About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ganpathi Bappa Morya, Pudhachya Varshi Laukar ya

I have a lot of affinity for elephants. Since young, I have always liked elephants. Even when we bought our current residence with the big back garden, I told wifey that I would not mind having an elephant as a pet.

Imagine an elephant in your backyard.

An elephant sleeps about 16 minutes a day.

An elephant eats throughout the day because they have a very very high metabolic rate, where only a small percentage of what they eat is processed as nutrients and the rest comes out as wastage.

So, can you imagine the piles of wastage that will be in our backyard.

Elephants also speak to each other and about 80% of their speech is not discernible by the human ear. Surprisingly for their large size, they do speak quite softly.

In my house, you will see many many elephant statues. Not Ganpathi statues, but elephant statues. I have a few Ganpathi statues and respect Him tremendously.

But everywhere I go, if I see an elephant, I have to buy it.

I see an elephant in Maldives carved out of coconut, I have to get it.

In Italy, or India, or Vietnam, or South Africa, I have to get an elephant if I see it. Well, an elephant statue that is.

In South Africa, we went on 3 safari's and in each one, we saw elephants, loads and loads of them. Well, they always travel in a large group. Many times they were just barely feet away and it was really inspiring and awesome to watch these elephants.

I guess I really like animals so much so that when I was born, I was born with elephant ears. Well, at least most people especially my mom and wifey think that my elephant ears are adorable, just as the real elephants are.

So, I am really saddened when I see anything that is made of ivory.

Like old piano keys or a part of a gun or a carving, I just cannot bear to see and feel the suffering of an elephant.

So why do people still hunt elephants?

Elephants have mostly been hunted for their tusks, meat and skin. They have also been hunted as trophy.

The trade of ivory (tusks) during colonization of many countries in Africa and Asia led to decrease in Elephant numbers. In Asia, Elephants were also captured and domesticated for their own personal use such as transportation, and still are.

However, what most people forget is that Elephants were always hunted before colonization since local communities benefited from internal ivory trade and other uses of the animal. Colonization led to an unsustainable killing of elephants. African and Asian Elephants were both added to CITES (Conventional of International Trade of Endangered Species) where trade of any product was then banned.

In the last decade, the number of Elephants has increased dramatically in some parts of Africa that in some national parks, Elephants have reached their carrying capacity.

The greatest problems at the moment with Elephant-human interaction is that Elephants crop raid farms while the locals are not allowed to shoot the elephant. All they can do is just sit and watch it as it destroys their farms, their income and most likely their lives.

Conservation efforts have now understood (well at least most of them) this point and now take into account Local communities in their conservation approaches, including Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) landscape approach. CAMPFIRE was a success until Zimbabwe's government system fell apart. CAMPFIRE had a system in which an area would be left as a reserve and a surrounding area would be allowed for hunting. Local communities then let foreigners to come in and trophy hunt and then the money, which was something like USD5000 per animal, would be distributed in the community.

So to answer your questions in short, they get hunted illegally for animal products including tusks, meat, skin, and as well when they're crop raiding. They also get hunted as trophies in areas where they have been given permission. They also get hunted to sustain numbers in national parks.

As mentioned above, the Wildlife Conservation Society does make some efforts but yet there are openly sites like Bullet Safaris that are offering big game hunting.

I do not understand why people need to hunt these animals. I guess the karma will get to them as it has me. I have come to discover that quite some lifetimes ago, I used to hunt elephants and have killed many of them. Somehow, in this lifetime I have had the affinity with elephants and I always seek for their blessings and forgiveness without having known what I have done previously. For my previous misdeeds, I say, “I am sorry, Please forgive me, I love you and Thank you.”

I am sharing some of my wonderful pictures of elephants I had taken during my wonderful time in South Africa which until now has been the best ever vacation we have taken and this was in 2007. 2008 was unfortunately the worst holiday in Egypt. 2009 was some parts of Europe and that was pleasant and nice. 2010 was Maldives and Vietnam and that was nice too.

But 2007 by far has been the best. Check out more pics of my trip at Africa 2007. First is wifey art presented to our good friends in South Africa. They are all small as I did not want to take up too much space. Do go to my flickr link by clicking Africa 2007 for further details.

I am also sharing with you some pictures of dead hunted elephants for your awareness.

O lord father Ganesha, come again speedily. To all my brother and sister souls who have been elephants now and previously, the soul that is I would like to give you infinite love and gratitude and seek forgiveness for all humankind.

Take care and be well.


Sneha said...

Very heart touching Nil...may lord ganesha bless u and ur family with immense love and success..

Its very sad to see that people think mute animals as inferior but they forget to understand the fact that they are a soul who is also blessed by god and one day they have to go through this...

One Woman's Thoughts said...

thank you for your story on elephants. I have always liked them very much and have been fascinated by their families and gentle natures. I did get a chance to touch one before and was surprised at the "wiry hair" on it's body. I was so excited and afraid at the same time, he was so very big.
I have several brass elephants in my home.
It's so sad how human beings kill animals for selfish reasons.
I always believe in karma, somehow what you put out gets back to you tenfold.
I didn't like to see the pictures of the elephnats that were killed, but it is important to be exposed to the reality of such terrible acts so that we understand the severity of the otrosity.

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