for wildflowers may be affecting all of these species, as they do not appear to be shifting their arrival times to match the early blossoming times of their favorite food sources. Nectar feeders and selected wildflower plantings in yards can help these species fuel up for their continued migration and upcoming breeding season.
Southwest and West Coast

In the Southwest and in the West to British Columbia, hummingbirds are present year-round. In southern Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, many sought-after species, including Blue-throated, Magnificent, Broad-billed, and White-eared hummingbirds, frequent backyard nectar feeders, and even-rarer visitors can also make an appearance.

Hummingbird lovers on the West Coast from California to British are also fortunate. Large numbers of hummingbirds, especially Anna’s to the north and Allen’s to the south, are likely to be found in good numbers in hummingbird-friendly yards year-round. Migrant Rufous Hummingbirds also move northward early—as far north as Oregon by the end of February—on their way to their coastal Alaskan breeding grounds.
Two Ways to Help Hummingbirds

Grow Native Plants: Growing plants that are indigenous to your area is a great way to both attract and help the hummingbirds you love. Native plants provide shelter and food, including a healthy environment for insects, part of the hummingbird diet important during breeding season. Get a list of native plants customized for your area by visiting our handy Plants for Birds database.

Become a Community Scientist: You can protect hummingbirds by helping crowdsource invaluable data using Audubon’s free Hummingbirds at Home app or website. You just submit your observations on when hummingbirds feed on nectar-bearing plants in your yard or community. To get started, go to hummingbirdsathome.org

http://www.audubon.org/news/when-expect-hummingbirds-your-yard-spring?ms=digital-eng-email-ea-x-20180428_hummingbird_medium&utm_source=ea&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20180428_hummingbird&utm_content=medium