2 young Asian elephants die days apart at US zoo. Jazmine and Thorn are seen playing and feeding in this video prior to their deaths. (Albuquerque BioPark)
The calves died after being diagnosed with elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus, known as EEHV, the zoo said. The virus also killed a 5-year-old Asian elephant calf named Daizy in 2015.
“While not much is known about EEHV, the disease can progress rapidly, and early detection is critical,” the zoo said.
The zoo shared video of Thorn, and said that since he was a baby, “Thorn was trained to be active in his health care and voluntarily participate in medical exams, including presenting his ears to allow for a weekly blood draw. This behavior, along with weekly testing, allowed the biopark’s animal care team to discover the virus in Thorn’s blood at a very low level. The BioPark staff immediately began working around the clock to treat the illness. Treatments started with antiviral medications and fluids. As Thorn’s disease continued to progress, the team shifted to twice-daily sedated treatments to ensure he was getting everything he needed, in addition to the non-sedated fluid and antiviral treatments. He also received regular infusions of plasma, whole blood and stem cells.”
The National Elephant Herpesvirus Lab at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., provided bloodwork services and EEHV expertise, the zoo said, and additional assistance came from other accredited zoos.
“Thorn’s short life had a great impact on the lives of other elephants,” the zoo said. “His birth was significant because he was born in the presence of his sister, Jazmine, and grandmother, Alice. This natural herd birth was a huge advancement in the care and socialization of elephants in human care.
“He was also raised in a multi-age herd that includes his sister, grandmother, mother Rozie, adult male Albert and adult female Irene. The zoo’s practices that allowed Thorn and the rest of the herd to use their natural behaviors are leading the way for elephant care across the United States and the world.”
In the case of Jazmine, “the zoo’s elephant experts and veterinary teams did everything in their power — and then some” to help her, said the park’s director, Stephanie Stowell. “Jazmine matched their efforts every step along the way. True to her strong-willed nature, Jazmine fought valiantly against the disease.
“Adding to the anguish of losing a beloved animal, Jazmine’s death marks a considerable loss to the future of Asian elephants. Jazmine was on a carefully planned path to become an elephant matriarch.
Had Jazmine survived, the zoo said, “her skills and experiences would have enabled her to raise her own calves and lead elephants in her own multigenerational herd.
“Jazmine’s short life will have a long-term impact on other elephants in human care as well as in the wild.”
Stowell said all elephants can carry EEHV in a latent state throughout their entire lives without negative effects.
It is not known why the virus sometimes comes out of latency, she said.
“Elephants are most susceptible to EEHV from 18 months to 8 years of age. EEHV causes hemorrhagic disease that can be fatal for young elephants. It is the leading cause of death for Asian elephant calves and can strike elephants in the wild and in human care.
“Each case of EEHV hemorrhagic disease, while tragic, does provide us with more information on its causes, transmission, and treatment. The elephant community rallied around Albuquerque BioPark to provide support with husbandry, treatment, and testing.
“We are devastated by these latest two deaths, and we hope that the incredible cooperation amongst our colleagues will continue to provide answers on how best to prevent these deaths,” said Erin Latimer, a spokesperson for the EEHV Advisory Group that dedicated their time to administering the EEHV treatment regime.
We, the nature-loving people of Namibia and like-minded international friends:
Record our utter dismay at the intention of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia to re-instate international trade in ivory over the clear objections from the other 14 elephant range countries in Africa;
Are shocked and disappointed at their threat to break away from CITES , should their demand the right to auction off their official ivory stockpiles;
Are dismayed at their strong-arming tactics that are tantamount to political blackmail of CITES , especially after their trade proposal was overwhelmingly rejected at the last COP meeting;
Remind the responsible officials that the past two ivory auctions were a complete failure because the Asian buyers colluded to keep the prices ridiculously low;
Remind them that this led to increased trade and speculation that saw a massive surge in elephant poaching since then;
Object to Namibia’s plans to remove and sell off 170 elephants from their natural habitats in Namibia to Chinese and other buyers for US$5,500 apiece , while an elephant is worth US$1.6 million in eco-tourism opportunities it generates in its life-time;
Object to the continued falsification and gross inflation of Namibia’s resident elephant population data by the Min of Environment, Forestry and Tourism to keep justifying unsustainable levels of trophy hunting ;
Express our deep concern over the true state of our wildlife heritage and key protected species such as elephants, black rhinos, giraffes and other endangered wildlife, the loss of which will destroy our country’s tourism economy which contributes one-third of the national GDP and thousands of direct and indirect job opportunities;
Caution that these reckless actions by Minister Pohamba Shifeta and MEFT management officials amount to wilful acts of environmental and economic despoliation , and are in violation of the legal imperatives imposed by Art. 95 of the Constitution to maintain and protect bio-diversity;
Caution the responsible officials that we reserve the right to hold them liable in their personal capacity for financial losses caused by their reckless mismanagement of a priceless resource.
Background: Namibia’s wildlife is its single-biggest tourism asset, attracting thousands of with visitors flocking from all over the world to see especially iconic big-game species such as elephants, black rhinos, lion, giraffe and other game.
One of the most unique attractions is the opportunity to see elephants in their natural environment outside of the national parks in the surrounding communal areas, managed by the MEFT under the communal conservancy model.
Under this model first implemented in 1996, rural conservancies are granted the right to issue tourism and/or hunting concessions. Because trophy hunting generates large annual fees to the government and the communal conservancies, this led to a proliferation of the hunting conservancy model in rural areas, an approach widely lauded by the WWF as an example of an African conservation success story.
These concessional rights includes elephant trophy hunting rights within the boundaries of the KAZA trans-frontier park, located along the elephants’ seasonal migratory route between the Okavango Delta and the Quito floodplains in Angola.
From 1996 to 1999, the new 500 km-long Trans-Caprivi Highway was constructed across the length of the West Caprivi, further interceding the trans-frontier elephant herd’s seasonal migratory routes.
In late 1999, the Angolan Army used the new highway to launch an attack on their former rebel foes UNITA, using local recruits to conduct a scorched earth campaign along the common border. This influx of weapons triggered a surge in poaching in especially the West Caprivi, with armed gangs running rampant in the area and on one occasion, gunning down an entire herd with automatic weapons in full sight of shocked tourists at a lodge on the opposite Namibian side of the Kavango river border.
From the early 2000s, the over-concentration of elephants in Botswana was becoming evident in Chobe Park as the increase in heavy road traffic and human settlement along the Trans-Caprivi Highway scared away especially breeding herds with small calves.
In order to prevent the spread of bovine lung-disease, Botswana erected a 700km-long game-proof fence along their north-eastern and northern border with Namibia to replace the collapsed old Namibian fence in 2009.
Two 15-km-wide openings were left in the fence on the western and eastern end to allow for the elephants’ seasonal migration, both located opposite elephant hunting concession areas in Namibia.
The combined impact of the Trans-Caprivi Highway and the fence thus stopped any seasonal migration between Botswana, Namibia and Angola, with tracking data showing only the odd bull occasionally crossing the border at those gaps in the fence. This led to the MEFT allowing trophy hunting operators to hunt elephant cows in 2017 to recover their trophy fees paid in advance to the communal conservancies.
By late 2020, elephants have all but disappeared from the West Caprivi and adjacent communal areas. Elsewhere in north-western Namibia, a severe drought and increased poaching has also taken a severe toll, with only an estimated 250 elephants left in the arid Kunene and Erongo regions.
In 1999 and 2008, the MEFT held two CITES-sanctioned auctions of the best ivory in the official stockpile in misguided attempt to flood and depress the black market demand for ivory and generate income for conservation efforts.
This proved to be an abject failure. The Chinese and Japanese buyers colluded to keep prices low, paying only USD$100 and US$157 per kilogram respectively, and instead of releasing the stocks into the carving markets, drip-fed their new stock at USD$1,500 per kilogram over the following years.
This triggered a 66% surge in elephant poaching and 71% increase in ivory smuggling over the following decade that saw elephant herds decimated in East and central Africa. As result, the African savannah and forest elephant species were declared as endangered and critically-endangered earlier this year.
Meanwhile, the communal conservancy model had started to fail. Due to their tendency to inflate annual game counts and so justify high, cash-generating hunting quotas and a disastrous shoot-and-sell permit system that allowed them to sell off entire herds for cash to local butchers, the once-abundant wildlife in communal areas have all but disappeared.
The elephants’ Appendix I status also thus became an obstacle to the demand from conservancies for ever more cash from elephant hunting due to the limitations it imposed on the number of trophies that may be legally exported.
Because CITES has thus far allowed and facilitated the export of live elephants to Chinese buyers, the MEFT therefore is now resorting to auctioning off entire herds of elephants in order to generate cash to the conservancies, as well as re-open the ivory trade that has historically wiped out over 95% of Africa’s elephant herds over the past 100 years.
This reckless and short-sighted humans-first approach by the Namibian authorities and their colleagues in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe poses a dire threat to the last surviving elephant herds in the KAZA Park.
The MEFT continues to falsely claim that there are 22,000 – 24,000 elephants in Namibia, based on a 1995 base count of 7,000 animals that they claim grew at a biologically improbably and mathematically impossible exponential rate of 3.3% since then.
This fraudulent claims of a huge increase in numbers is immediately obvious from the fact that none of the factors outlined above are in any way reflected in their purported official elephant counts. Claims by Minister Pohamba Shifeta of a rampant rise human-elephant conflict is flatly contradicted by the fact that just one case of human-elephant conflict was reported in 2020.
The official elephant population estimates, inflated by over-counting and systematic inflation of population density factors, are clearly only intended to keep the trophy hunting in business and the ruling party’s rural support base appeased with regular cash hand-outs.
The fact is that Namibia is losing the battle against organised crime and syndicated poaching, with 80% of all rhino poaching since 2005 occurring over the past five years. This largely due to the MEFT’s humans-first conservation policies and poor management of resources, not to mention their obvious ignorance of their own Ministry’s track record in respect of past ivory auctions.
We remind these authorities that they are merely custodians, not the private owners of our common wildlife heritage and that the elephants are not theirs to dispose of as they see fit.
Their plan to resume ivory trading, combined with their poor management, poses a dire threat to the last elephants left in the sub-region and the tourism industry that is an economic mainstay in all four countries involved in this deplorable and reckless attempt to cash in on the elephants for what will likely be one last and final time.
We, the nature-loving people of Namibia and like-minded international friends therefore demand that:
CITES immediately commission an independent audit of all official ivory stockpiles held by Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe;
CITES demand an independent and verified elephant census in all four countries before granting any further export permits for live elephants;
CITES and the IUCN conduct a full Environmental Impact Assessment on the impact of the Trans-Caprivi highway and the Botswana border fence on the elephants’ seasonal migratory routes and patterns;
CITES and the IUCN require that Namibia and Botswana implement measures to re-establish migratory routes and wildlife corridors across the West Caprivi;
CITES and the IUCN suspend all elephant hunting in the KAZA area until such time that the elephants can freely and without impedance regain access to all their historical range areas within the KAZA Park.
The plight of elephants in Africa is widely recognised, but far less is known of the even more desperate threats facing Asian (or Asiatic) elephants, whose surviving population is barely 5% that of African elephants, with numbers of Asian elephants declining from estimates of a million or more in the late 19th Century to scarcely 40,000 today.
Save The Asian Elephants (STAE) is a not for profit association which aims to raise awareness of the plight of the Asian Elephants; working to end the terrible cruelty and brutal conditions suffered by this wondrous and ancient species. Young elephants are snatched from their forest homes to supply tourist attractions, temples and festivals. Capture from the wild often entails slaughtering the mothers and other herd members who attempt to protect their young.
PAJAN – THE BRUTAL ‘BREAKING IN’ PROCESS The captured calves are isolated and then forced into a pen and tied with ropes to prevent them moving. They are deprived of water, food and sleep. Terrified, they are brutally, often fatally, beaten with rods, chains or bullhooks (a rod with sharp metal hooks at the striking end) and stabbed with knives and nails. This practice – “pajan” – is designed to break their spirits and brutalise them into submission.
We respectfully urge:
1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi to end pajan and ensure the proper treatment of captive elephants. These magnificent creatures should either be released into the forests or kept in genuine sanctuaries.
2. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Former Prime Minister David Cameron to urgently fulfil their Government’s Manifesto commitment to “support the Indian Government in its efforts to protect the Asian elephant”.
3. The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) to press its members including Virgin Holidays, to remove elephant attractions from their itinerary in India and the rest of Asia. Only visits to genuine sanctuaries and wildlife reserves where tourists observe elephants at a respectful distance (and do not ride them) should be permitted.
Save The Asian Elephants now before it’s too late by signing our petition.
Every 15 minutes, an elephant is killed for its tusks. The entire wild species could go extinct as early as 2025. The ivory market is to blame.
President Obama has a plan. But there are loopholes. Currently, California ivory dealers can still legally sell elephant ivory because of one loophole: intentional mislabeling. Elephant ivory is being passed off as wooly mammoth, cow bone, etc.
The United States and California matter.
After China, the United States is the second largest ivory consumer.
After New York, California — particularly Los Angeles and San Francisco — has the second largest ivory market in the country. California also facilities the international export of ivory.
According to a Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) press release, http://www.nrdc.org/media/2015/150107a.asp investigations revealed that there are 100 ivory vendors and the Bay Area sells 1,200 ivory items.And this isn’t exactly legal ivory.
Los Angeles’ ivory:
— Between 77 – 90 percent of the ivory seen was likely illegal under California law
— Between 47 – 60 percent could have been illegal under federal law
San Francisco’s ivory:
— Roughly 80 percent of the ivory was likely illegal under California law
— 52 percent could have been illegal under federal law
But there’s a way to close the loophole.
San Diego’s Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins has proposed Assembly Bill 96 — the bill would ban all sales of material resembling ivory animals, including: elephants, wooly mammoths, wart hogs and whales. Atkins believes we can save thousands of elephants (and endangered rhinos, for that matter) by closing this loophole and closing the ivory market in California for good.
Five elephants, including a calf, have reportedly been killed in the fires started by UK soldiers in Kenya
The fires continued to rage over 8,000 acres of the Lolldaiga training area
The fire reportedly started when troops cooking a meal on a camping stove accidentally set light to dry grass
Five elephants, including a calf, have reportedly been killed in fires started by UK soldiers in Kenya, prompting an investigation by the British Army.
Officials confirmed the probe last night as the most recent of the fires continued to rage over 8,000 acres of the Lolldaiga training area.
All military exercises have been suspended while an emergency operation to put out the huge blaze continues.
Hundreds of UK troops are being deployed to fight the fire, beating back the flames on the dry scrubland. Huge blaze: The fire seen beyond military vehicles in the 8,000 acres of the Lolldaiga training area, near Nanyuki, Kenya
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Last night British and Kenyan army helicopters were pouring hundreds of tons of water on to the blaze. UK military vehicles were on standby to evacuate those living nearby.
Four adult elephants are feared to have perished in the flames on Wednesday night. They were trapped inside an area surrounded by electric fencing, which had been erected to prevent them wandering into area where British troops practice warfighting, according to local reports.
Defence chiefs are investigating the cause of the fire, which reportedly started on Wednesday when troops cooking a meal on a camping stove accidentally set light to dry grass.
The fire spread quickly but no British soldiers were injured, according to official defence sources.
A baby elephant is said to have been killed in a separate fire on a military training area in Kenya last week.African elephants similar to those who have reportedly died A British solder posted on Snapchat about a fire
In this incident Royal Military Police officers apparently set off a flare in a bid to disperse a herd of elephants. But the flare is said to have set light to a bush, trapping a calf.
The Ministry of Defence declined to comment on the reported deaths of the elephants. More than 1,000 British troops are currently taking part in military exercises in Kenya. Some have vented their frustration about the fires on social media.
One soldier wrote in a message sent via social media site Snapchat: ‘Two months in Kenya later and we’ve only got eight days left. Been good, caused a fire, killed an elephant and feel terrible about it but hey-ho, when in Rome.’ This post is believed to refer to last week’s inferno rather than the fire which is still ablaze.
The Ministry of Defence said last night: ‘We can confirm there has been a fire during a UK-led exercise in Kenya and that investigations are ongoing.
‘All personnel have been accounted for and now our priority is to urgently assist the local community if they have been impacted. We are putting our resources into containing the fire and are working closely with the Kenyan authorities to manage the situation.
‘The exercise has been paused while conditions on the ground can be fully assessed.’ It comes as both species of the African elephant were yesterday classed as endangered for the first time, according a ‘red list’ of at-risk animals by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Most British troops on exercise in Kenya are from the 2nd Battalion, the Mercian Regiment (2 Mercs). Last week Army chiefs announced it will be axed as part of the Government’s Integrated Review of defence and security.
There are 230 military personnel permanently based in Kenya to train visiting UK troops and Kenyan forces. Most are part of the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK).
If you think baby elephants love to cuddle people you’re stupid & very naive. Note the cord around the calf’s neck. A slave elephant ‘taught’ to do this for money. Tourists pay because THEY want the cuddle, the calf does it to avoid a beating. 🤦🏻♀️🤬 🙏🏼RT 👇https://t.co/7LrgffHbORpic.twitter.com/biv1f46v0S
On September 27, 2011, in a dank and filthy circus camp in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, a 24 year old female elephant named Chanda gave birth to her second calf, a tiny baby girl named Suman. Suman’s father Bijli – a magnificent bull despite his missing left tusk – was also at the circus. Further off, her older sister stood restrained uncomfortably by both her feet, her head swaying monotonously.
That night signaled the beginning of Suman’s story, one that has been riddled with terror, suffering and fear – despite just being 6 years old.
In 2013, two years after she was born, Suman, Chanda and Bijli were illegally sold by the Moonlight Circus to the father of a man named Sameer ‘Ballu’ Khan, and illegally trafficked across state borders to the city of Jaipur in Rajasthan. The transfer of ownership of the elephants was done without any of the requisite paperwork, those involved being wholly aware of the illegality of what they were doing.
Today, Sameer Khan, who inherited the elephants from his father is widely regarded as the most cruel of all the elephant owners in Jaipur, a city widely regarded as the most cruel place in the country to the over 100 elephants that are held captive and exploited there. Horrifying footage and stories of him mercilessly beating his elephants with weapons including axes, burning the delicate footpads of their feet and of the number of his elephants that seem to die early, unnatural deaths emerge constantly, leaving us in no doubt of the authenticity of the claims of his evil disregard for the lives of the gentle giants he exploits for money.
A year passes, and the cruelty baby Suman experiences over these days is only an initiation into what she is going to go through in the coming years, and possibly the rest of her life. She is being indoctrinated into captivity, undergoing a brutal process aptly called ‘breaking the spirit’ of the elephant, to prepare her for a life of subservience to cruel human masters. Then, in 2014, Suman finds herself being transported to the state of Gujarat to star in a TV show. The process of training her for the show, and the conditions she is forced to live in during shooting result in animal welfare groups campaigning for the shows end and Suman being relieved from her exploitation. Abruptly, the show is taken off-air and the baby elephant is returned back to Jaipur.
Chanda(Elephant 112) carrying tourists at the Amer Fort
Another year passes, Suman is housed near her mother, but restrained so tightly she can’t reach her. Her father Bijli is rented out to weddings and processions, much in demand being one of the only two bulls in the city. His missing tusk is camouflaged with a heavy false tusk, fixed awkwardly onto him and hidden under heavy, uncomfortable and gaudy decorations. Chanda, the mother, also spends her days garishly caparisoned at the Amer Fort, slowly and excruciatingly making her way up the arduous climb 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 exhausted resistance.
TheNut Herd rescued & moved to the WSOS ECCC from the ‘Moonlight Circus.’
In 2015, the three elephants’ original home – The Moonlight Circus – is shut down on grounds of legal violations and the four elephants still in the circus, including Suman’s sister, are rescued by Wildlife SOS and taken to our rescue centre in Mathura to live out the rest of their lives surrounded by people that care for them, and other elephants, receiving medical care, and every amenity they need to thrive in their new home. The elephants are nicknamed the Nutherd, and the youngest of these four elephants, the first daughter of Bijli and Chanda, is named Peanut – the much adored baby of the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Centre.
Shortly after we rescued the Nutherd, and Peanut, we found out she had a sister, and that her parents were in captivity too – we investigated the claims, and followed multiple leads till dead ends, before stumbling upon the three elephants in Jaipur – exploited, tortured and denied everything, including each other’s company. It broke our hearts. Peanut’s rescue, her gradual development into the naughty, wonderful and gleeful young calf she is today gives us so much joy, but in the back of our hearts, Suman’s story – and that of her parents – casts a depressing shadow. We have to get her out.
Last year, we introduced Suman tentatively to our supporters – but use the name Hazel and cropped pictures of her to avoid risking the lives of our sources and jeopardizing her rescue. All the while we struggle to gather intelligence on the elephant – she is hidden away now, chained in a basement that she is never allowed to leave. We hear heartbreaking stories of how she is no longer allowed to see her mother because they both get so overwhelmed and cry when they see each other. We hear she ran amuck when she was taken out last, she’s a baby elephant so it isn’t at all surprising that she still has a little spirit left in her – but that ever since then, she isn’t even taken out anymore, just tightly restrained by two feet in the dungeon that is her home now.
Chanda, mother of Suman and Peanut.
She sways her head miserably, monotonously. She’s stressed, bored and scared – worst of all she is alone, except for humans that hurt her. At the fort, and at tourist spots across the city, Chanda lugs tourists around on her back in the blistering heat, her footpads searing on the hot tarred roads and rocky streets. She must be in unimaginable anguish, but the pain of losing her babies – twice – must be infinitely worse. As a bull, Bijli is hidden away, likely being beaten regularly to keep him submissive, despite all the anguish humans have imparted him.
Bijli, father of Suman and Peanut.
Their status in Jaipur is never legalized, since their sale and transport was illegal, but the government, the Forest Department, everyone entrusted with ensuring their welfare, seems oblivious to their existence. Attempts are made to sell them which we manage to put a hold on, even as attempts are made to obtain false documents for the three.
Just as the authorities turn a blind eye to the plight of these three elephants, they turn a deaf ear to our repeated attempts to reach out to them for help. Tourism drives the city of Jaipur, and the elephants drive tourism – a government that takes a stand to actually enforce the law for the welfare of these animals also stands to lose favor amongst the locals, and a lot of tourism money.
We feel helpless, but we cannot give up on Suman and her family. As a baby, she is faced with an uncertain future – either 50 years of abuse, beatings, neglect and fear or 50 years of safety, kindness, veterinary care and love from people and other elephants at our rescue centre. Five decades of cruelty, or five decades of care. We are reaching out to our supporters, and elephant lovers across the world to stand strong for Suman and ensure her future is safe with us – please join us in imploring the authorities in Jaipur to save Suman and her family and reunite her with her sister in ECCC.
The information we have shows that we can’t wait any longer for the authorities to take action and we need international pressure to speak out on behalf of Suman and her family. Their freedom will come with international pressure.
Stay informed- we will be doing regular updates with new ways you can help.
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 carrying tourists up to the fort, a baby elephant and male elephant with one tusk missing (although he is sometimes fixed with a prosthetic tusk.). Very few male elephants live in Jaipur so there is a high likelihood that any males could be Bijli. Send information to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be doing everything we can to keep an eye on these elephants. We will be spending what we can on a public awareness and pressure campaign to help these elephants get freedom.
Speak up, push hard, and raise your voices against this injustice – bring Suman and her family, a family that has already suffered so much pain and loss, out of the darkness and towards a better, kinder future!
By Sophie Tanno For Mailonline 11:00 29 Jul 2020, updated 11:13 29 Jul 2020
A newborn elephant took a nasty tumble during a trip to the water’s edge at the Chobe River in Botswana
Luckily mum was on hand to help get the calf back on its feet using her trunk and her feet
The heartwarming snaps captured by South African wildlife photographer Charl Stols during a boat ride
A doting mum has been pictured helping her newborn baby elephant back on its feet, after it took a nasty tumble during its first few shaky steps.
The new family – a mum and two youngsters – were seen making their way to the river for a drink at the Chobe River in Botswana when the smallest calf fell down several times at the water’s edge.
Luckily mum was on hand to help, and can be seen carefully lifting her precious offspring back up using her trunk and her feet.
The heartwarming snaps were captured by South African wildlife photographer, Charl Stols, during a boat ride Luckily mum was on hand to help, and can be seen carefully lifting her precious offspring back up using her trunk and her feet.
The newborn was set on its feet again after its nasty tumble by the water’s edge, with a helping hand from mum.
The heartwarming snaps were captured by South African wildlife photographer, Charl Stols.
The 39-year-old, who works as a photo host for Pangolin Photo Safaris, witnessed the cute encounter during a boat ride.
Charl, who watched the elephants interact for around 40 minutes, said: ‘The elephant cow and two youngsters were coming to the river for a drink. Whoops! The young elephant calf fell flat on the ground at the water’s edge in Botswana, captured by South African wildlife photographer, Charl Stols The new family – a mum and two youngsters – were seen making their way to the river for a drink at the Chobe River in Botswana when the smallest calf fell down several times The mother elephant used her trunk and her feet to help get the baby elephant back on its feet. Stols watched the elephants interact for around 40 minutes.
‘The smaller calf seemed to be only a few hours old, still in pink colour and wobbly on its feet.
‘At the water’s edge, the newborn plunged down several times and the mother gently helped it back up using her trunk and feet.
‘Surprisingly they even crossed the river to one of the islands and the little one did manage to swim all the way, only its trunk sticking out of the water. ‘The smaller calf seemed to be only a few hours old, still in pink colour and wobbly on its feet,’ the photographer said At the water’s edge, the newborn ‘plunged down several times’ and the mother gently helped it back up. ‘To watch the mother gently guiding him and then even seeing the little calf swim was a touching experience,’ Stols said ‘It was very special moment. We have lots of elephants in Chobe but that must have been the youngest elephant I’d ever seen,’ Stols said
‘It was very special moment. We have lots of elephants in Chobe but that must have been the youngest elephant I’d ever seen.
‘To watch the mother gently guiding him and then even seeing the little calf swim was a touching experience.
‘I still dream about seeing a mother giving birth someday but that was already pretty close.’ The newborn calf pictured under the protection of its mother at the edge of the Chobe River. WIldlife photographer Stols described the incident as a ‘very special moment’
Elephant bodies lay strewn over the vast Okavango Delta bushes north of Botswana. Their tusks were still intact and no gunshots or other physical wounds were detected.
What killed at least 275 of these giant mammals remains a mystery three months later.
After post-mortems and laboratory analyses failed to reveal the cause of death, Botswana sought assistance from laboratories in South Africa, Zimbabwe and the US.
The discovery of the wildlife disaster, according to the Botswana government, was on April 25 in areas around the Okavango Delta. Government has so far verified the 275 elephant carcasses of the 356 that were reported to its wildlife and national parks body.
Botswana says it cares about elephants
Botswana, which has considered culling to deal with the elephant-human conflict, said the impression had been created that it had no interest in the mass elephant deaths.
“It is not true that the Botswana government has not been keen in finding out what has been killing our elephants. These allegations that we have not been showing keenness, seriousness and promptness in attending to this issue is a concern for us in that we are now wrongly reduced to a government that is irresponsible and not protecting its wildlife which is our treasure and the backbone of our economy, that is not true,” said Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism Minister Philda Kereng.
“We do not want to rule out any human factor or anything that has to do with toxicology but investigation is ongoing to find out what exactly has been killing our elephants”
Government’s action so far
Kereng said they sprang to action the moment the first case was reported to the department.
“A search was launched to locate the carcasses and get the numbers and when we realise mortality cases were increasing, an investigation team of wildlife veterinarians and biologists was put together to start a wider investigation. Post mortems were done on some of the elephants and we did not find any definitive cause of deaths,” she said.
Tissue samples were taken to veterinary laboratories for analysis and a detailed investigation was done with veterinarians, epidemiologists, pathologists and biologists.
“We also took the samples to laboratories in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Canada and the US. There have been delays due to the Covid-19 restrictions in terms of transportation and travel but we are expecting the last analysis from the US this week.”
The possibilities and suspicions
Earlier this month, Botswana announced that there was no evidence of poaching, especially because the elephants were found with their tusks still intact.
Wild animals such as elephants have been put down in Botswana after they attacked and killed people. Farmers and community members have killed elephants after they attacked them or destroyed their crops. These human wildlife conflict incidents pushed Botswana to do something about its high population of elephants.
The department revealed that the elephants were dying in the Okavango region covering Seronga, Beetsha, Gunutsonga and Eretsha villages.
Government has also warned communities near the areas where dead elephants were found not to touch them or consume their meat.
“It is not true that the Botswana government has not been keen in finding out what has been killing our elephants.”
There are suggestions that the animals might have been poisoned. However, government has maintained that despite the increase in human wildlife conflict cases, Batswana have lived side by side with the wildlife animals and would not just kill them for no reason. But pressure is mounting for Botswana to establish what killed the elephants.
“We do not want to rule out any human factor or anything that has to do with toxicology but investigation is ongoing to find out what exactly has been killing our elephants,” she said.
The minister said the mysterious deaths were a first in Botswana.
Botswana’s tourism ministry first said that it was investigating the deaths in mid-May, when 12 dead elephants were found over two weekends in the country’s Okavango Delta, Phys.org reported at the time.
By the end of May, 169 elephants had died, and that number had more than doubled by mid-June, The Guardian reported.
“This is totally unprecedented in terms of numbers of elephants dying in a single event unrelated to drought,” McCann told BBC News.
But despite the scale of the deaths, the government has not yet completed testing of the animals to determine the cause, earning the criticism of conservation groups.
“There is real concern regarding the delay in getting the samples to an accredited laboratory for testing in order to identify the problem — and then take measures to mitigate it,” Environmental Investigation Agency Executive Director Mary Rice told The Guardian. “The lack of urgency is of real concern and does not reflect the actions of a responsible custodian. There have been repeated offers of help from private stakeholders to facilitate urgent testing which appear to have fallen on deaf ears … and the increasing numbers are, frankly, shocking.”
The government, meanwhile, attributed the delay to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have sent [samples] off for testing and we are expecting the results over the next couple of weeks or so,” Dr. Cyril Taolo, acting director for Botswana’s department of wildlife and national parks, told The Guardian. “The Covid-19 restrictions have not helped in the transportation of samples in the region and around the world. We’re now beginning to emerge from that and that is why we are now in a position to send the samples to other laboratories.”
Taolo said the government had confirmed 280 out of 350 reported deaths and is working to confirm the rest.
Local reports indicate that animals of all ages and sexes are dying, with some spotted wandering in circles, a sign of neurological damage. The cause is likely a poison or disease, but experts are not sure which.
More than 100 elephants died in October 2019 in a suspected anthrax outbreak, Phys.org reported, but McCann told BBC News he had tentatively ruled out anthrax as the cause of the most recent deaths. Cyanide poisoning used by poachers is another possibility, but scavengers are not dying after eating the carcasses, The Guardian pointed out.
“It is only elephants that are dying and nothing else,” McCann told BBC News. “If it was cyanide used by poachers, you would expect to see other deaths.”
Botswana hosts the world’s largest elephant population at more than 135,000 animals, about a third of all the elephants in Africa, Phys.org pointed out. The Okavango Delta, meanwhile, is home to 10 percent of Botswana’s total population, or around 15,000 animals. African elephants are considered vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. Botswana was considered one of the safest countries for elephants until recently, Science Alert pointed out. But the government made a controversial decision to lift its elephant hunting ban in May of 2019, and poaching is on the rise. An Elephants Without Borders study published in Current Biology last year found that new elephant carcasses in northern Botswana had increased by 593 percent between 2014 and 2018 and that at least 385 elephants had been poached between 2017 and 2018.
If you type in RW Commerford & Sons in Google Maps, it will take you to a small zoo in Connecticut. The park has a horrific rating of 1.5 stars and once you do a little digging it isn’t hard to see why. The zoo has been cited by the USDA for several animal welfare violations over the years and has earned the ire of animal rights advocates for its treatment of three elephants in their custody – Karen, Beulah, and Minnie.
At least they did have three elephants. Several outlets reported that two of their three pachyderms have died in less than a year. Now the infamous traveling circus just has one. Karen, died earlier this year and Beulah, the famous 54-year-old female which had been held captive by the Commerford family for more than 40 years passed away in September.
Beulah, without even knowing it, had been at the forefront of the fight for rights for elephants in the state of Connecticut where lawyers were working to earn her and other elephants’ legal personhood.
The elderly elephant died as she lived, a prisoner and a tool for the Commerford Zoo to line their pockets of money made by making her suffer. She collapsed at the Big E Fair in neighboring Massachusetts. Now Minnie is the last elephant at the Commerford Zoo and it is only a matter of time until she too passes away without ever knowing freedom.
The owners of the Commerford Zoo should be ashamed of themselves. Elephants are intelligent, sentient beings that have no business in zoos. Nor do other animals for that matter because captivity is cruel.
It’s time to stand up and say enough is enough. Sign the petition and demand that R.W. Commerford & Sons give Minnie a fighting chance at a happy life. Tell them to give her to a reputable animal sanctuary where she can be free.
Image copyright Getty Images Denmark-has-bought-four-elephants
Image caption The elephants are called Ramboline, Lara, Djunga and Jenny
The government in Denmark has bought four elephants from Danish circuses in order to give them a proper retirement.
The elephants, who are called Ramboline, Lara, Djunga and Jenny, are the last four circus elephants in the country.
The government is paying 11 million Danish krone – about £1.3 million – for the animals.
The Danish government is planning to introduce a total ban on wild animals in circuses later this year.
They also said they are not yet sure where the elephants will live but anyone who have a suitable space should make themselves known.
More elephants stories
Capturing baby African elephants for zoos and circuses is banned
Wild animals to be ‘banned from travelling circuses’
Nine reasons why we love elephants
Crisis in Africa: Elephants and ivory
Image copyright Getty Images The-Gartner’s-training-elephants-family-performs-during-the gala-of-the-43th-Monte-Carlo-International-Circus-Festival-in-Monaco
Image caption Elephants like these at the Monte Carlo International Circus Festival have been used as performers for hundreds of years, but it is becoming much less common as many more countries opt to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.
In May 2019, the UK government announced a new law to ban travelling circuses from using wild animals, with MP Michael Gove saying “Travelling circuses are no place for wild animals in the 21st Century.”
It was decided at a big wildlife conference in August that baby African elephants will no longer be taken from the wild in order to be sold to zoos and circuses.
Earlier this year, a circus in Germany became the first in the world to use holograms instead of real animals in its acts
To Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Governor Yuriko Koike, and all members of the Japanese government:
We call on you to close Japan’s domestic trade in ivory, end all ivory exports, and support efforts to ban the global ivory trade. As you prepare to welcome the world for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Japan must do all it can to create a lasting legacy and prevent elephants being driven to extinction.
The best type of ivory comes from the middle of the elephant’s tusk, where it’s firm and flawless. Poachers try to slaughter the largest elephant to get the most bang for their buck — often the matriarch, leaving her baby elephants left to fend for themselves.
How many of these majestic creatures must be slaughtered until our governments finally wise up and ban this sick trade?!
Avaaz has campaigned hard to shut down the ivory market in Hong Kong, and we won. China followed suit which was a HUGE victory for elephants. But there’s one major problem: Japan still allows a booming domestic ivory trade! Not only does this fuel illegal smuggling into neighbouring countries, it could also result in more poaching … and more orphan elephants.
Japan is hosting the Olympics in 2020, and they’re worried about negative press ahead of the Games! This is our chance to win them over — add your name now, and once enough join, Avaaz will launch a global media campaign to expose Japan’s bloody secret and shut down their market for good.
Joanna Davidson started this petition to Ranil Wickremesinghe
This is Tikiiri, a 70 year old ailing female. She is one of the 60 elephants who must work in the service of the Perahera Festival in Sri Lanka this year. Tikiri joins in the parade early every evening until late at night every night for ten consecutive nights, amidst the noise, the fireworks, and smoke. She walks many kilometers every night so that people will feel blessed during the ceremony. No one sees her bony body or her weakened condition, because of her costume. No one sees the tears in her eyes, injured by the bright lights that decorate her mask, no one sees her difficulty to step as her legs are short shackled while she walks.
For a ceremony, all have the right to belief as long as that belief does not disturb or harm another. How can we call this a blessing, or something holy, if we make other lives to suffer?
Today is World Elephant Day. We cannot bring a peaceful world to the elephant if we still think that this image is acceptable.
To love, to do no harm, to follow a path of kindness and compassion, this is the Way of Buddha. It is time to follow.
We could be the generation that lets elephants become extinct.
A shocking 20,000 elephants are killed every year for their ivory. Scientists and conservationists agree that at this rate, both African and Asian elephants will be extinct in the wild within our lifetime.
Even so, at the last IUCN World Conservation Congress, Canada was 1 of only 4 countries to oppose the closure of domestic ivory markets across the globe.
Ivory is so valuable on the black market that organized terrorism syndicates such as the Lord’s Resistance Army are committing mass slaughter using helicopters and AK-47 rifles. In 1980 Africa had more than 1.3 million elephants – today it has approximately 415,000. In less than 40 years, 70% of our elephants have disappeared.
In 1989, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) made it illegal to sell elephant ivory internationally. But each country makes its own laws regarding the sale of ivory within their borders. When domestic trade is allowed it permits illegal ivory (poached after 1989) to be sold along with legal ivory, because it’s difficult to differentiate between old and new ivory without extensive and costly testing. The only way to protect elephants from extinction is to ban ALL elephant ivory trade.
China is the largest consumer of ivory in the world. It shut down its domestic ivory trade at the end of 2017. If China can stop their domestic trade, why can’t Canada?
On March 1, 2018, the United States lifted the ban on the importation of elephant trophies. If the U.S. cannot protect elephants, there is even more onus on the rest of the world to do all we can to save this iconic species.
We feel new legislation can protect both elephants and the indigenous trade of narwhal and walrus. We ask the government of Canada to:
ban all domestic trade of elephant ivory; and
make the import, export and re-export of all elephant ivory illegal.
Let’s make Canada one of the many countries changing their laws to allow the survival of the world’s largest land mammal before it’s too late. Sign for an #IvoryFreeCanada.
The Ivory-Free Canada Coalition:
Elephanatics, Global March for Elephants and Rhinos-Toronto, World Elephant Day, Humane Society International-Canada and Jane Goodall Institute of Canada
Kathleen Martin started this petition to President Donald J. Trump and 3 others
The Trump administration wants to start issuing permits for elephant trophy hunting.
I have been to Africa and have seen first hand the impact of hunting elephants for ivory. Dead elephant carcasses left to rot with only the tusks taken is a sight no one should have to endure. A gross waste of life and resources for the environment and community. I cannot stand silent as this change is made.
Elephants are a majestic animal and are a protected species. To condone killing this animal for sport and importing the ivory and tusks into the US is a legacy I would prefer we not leave.
Please help me in sending a message that we will not sit idly by as these decisions are made. We will be proactive and use our voices to make it known we do not condone this and do not want a reversal of a ban that was put in place to protect this species.
Joann Burrows started this petition to Director of the Bronx Zoo James J. Breheny and 1 other
The Bronx Zoo has been given the shameful title of the 5th worst zoo for elephants in the country. The New York Times calls Happy the Bronx Zoo’s loneliest elephant. That’s because this highly intelligent and social being is one of the only zoo elephants in the entire United States who is being held alone. And it looks like her living conditions won’t change anytime soon unless we do something about it.
I am asking you, my fellow animal lovers, to encourage the Bronx Zoo Director James J. Breheny to release Happy to a sanctuary where she can be in a more natural setting and live the rest of her life in peace.
New standards regarding the keeping of elephants were recently passed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the accrediting organization for American wildlife institutions. Among their recommendations was that elephants be held in groups of three or more, as they are highly social creatures. Now, zoos around the country are scrambling to comply with the regulations by AZA’s 2016 deadline. Yet, the Bronx Zoo seems steadfast in its opinion that Happy is “happy” with her solitary life. This goes against all scientific data about elephant behavior.
Happy and 6 other elephant calves were captured in the wild from Thailand and brought to the States in 1977. For 25 years, she and her companion, Grumpy, were kept as a pair in the Bronx Zoo. When Grumpy passed away, she was paired with Sammy, who sadly died in 2006. It was then that the zoo decided to end its elephant program, but it didn’t relocate the elephants it currently had.
For 10 years, Happy has been in a sort of solitary confinement, unable to truly interact with the other elephants held at the zoo. This is a social being like a monkey or a dolphin. Elephants thrive in the company of their own kind, where they form multi-generational family groups that remain loyal to one another for life, and the elders pass wisdom down to the younger ones to help them navigate their world.
Happy is likely not at all happy. She has endured a decade of loneliness and deserves the chance to be with others of her kind in a sanctuary. Please join me in telling the Bronx Zoo to release Happy to a sanctuary and let her really have a chance at happiness.
Free Lammie the Elephant at Jo’burg Zoo
Blue Summer started this petition to Johannesburg City Council and 1 other
Lammie the elephant has been in captivity at the Johannesburg Zoo for the past 32 years. A male elephant named Kinkel who was Lammie’s companion died recently due to “unconfirmed causes”.
This is not the first tragedy that captive-born Lammie (or the other animals at the Johannesburg Zoo) have endured. Both her parents, Jumbo and Dolly, who were captured from the wild in the 1970’s, died at the Zoo within a year of each other. Lammie’s brother, who was also born at the zoo, died shortly after being sold to a French zoo.
While Lammie languishes alone since the death of Kinkel, elephant experts are calling for her release from Johannesburg Zoo to a sanctuary, saying the captive elephant’s overall well-being is being compromised. Worse, the Johannesburg Zoo has confirmed that they plan to acquire another cow to keep Lammie company, but animal welfare and elephant experts have objected, saying that the lone elephant should be released into a wild reserve where she can roam free and bond with a herd.
As sentient beings reliant on family bonds, elephants in captivity display behavioral abnormalities, suffer from diseases, disabilities and have notably shorter life spans. Due to high infant mortality rates, no or minimal conservation value has been ascribed to captive elephant breeding programs.
In addition, South Africa’s Elephant Norms and Standards prohibit the capture of elephants in the wild for permanent captivity. According to Dr. Gay Bradshaw, a trans-species psychologist who researches the effects of violence on elephants and other animals, the death of an individual has a large impact on the family and within the community. Furthermore, repeated losses in the absence of the traditional healing structures of the elephant family and culture cause sustained psychological trauma.
For 32 years, Lammie has been confined in a restrictive and very limited space. For 32 long years, the Johannesburg Zoo has profited from Lammie and her family and it is about time for the Zoo to set him free to enjoy the freedom that all other elephants or wild animals enjoy!
Image Credit: Abang Da Balik/Twitter
PETITION TARGET: Thai Ambassador to the U.S. Pisan Manawapat
Horrifying pictures have emerged of elephants brutally struck over and over again with sharp metal hooks on the island of Phuket in Thailand, blood dripping down their heads and their bodies covered in dozens of scars from old wounds. Mahouts, or elephant trainers, hit the poor elephants with razor-sharp tools to make them behave for human entertainment — the most popular form being riding elephants.
Add your voice to stop this senseless torture of elephants in Thailand.
There are currently 3,500 wild elephants and 4,500 domesticated elephants living in Thailand. World Animal Protection reports that of the 3,000 working elephants in Asia, 77% are treated inhumanely. This abuse ranges from being fed poor diets, kept near distressing loud places, and, when not working, being held in captive isolation with chains less than 10 feet long.
As reported by UNILAD, Dr. Patrapol Maneeorn, a wildlife veterinarian of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, claims that Thailand is working to improve, and eventually eradicate, elephant cruelty.
“What we are doing is collaborating with different organizations and sectors in Thailand to reduce and hopefully eliminate animal cruelty as much as possible.”
But we have a long way to go and no time left to wait. We must speak out to end elephant tourism now. Elephants are intelligent, social creatures who do not deserve to spend their lives being mercilessly beaten for entertainment.
Sign this petition to urge Ambassador Manawapat to end elephant tourism once and for all and spare these majestic creatures from a life of unrelenting pain.
by: Ashira P.
recipient: Honourable Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Honourable Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister intends on visiting “Kataragama” shrine venerating a local Hindu deity in south-east Sri Lanka. Kataragama shrine is a major pilgrimage area frequented by those of multiple faiths in Sri Lanka (predominantly the Hindu and Buddhist communities) and hosts an annual two-week long perahera (pageant) with parading elephants who are victims of the abusive captive elephant trade, where a vow has evidently been made to donate a baby elephant/tusker to the shrine.
This is purely a political move with baby elephant smugglers and politicians being part of an established “wildlife criminal network” in operation that has now been exposed and has served purely commercial purposes.
We, thus, request our Honourable Prime Minister to prevent donating any elephants for captivity to Kataragama or elsewhere, and to rise above the traps laid by the “wildlife criminal network” of elephant smugglers and their proponents. Instead, let us cherish, protect and nurture the wealth of flora and fauna which the island of Sri Lanka has been blessed with – for the benefit of future generations of all sentient beings!
In Defense of Animals has welcomed the recent announcement by Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia, South Carolina, that it will be closing its elephant exhibit.
In 2017, the facility was placed on In Defense of Animals’ annual list of the 10 Worst Zoos for Elephants In North America, following the death of two elephants within six months of each other. Petunia was euthanized at age 44 in December of 2016 after she was found in her exhibit unable to stand. A second elephant, 37-year-old Penny, died at the zoo in May 2017.
Two remaining elephants at Riverbanks Zoo, Belle and Robin, will be sent to a new location which has reportedly not yet been determined. In Defense of Animals is calling for the elephants to be retired to a sanctuary.
“We are overjoyed that Riverbanks Zoo and Garden has finally acknowledged that its elephant exhibit is not suitable for remaining elephants Belle and Robin,” Marilyn Kroplick M.D., President of In Defense of Animals, said in a statement. “When two relatively young elephants die within six months of each other, there is clearly a problem. Riverbanks Zoo is making the right decision to close its elephant exhibit, and we urge the Zoo to send Belle and Robin to an accredited sanctuary where they can enjoy peace, privacy and a more natural environment than zoos can provide.”
“This is a victory for elephants and for members of the public who have become aware that captive facilities are no place for wild animals,” stated Laura Bridgeman, Director of In Defense of Animals’ elephant campaign.
Lucy MiddletonSaturday 8 Jun 2019 9:08 am
Cruel elephant rides at a famous temple in Cambodia are now coming to an end.
The overworked group of 14 elephants will no longer be forced to work at Angkor Wat, where over 2.5 million international tourists visit each year.
They will be transferred to a conservation and breeding centre by early 2020, the The Angkor Elephant Group Committee confirmed.
In 2016, an elephant collapsed and died while ferrying two tourists to the monument, sparking international outrage at the practice.
Two years later, a petition to end elephant rides gained over 14,000 signatures in just 48 hours after another animal died from exhaustion.
Oan Kiry, director of the Angkor Elephant Group Committee, said: ‘In early 2020, our association plans to end the use of elephants to transport tourists.
‘They can still watch the elephants and take photos of them in our conservation and breeding centre. We want the elephants to live in as natural a manner as possible.’
Campaign group Moving Animals, who work to raise awareness of the cruelty behind elephant riding, have welcomed the move, calling it a ‘great relief’.
A spokesperson said: ‘The end of elephant rides at Angkor Wat is truly a watershed moment that shows the tide is turning against cruel wildlife tourism.
‘More and more tourists no longer want to pay to see animals in chains or captivity, and attractions where elephant riding continues, need to ban these rides if they are to stay in favour with tourists and animal lovers.’
There are still believed to be around 70 domesticated elephants in Cambodia, while experts believe there are around 500 in the wild.
This includes around 110 living in the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary and nearly 200 in the Cardamom Mountains.
The number of wild elephants in Cambodia and other countries in Southeast Asia has declined over the past due to illegal hunting, the destruction of habitats and conflict between the animals and people, studies suggest.
Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said: ‘The government is working with relevant organisations to formulate strategies to protect and preserve elephants in Cambodia for future generations.
‘To effectively protect natural forest habitats of elephants, law enforcement needed to be strengthened to tackle illegal wildlife hunting and the use of snares.’
He added that awareness among local farmers in protected forests needs to be raised as often they use chemicals on crops or harm elephants when they intrude on their farmland.
Nicole Rojas started this petition to President Mokgweetsi Masisi and 1 other
On September 3rd, 87 elephant carcasses were found near the Okavango Delta wildlife sanctuary in Botswana. This is an unprecedented massacre considering Botswana has been recognized as one of the formidable defenders and conservationists of wildlife in Africa.
Botswana is home to approximately 130,000 elephants. Due to its steadfast conservation, elephants from other countries were crossing the borders into Botswana for safety.
However, after the election of President Mokgweetsi Masisi in May of this year, anti-poaching units (APU) were removed from the country’s borders and the anti-poaching teams’ weapons were confiscated. If these APUs were present, this recent killing spree of elephants could have been thwarted successfully.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council in 2017, 74% of travel to Botswana was by tourists compared to business travel. Monies generated by tourists was 686.6 million USD or 7,119.6 million BWP (Botswana Pula) and this contributed to 26,000 jobs for 2017. The obvious reason tourists travel to Botswana is to see wildlife. If anti-poaching units are not restored, the number of wildlife will continue to dwindle and in effect lead to a loss of revenue and jobs, affecting the economy as a whole.
Each year approximately 35,000 elephants are killed in Africa. If their population continues to decline due to poaching, ecosystems will be affected. The presence of elephants in the delicate ecosystem is undeniably paramount in not only supporting other wildlife but for the people who live in Africa as well. Elephants in the wild aide in generating tourism dollars which fuels the economy that then helps to feed the hungry, finance education programs and enable health-care programs that save lives.
The wildlife presence in Botswana has an obvious overwhelming positive effect on human life. If we stand idly by, the loss of wildlife will have a negative effect in the quality of life for the people of Botswana.
PETITION TARGET: Thailand Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
In a ruthless display of cruelty, a hunter in Rayon, eastern Thailand, tied a one-month-old elephant up with rope and abandoned the helpless animal to die, slowly and excruciatingly.
By the time villagers found the baby, she was starving and could barely stand. The rope cut so deep into her ankle, the skin was dead and the bone exposed. She had gone days or more without a drop of her mother’s milk. Nobody knows how long she was left to suffer, terrified, alone and hungry.
Rescuers — who named the baby Baitong — cut off her foot in a desperate attempt to stop the infection, and tried every other measure to save the the weak, injured animal. Sadly, nothing could undo the damage, and Baitong died.
Such brutal treatment of an animal is unacceptable, and authorities must make it clear that committing acts of cruelty and murder against elephants will not be tolerated. Elephants are an endangered species that must be protected — and neither hunters nor anyone else should get away with such vile acts of abuse.
Sign this petition to urge officials of Thailand to investigate this case thoroughly and prosecute all parties involved in the torture and death of this beautiful baby elephant.
by: Care2 Team
recipient: Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm & Zoo
4,089 SUPPORTERS – 10,000 GOAL
South of Bangkok, hugging the Gulf of Thailand, is the province of Samut Prakan — home to the capital’s international airport, the ancient city of Muang Boran and sadly the Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm & Zoo. It is here that elephants are forced to perform daily to almost non-existent crowds. One of them, a female who is so skinny and malnourished we’ve nicknamed her “Bones.”
Bones caught the eye of the world when a video of her performing tricks to an empty stadium went public. First, she balances herself on two wooden tables before walking slowly over to another area where she precariously walks a “tightrope” made of two steel bars.
A wooden table nor metal rods should be able to withstand the weight of such an enormous animal, but Bones is so skinny the trick is much more easy to perform. In fact, if you look in the video, you can see her spine, pelvic bone and shoulders protruding from her skin. It’s a heartbreaking sight. And to think that she probably does this each and every day.
When confronted, a park spokesman assured that all of the park’s elephants were “good.” But one look at poor Bones and you know that isn’t the truth. She and the other elephants must be rescued from this park and given a new life in a proper elephant sanctuary. Asking anything less is to allow them to continue to suffer.
Please sign the petition and demand that the Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm & Zoo give Bones and the other elephants to a reputable sanctuary.
by: Care2 Team
recipient: Orissa state government and the Forest Department
34,530 SUPPORTERS – 35,000 GOAL
The Asian elephant, the second largest land animal in the world is undoubtedly a hearty beast. But as any conservationist knows, their size and stature don’t protect them from all dangers. We know they face the daily threat of poachers, who kill them for their tusks and skin to sell in the black market. But they also face additional dangers, ones that some could never predict.
That’s what happened to a family of elephants in near the town of Kamalanga, India. The herd of 15 was tragically cut in half after. The group was out searching for food when they came across a stream near a paddy field. As they walked through the area, seven of these beautiful animals came into contact with sagging 11-kilovolt power cables. Seven of the pachyderms were electrocuted instantly.
According to the Forest Department, it is the worst mass death of elephants in the area’s history. And what makes it worse is that the whole thing could have been avoided. The central power company, who managed the cables, had been warned several times about the dangers of the hanging power lines yet did nothing, and now seven endangered Asian elephants have died.
Apart from their excruciating death, elephants are known to mourn their dead, for a family of elephants that lost more than half of their pack, the pain must be terrible.
Officials say some people have been suspended and others are being investigated for their responsibility in this horrible accident. But the fact remains that the power lines in the area still pose a danger to other elephants who may happen upon more hanging cables or other risks.
The central power company, apart from being held responsible, must do a review of the entire area and ensure that the rest of the elephants in the area are not in danger because of their negligence.
Please sign the petition and demand that the Orissa state and the Forest Department force the power company to do an immediate review of their lines and take precautions so that an accident like this never happens again.Photo credit : CEN more
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