Graphic Video: California Towns Ban Bullhooks For Elephants

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 “Seriously, if you were caught using a bullhook, stick or broom etc. on a dog, cat or horse etc. whipping or poking it until it bleeds; I’m sure, you would be charged with animal abuse; & quite rightly so! These bullhooks are used to control elephants; via pain, just as various other weapons are used for the rest of the circus animals! Elephants may have thick skin, but did you know they can feel a fly land on them?? So how do you think a bullhook feels to an elephant when it’s used aggressively by an impatient trainer or handlers mucking out stalls etc. I bet it hurts like hell! Bullhooks are used to keep circus elephants in check, by tugging on sensitive parts of the elephant like their ear’s & gouging at their legs to make them perform unnatural tricks for the paying audience! Elephants were not made to entertain humans, which is why they are forced by the bullhook & electric prods (verified on undercover surveillance) to entertain! How else would one get an elephant to lift off front or rear feet, walk around a big ball with one foot on it, the other turning it, or how about getting them to do a handstand; using their trunks as a balancing aid? I’m pretty sure they don’t conform to words alone, or snacks! These elephants are performing stunts in such a way as they would never, in the wild; their bodies are simply not made to do balancing acts, it’s so unnatural for them to even consider doing tricks…but a bullhook used by a human, aimed at the right place, makes it much easier to get the job done, by causing pain. They’re not dogs who can learn a trick within half an hour using treats alone. Plus the tricks elephants are forced to do; adds injuries to their ailments later in life!!!bull hook

“Those that intentionally inflict pain & suffering & enjoy carrying out their sickening hold on animals, are not worthy of being called animal trainers or handlers etc.; they are good for one thing; picking up the mess after said animal has been to the toilet!! If they can yank an elephant round, how do the treat their family pets? They shouldn’t be or in the care of any animal; if they don’t mind whacking an elephant around its body, for simply getting a verbal command right!! Torture devices can be used right under the noses of the people, paying to watch the elephants or other animals at the circus; paying customers have no idea the animals are suffering; whilst performing ridiculous tricks! Innocent looking walking sticks can be used to enforce pain, yet they look totally harmless to the distanced crowd! However, they are anything but innocent, a simple walking stick can be turned into a torture device used on any animals whilst performing etc. Props like this can have spiked nails in one end that the trainers uses to control the animals! Those watching the performance wouldn’t be able to see nails in sticks etc…they are simply too far away; but it still looks so innocent to those watching!”

“To be honest I’m astounded that more elephants haven’t attacked, killed their trainers or gone on a rampage; like several have over the years, due to the constant abuse from humans carrying  bullhooks or other items, such as a walking cane, filled with spiked nails, that when touched, cause pain etc! Could it be that elephants who were caught in the wild, remember the heartache of being taken from family & the torture chamber called the Phajaan? I’m sure those that were caught wild will never ever forget the pain of being taken from its mother & family! But it’s the Phajaan, the poor little elephant will remember forever, because that was home where he was a victim to horrendous abuse! The Phajaan is where all wild caught small elephants are horrifically tortured daily; used for one reason other than a horror chamber…it breaks the spirit of the elephant!

 Once they are in the Phajaan they can’t turn or even lay down; heavy duty rope or chains cause terrible suffering & injuries! Each foot is tied down so tightly to stop them having any chance of hurting the people who are torturing them. Rope is tied around the neck & body so there is no way they can escape! Food & water is used as a training tool too (it still is being used today) the elephants get neither if they haven’t complied with the human commands being barked at them all day for weeks or months! The elephant will stay tied in the phajaan, being whipped, poked & prodded daily to the point of bleeding from  wounds!! It stops, only when & depending on how quickly the humans can break the little elephants spirit! That is what the phajaan is made for…to literally break the elephant down, both physically & mentally, until it has no fight left in it & the elephant starts to obey the human commands!! Captured young, these elephants have to be submissive before they can be trained for log work or to be sent somewhere to be trained as a circus elephant! Nobody will pay for an elephant if it will not obey human commands. The Phajaan is used as a medieval cage of wood & it succeeds in breaking the most hardened spirit of an elephant…over time the elephant just won’t be able to stand the beatings or go on without water or food; he must submit to stop the pain & he realises; he is now a slave to humans!”

“I have a theory about why most captured elephants try not to retaliate after a beating with a bullhook etc. They say elephants have fantastic memories…well perhaps it’s the thought of being taken back to that torture chamber, where the elephants endured terrible suffering & beatings…in the Phajaan; at the hands of humans!! The horror of that place must be tattooed in the memory of every elephant that suffered there. The elephants don’t understand they will never return to that horrible place if they don’t conform. The Phajaan & the humans, who mentally & physically broke them using such weapons like the bullhooks, will stay with the elephants forever! They may be in a different place, but it is still the humans who control them! Do the elephants even know their own power & strength against humans; probably not, because it was forced out of them in the Phajaan? They only know that humans are the leaders & with their torture tools, can still physically beat & hurt the elephants, if they don’t comply!!”

“Could fear alone stop the elephants from causing harm to their trainers or owners, after all, thats all the elephants know about humans; how much pain they can cause! When they are shipped off to do other work, where all elephants know of humans is they are to be feared & must be obeyed in order not to receive punishment, I wonder if the new elephant looks at the other elephants old wounds & realises; that they too came through the same cruel path!  So do they actually behave & perform out of fear? Fear of going back to the Phajaan perhaps ensures most elephants comply! What do you think?”

“Please watch the video below, to help understand what elephants endure through life. A circus elephant could have come through the same route; tortured & abused in the Phajaan, their spirits forever broken at the hands of humans!”

By Kristin J. Bender Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif.The circus will stop coming to Oakland in a few years after a tool used by elephant handlers was banned in the city.

The Oakland City Council earlier this week unanimously approved an ordinance outlawing bullhooks. The instrument resembles a fireplace poker, with a sharp hook on one end that is used by trainers to control the animals. 

Tom Rider, a former circus elephant trainer, shows a bullhook that is used by elephant trainers. The Oakland, Calif., City Council earlier this week unanimously approved an ordinance outlawing bullhooks, an instrument resembling a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end that is used by trainers to control the animals. Oakland is now the second city in California, after Los Angeles, to ban the use of a bullhooks. File photo

Oakland is now the second California city, after Los Angeles, to ban the use of a bullhooks. The circus will stop performing in Los Angeles in summer 2016. The Oakland ban takes effect in 2017.

“(That) will be the last time we will be in Oakland because we can’t perform without the elephants,” said Stephen Payne, spokesman for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

But the circus is still holding out hope about having future performances in Oakland. “We may see if the Oakland City Council wants to reconsider,” he said. Payne said the move is a loss for people who enjoy the circus. An estimated 30,000 people attended the Oakland circus over six days last summer, he said.

“Please Note Viewer Discretion advised! “Breaking the spirit of a young wild elephant” to be used to pull logs, work in the tourist industry or sold onto circuses”

“To Truly understand how an elephant’s spirit is broken & make them afraid of man…you really should watch this video”

Published on 8 Mar 2012

Here are the images of the training of wild elephants that are caught for the tourist trade. Please remind yourself and tell others that by visiting elephant camps you are supporting this!

The Oakland Zoo and animal rights activists supported the ordinance, saying bullhooks are cruel and inhumane. Other U.S. cities to ban bullhooks include Miami Beach, Florida.

Proponents say the tool is designed to give trainers dominance over elephants and does not hurt or harm the animal. “A lot of the information that was presented to the Oakland City Council by the proponents was designed to distort our animal care,” Payne said.

Oakland Zoo Chief Executive Officer Joel Parrott said the practice hearkens back to the turn of the 20th century and has no place in modern times.

“If I suggested using a bullhook on giraffes to get them through gates or to stab tigers to get them to do what I want them to do, everybody would react,” Parrott said. “The only reason it’s acceptable is we’ve grown used to it with the elephants.”

News Link:-http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20141219/business/141218357/

“Quote links below; read the & find out something you never knew about elephants”         

                                                                                                     The Sense of Touch

Despite its thickness, an elephant’s skin is very sensitive, to the point where it can feel a fly land on its back. Surprisingly, it is also sensitive to the sun, and baby elephants are even known to sunburn. The species’ notorious love for mud and baths helps alleviate both of these problems.

If you liked this article and the Bonus Facts below, you might also enjoy:

Bonus Elephant Facts

  • Elephants can be either “right-handed” or “left-handed,” and this is often shown by greater wear on one tusk as opposed to the other. Dogs and Cats are also often right or left “handed”.
  • Unlike the rhinoceros, whose horn is made of hair-like keratin, elephant tusks are actually overgrown incisors. Incredibly long, at least one-third of an elephant’s tusk is inside the animal’s head, outside of view. The outside, ivory part of the tusk is, like its other teeth, comprised of dentine surrounded by a layer of enamel. An elephant’s tusks never stop growing.
  • The heaviest tusks recorded weigh about 220 pounds per tusk, while the longest ever discovered were 11 feet long! Tusks today are generally much smaller due to the ivory trade and poaching keeping them from reaching such mammoth sizes.
  • In a rare example of unanimity, the whole world banned the trade in ivory in 1989 with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). In the decade preceding the agreement, more than half of Africa’s elephants had been killed in order to harvest the ivory, and today, poaching continues. In fact, in 2011, only a portion of the largest seizures collected found in excess of 50 thousand pounds of poached ivory. To combat this, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had proposed regulations in February 2014 that would have placed “a near-total ban on anything made with ivory moving in and out of the U.S.” However, the sweeping regulation had many concerned that it would inhibit the transportation of “old ivory,” such as that found in antique pieces of art and musical instruments. After a public outcry, particularly from concert musicians who often need to travel with their antique, ivory-fitted instruments to perform, FWS carved out an exception in May 2014.
  • Today there are somewhere between 400,000 and 600,000 African elephants remaining, and, unless things change, they are predicted to become locally extinct within 50 years

News Link with more interesting facts about elephants:http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/07/skin-african-elephant/

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GRAPHIC VIDEO: R.I.P… PAWS Says Goodbye To Beloved Asian Elephant Annie.‏

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It is with very heavy hearts that we at PAWS share news of the passing of our dear friend, Asian elephant Annie – best known for her joyous romps in the lake that is part of our Asian elephant habitat at the ARK 2000 sanctuary. She had endured severe arthritis and foot disease, which gradually worsened over many years. After it became clear that the medications and treatments used to treat her chronic conditions were no longer providing relief, she was humanely euthanized on Tuesday, while lying on soft soil and surrounded by those who cared for and loved her. At age 55, she was among the oldest Asian elephants in North America.

“Everyone at PAWS will miss Annie. She was a very special elephant,” said PAWS president Ed Stewart. “I’m proud we were able to give her a peaceful and more natural life at the PAWS sanctuary for nearly 20 years. We restored her dignity and gave her the care and respect she deserved.”

Annie was born in Assam, India, around 1960, and taken from her mother at a very early age for use in the zoo industry. She was immediately put on display in a zoo in Wisconsin, where she spent much of her life chained to a concrete floor.

In 1994, the nation was shocked by videos showing Annie and her companion Tammy being cruelly trained. While held by ropes and chains handlers “broke” the elephants, mercilessly beating them into submission. This was no undercover video; the zoo recorded the training session as instruction for other keepers. (This footage was included in the 2013 HBO documentary, “An Apology to Elephants,” narrated by actress and comedienne – and friend of PAWS – Lily Tomlin.) Under public pressure, the zoo opted to relocate the elephants to PAWS.

Annie arrived at PAWS in 1995, rescued from the Wisconsin zoo with Tammy, who passed away in 2003 at age 52 from chronic foot disease and arthritis – the leading causes of death for elephants in captivity. Despite their great intelligence and size, in captivity elephants are forced to live in small, barren enclosures that cause a multitude of physical and psychological harms. Their social, physical and psychological complexities may make them one of the most deprived of all captive wild animals.

Annie keeps cool in the lake, provided for all the animals; this is as free as any captive animal can be, pure heaven for all!

Annie’s life at the PAWS ARK 2000 sanctuary was far closer to what elephants naturally need. She had a sprawling habitat in which to roam, elephant companions, soft grass to lie down and nap on, and a lake in which she loved to bob, splash and swim. It was always a joy to see Annie enjoying her habitat – something we often shared with you on our Facebook page and on Youtube.

Over the years, Annie experienced a variety of health problems, including an injury caused by a bull elephant during forced mating. Her arthritis and foot problems had progressed, including a severe foot abscess. In 2012, Annie tested positive for tuberculosis, but never exhibited symptoms of the disease. Her general condition remained good, including normal appetite and weight, but Annie’s arthritis and foot disease ultimately made movement unbearably painful for her. Tuberculosis has been diagnosed in many elephants used for circuses and to give rides, and in zoos such as the Oregon Zoo and St. Louis Zoo.

It is a sad fact that by the time most elephants come to PAWS they are suffering the debilitating effects of a life spent in inadequate captive conditions. Annie was no exception. Had she remained in her native home, she likely would have been leading a full and enriched life today, surrounded by a family of her own.

“Our job at PAWS is to restore dignity to captive elephants and, for elephants like Annie and Tammy, give them a life free from beatings and chains,” explained Ed. “We did our best for them, and continue to make a significant difference in the lives of all the elephants and other wild animals under our care.”

As is customary for all elephants that pass away at PAWS, a necropsy is being performed on Annie’s remains by pathologists from U.C. Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and tissue samples sent to a laboratory.

PAWS thanks everyone who has ever cared about and supported Annie and helped give her – and all of the wild animals at PAWS – a life of dignity, serenity, and love. On behalf of Annie and everyone at PAWS, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts
“This next video shows pure brute strength by keepers to make Annie lay down. Watch closely & see how the bull hook is gouged into her skin to make her first lay down, then stand; Annie cries out in pain as she is manhandled, she could easily have harmed her trainers, but she didn’t. Now, listen very closely as the keepers talk about how to get her to lay down, near a diagram, around 5.29..(I can hear what sounds like an electrical shock prod) …I bet they were using it on Annie…vile acts of cruelty; just for the publics entertainment!! Annie must have thought she was in heaven when she was moved to PAWS; she finally had some freedom to behave like an elephant should, larking about in the lake & making friends with other free elephants,. I’m so grateful to PAWS for giving Annie her freedom & final home, her final resting place of peace, tranquility & compassion…God bless her soul!”

1989: Zoo training tape of Annie.

Warning: Contains graphic images that are hard to watch.

Uploaded on 5 Oct 2011

Asian elephant Annie, and her close companion Tamara, shared an elephant barn/enclosure at the Milwaukee Zoo until 1994, when videotaped recordings of cruel beatings and abusive training elicited public demands that the two elephants be sent to the PAWS sanctuary. Today Annie (Tamara died in 2002) spends her days roaming and grazing among the trees, swimming in the lake, dusting and mud-bathing before lying down to sleep on a sunny hillside.

The archaic management of elephants by zoos that have been using the Free Contact system, has been the focus of controversy between AZA and animal welfare organizations, as well as many zoo professionals who advocate the use of Protected Contact management, a safer and kinder approach to elephant management.

Free Contact allows elephant keepers and handlers to share the same space with the elephant while using the cruel weapon known as the bullhook, the ankus, or the “guide”, to control the animal and to protect the handler. This system has caused injury and death to keepers and considerable suffering to elephants. Protected Contact requires that keepers work with the animal behind barriers and eliminates the use of any weapon or punishment for the elephant. It is a system that ensures the safety of the keeper and the welfare and comfort of the elephant.

In August of this year, The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) board of directors has approved new standards that will maximize occupational safety of elephant care professionals at AZA-accredited and AZA-certified facilities. The recent release of this new policy by AZA is a giant first step toward maximizing the physical and psychological health of the elephants as well.

The Elephant Manager’s Association opposes these new standards. In a recent statement, EMA wrote: “It is the opinion of the EMA that evaluations and decisions of this sort are best made by elephant care professionals intimately involved in the program as opposed to policy makers that casually observe from a distance.”

PO Box 849
Galt, CA 95632
(209) 745-2606

www.pawsweb.org

 “TORTURE CHAMBER…JUST THINK ON, THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE AN ELEPHANT IN A CIRCUS OR EVEN A ZOO…THIS IS HOW THEY WERE FIRST SNATCHED FROM THEIR MOTHERS IN THE WILD; THEN TORTURED, SO THEY WOULD ACCEPT THE COMMANDS OF HUMANS; FOR THE SOUL PURPOSE OF ENTERTAINING HUMANS…HORRIFIC!!”

 VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED…BUT IF YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW ELEPHANTS SPIRITS ARE BROKEN SO HUMANS CAN USE THEM…PLEASE WATCH!!

Published on 8 Mar 2012

Here are the images of the training of wild elephants that are caught for the tourist trade. Please remind yourself and tell others that by visiting elephant camps you are supporting this!

Edwin Wiek of the WFFT and Khun Lek (Sangduan Chailert) of ENP are now targeted by the DNP for speaking up about the illegal wild elephant poaching and trade. This video shows what the DNP doesn’t want you to see or know about!

Graphic Image: This is beyond tragic! Please Sign Petiton

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“Sickening; how can anyone get pleasure from killing an innocent sentient creature? What horrific morals to be setting as parents!!”

African elephants are one of only two naturally surviving elephant species left in the world, and they are in danger of being poached to drastic levels to feed the ivory demand. While it is difficult for any one group to control the actions of poachers and government militias, it is likely that added security measures surrounding national parks could help to save these elephants. Urge the Garamba National Park Service and others in the region to tighten their security and stop poachers from killing elephants for their tusks.

EXPOSING THE ELEPHANT KILLERS. Please SHARE!

This family shot and killed this elephant as he was eating (you can still see the food in his mouth). Here is the link to the company that promotes this cruelty: http://www.africabig5.co.za/gallery/hunting-photo-gallery/ HERE >> is the contacts to the company that promotes this senseless killings… please contact them: 011-27-82-339-9235 Email: frikkiedt@wam.co.za How is it fun to shoot a rare species like elephants just because you can afford to? SHARE this and make them infamous!

PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION & PASS IT ON TO EVERYONE IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK…THIS HAS TO BE STOPPED!!

http://www.change.org/petitions/everyone-sign-this-petition-and-get-involved-this-is-beyond-tragic

Above Petition by GWEN

 

Ivory Trade Video: Suspected Poachers in Kenya Kill Two Wildlife Rangers

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July 19th –NAIROBI, KENYA — The Kenya Wildlife Service says two wildlife rangers were killed Thursday responding to dozens of suspected poachers in the Kipini Conservatory game reserve on Kenya’s coast. 

one-elephant-200x160

Officials say the suspected poachers were armed with AK-47 rifles and opened fire on several rangers who were responding to a poaching incident inside the reserve.

Kenyan Wildlife Service spokesman Paul Mbugua says the rangers were actually attacked twice and one of the two men killed was a commander. One poacher was also killed.

“Then after that particular incident the rangers made a tactical withdrawal and then later they moved in to collect the body of the fallen ranger, and as they moved in to collect the body, the poachers were lying in wait,” he said. “They actually set up an ambush, and the rangers together with the police they were fired at, and during that second incident, which occurred at five in the evening, one of our officers who was actually the officer commanding the team actually went down.”

Mbugua said poachers are getting bold and patient. He said that after the first shooting incident, poachers had to lie low for up to five hours, waiting for the rangers to come back, knowing eventually they will come to collect the body of their fallen ranger.

“They are extremely brave and this is what we have been communicating, and you can see they are very sophisticated. One particular poacher had 208 rounds on him, he had three magazines for his firearm and he had other rounds of ammunitions of course in his possession,” he said. “And that tells you that these guys are willing to go to any length to ensure that they get their way.”

According to a recent United Nations Environment Program study, the number of elephants illegally killed in Africa has doubled over the last decade, reaching 25,000 killed in 2012, while the ivory trade has tripled in size.

Experts say the poaching of African elephants is at an all-time high, raising the possibility that the species could become extinct this century.

Trade in ivory was made illegal in 1989. Demand for ivory remains high in Asia, however, where it is used for ornaments and traditional medicine.

News Link:http://www.voanews.com/content/suspected-poachers-in-kenya-kill-two-wildlife-rangers/1705521.html

Petitions to sign please, also in above menu:-

Petition to Save Africas Elephants Ban Thai Ivory Trade

Published on 13 Jan 2013

Every day in the savannas and forests of Africa, elephants are being gunned down for their ivory tusks. Across the continent, tens of thousands of these majestic animals are being slaughtered each year. In many places the species has already been poached to extinction. If we don’t act now there may be no wild elephants left.
Elephant poaching is being driven by demand for ivory carvings and trinkets in Asia where many consumers think “elephant teeth” simply fall out and re-grow without hurting the animal. The truth is that ivory comes from dead elephants.
In Thailand, elephants are revered as sacred. There is a saying that there would be no Thailand without the elephant. But Thailand is also the biggest unregulated market for ivory in the world. Although it is against the law to sell ivory from African elephants in Thailand, ivory from domestic Thai elephants can be sold legally. As a result, massive quantities of illegal African ivory are being laundered through Thai shops. 
To save Africa’s elephants it is essential that Thailand closes this legal loophole.

Join us in asking Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to ban all ivory trade in Thailand.
Representatives from 176 governments will be meeting in Bangkok March 3-14 to discuss global wildlife trade issues, including the elephant poaching crisis. While the eyes of the world are turned to Thailand, we want to present 1 million signatures to Mrs Sinawatra.

Sign the petition and tell the Thai Prime Minister to ban ivory trade and save Africa’s elephants!

“Dear Prime Minister Sinawatra, we are greatly concerned about the record levels of elephant poaching in Africa. Demand for illegal ivory products could drive the species to extinction in Africa, and Thailand’s elephants could be next. You can save them. We urge you to ban all ivory trade in Thailand to give elephants their best chance of survival.”
For more information:
http://www.wwf.or.th/killthetrade
http://www.panda.org/ban

Elephants really do grieve like us: They shed tears and even try to ‘bury’ their dead – a leading wildlife film-maker reveals how the animals are like us

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The pictures of a baby elephant in Borneo, nudging and nuzzling the body of its dead mother in obvious distress and bewilderment, cannot fail to move us.

Allegations that up to ten pygmy elephants were poisoned, perhaps by local farmers, are upsetting — perhaps because elephant emotions seem so like our own, so heartbreakingly close to human sorrow and grief.

Any scientist knows how dangerous it is to project human feelings on to an animal, to force them into human moulds or ‘anthropomorphise’ them, but it’s equally dangerous to ignore a wealth of scientific data based on decades of observation in the wild.

Heart-rendering: An African elephant mother mourns her calf, a victim of the three consecutive years of drought in East Africa

We may never know exactly what goes on inside the mind of an elephant, but it would be arrogant of us to assume we are the only species capable of feeling loss and grief.

I have been filming animals in the wild for more than 20 years, and that has often meant being around elephants: they live across a huge range of habitats. But mass poaching has put them into terrible declinearound 40,000 elephants a year are killed by poachers and, according to some estimates, since the Sixties the population has been culled from 3.5 million to just 250,000.

I am certain that the behaviour I have witnessed so often stems from real emotion. Understanding it is the biggest challenge for a wildlife cameraman. We have to get inside the heads of the animals, see how they are reacting and predict what they will do next, or we won’t get the shots we need.

Perhaps the most dramatic and emotional sequence happened in our current BBC1 series, Africa, narrated by David Attenborough. We filmed an elephant mother’s desperate attempts to keep her calf alive during the worst drought in 50 years in Kenya.

These animals were not dying of thirst: they were starving. Some volcanic springs were still flowing, so the animals could get water; what they couldn’t get were nutrients.

By that time, the drought was well into its second year and mother and baby were trying to survive on dry twigs. There was no hay in Kenya, there was a sense of utter helplessness, and we felt the most important thing was to document what was happening.

Cameraman Mark Deeble had been following the family for days. He saw that the mother stayed with her baby and felt she was distressed, trying to lift up the dead body and move it with her feet, before standing over the prone calf for about an hour, seeming to come to terms with the situation.

Whether you were actually there or watching events unfold on the screen, it was impossible to keep your emotions separate from what you were seeing. The mother’s bereavement transmitted itself so strongly.

In a more benign environment, an elephant might mourn for longer. I have heard of animals staying beside the bodies of dead friends for three days and nights, refusing to move.

This mother didn’t do that, possibly because she had been exposed to a lot of death around her. Fifteen thousand head of game died in that reserve during the drought. More than 400 elephants perished, including 60 per cent of all the matriarchs — a herd’s female leader. It was a terrible time for that population, and I think death had become familiar to them. You could draw a parallel with humans in wartime. The mother had to move on for her own survival.

We couldn’t save her baby, but we felt it was essential to put its death in context: Africa is infamous for its droughts and famines, and yet we very rarely see how seriously that affects its wildlife.

Scientists have observed extraordinary displays of emotion from elephants. When one tame animal called Abu died at a safari outfit in Botswana, his keepers brought the other elephants to say ‘goodbye’. One female, Cathy, was seen crying from both eyes, tears streaming down her face.

That doesn’t mean elephants know what death is. They can’t anticipate death in the way we can or imagine it as an abstract concept. Their grief is different: it’s simply about loss.

Dr Kate Evans, of the Elephants For Africa research foundation, has told me that on several occasions she has watched grieving elephants exhibit almost a sense of puzzlement.

They pick up, hold and examine bones, balancing a jawbone on their tusks or putting it in their mouths, as if they are saying to their dead friend: ‘Is that you?’ Perhaps the discredited myth of the elephant’s graveyard, a secret place where the animals supposedly went to die, had its origins in the fact that elephants interact with their dead.

Dr Evans has observed mourning among wild elephants that she knew well. On one occasion, a young bull came across three skulls. He ignored the first two, but paid particular attention to the third skull, from an elephant he had been friendly with. In Kate’s words, he seemed to know who the skull belonged to

Another time, a matriarch collapsed and died in the bush. Over the next three weeks, several lone males visited her body and spent time by her side.

Back in the Forties, George Adamson (the naturalist who, with his wife Joy, was the inspiration for the film Born Free) recalled how he once had to shoot a bull elephant from a herd that kept breaking into the government gardens of northern Kenya.

Adamson gave the elephant’s meat to the local Turkana tribesmen and then dragged the rest of the carcass half a mile away. That night, other elephants found the body, took the shoulderblade and leg bone, and returned the bones to the exact spot where the elephant was killed.

According to Charlie Mayhew, of the Tusk Trust, elephants will ‘bury’ their dead, covering carcasses with branches and even taking the tusks to be placed at a different spot. We cannot guess the precise meaning of that, but it’s clear that elephants are large-brained and social animals that live in complex groups. They recognise each other and, of course, they have marvellous memories.

When one animal dies, they will each need to assess how their social group has changed and how to re-evaluate themselves within this new hierarchy. The whole dynamic changes, and they need to know where they fit in within the crowd.

Those are not the only emotions they display. If you look at an elephant calf, chasing cattle egrets through the long grass, it is playing — it exhibits joy. In another episode of the Africa series, we showed a young bull elephant in ‘must’ or on heat — he was throwing his weight around, clearly in a heightened emotional state. We called it a ‘sexual fury’.

Elephants in zoos have reportedly shown symptoms of depression. The first African elephant to be taken to London Zoo, in the 1860s, was called Jumbo, and he posed problems for his keepers, who tried to keep him happy and amused.

For humans, the most complex and important emotion is love, and we describe it in a multitude of ways. The powerful bond between a mother elephant and her calf is an easy one for us to understand. But unlike humans, elephants don’t seem to have any notion of romantic love. You don’t get courting elephants — when they mate, it can be a pretty brief encounter.

Their society is a very female-based hierarchy, and the loyalty that a herd shows to a matriarch is intensely strong. They will follow her wherever she goes: perhaps that is a manifestation of love of a different sort.

Emotion requires communication, and the vocalisations of elephants are incredibly sophisticated.

They operate on some sound frequencies we can hear — trumpeting and grumbling — and others that we can’t. Much of their long-distance communication occurs through vibrations that are inaudible to us.

Low-frequency (or infrasonic) sounds are transmitted constantly, a deep rumble somewhere between  15-30 Hertz. The normal human range of hearing is between 20Hz and 20,000Hz.

These low frequencies can be sensed through the elephants’ trunks and even their feet, like vibrations on the skin of a drum.

They can talk to other elephants 50 miles away through the ground, communicating in ways that we are only just beginning to understand. It is possible that each elephant can recognise up to 100 other individuals by their infrasonic ‘voice’.

When we’re working with elephants, we can never let down our guard. I have been with populations that were utterly relaxed around humans; they just looked at us as being another kind of primate. Once, in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, on foot, I was part of a three-man camera team when we were surrounded by a herd of elephants.

That felt pretty scary — we were miles from our camp and could do nothing but crouch low beside a termite mound and keep murmuring, making small movements to show the animals that we were still alive. These were elephants very much in their natural state; they had never been hunted, and they were simply curious. In turn, three mothers brought their babies to show us to them. It appeared to be for their education — as if the mums were saying: ‘Come here, kids, and look at this!’

The babies approached us to within about five or six metres, wiggling their trunks and looking in all directions, and then they would suddenly lock on to us. We could hear these rumblings between mother and calf, as if they were discussing us. This happened three times within about ten minutes, before the matriarch led the herd away. That really was a magical experience.

When we’re on foot, especially in the forests of western Africa, we often have to use their trails. The only pathways are those made by elephants, so there is always a chance of an encounter. If one is coming head on, our only option is to get off the path: we have to rely on our guides because they know much more about the habits of those particular elephants than we do. And they will probably hear them coming a lot sooner.

You might imagine you could see an elephant coming a mile off, but it’s amazing how easy it is for an elephant to disappear. Give them a few small bushes and they can vanish completely. They are incredibly stealthy for their size.

Sadly, the impact of poaching is changing their behaviour. Some populations are becoming more aggressive because of it. Though I can’t prove it, I would readily accept that the elephant who wanted to shake our cameraman out of a tree was an animal who might have been hunted. All the others in the herd seemed relaxed, but this one was grumpy.

Why was that? Who can say how an individual elephant will respond to the loss of a close family member to poachers? All this feels particularly poignant as we examine in the next and last episode of Africa the future of the continent’s wildlife, and ask what the next few years hold for elephants.

Apart from the poaching crisis, elephants are coming into increasing conflict with farmers and expanding human populations. The incident in Borneo highlights that it’s not just an African problem.  One thing is certain: there will be many more dead elephants to mourn in the coming months.

News Linkhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2270977/Elephants-really-grieve-like-They-shed-tears-try-bury-dead–leading-wildlife-film-maker-reveals-animals-like-us.html#ixzz2JzKmOKP8
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A National Geographic Video: Explaining The Wild-Blood Ivory Trade

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“This is a follow on, from the previous post. I wanted to show the full extent of the ivory problem, to as many people as possible. I want people to fully understand the problems, faced by elephants, due to the high supply & demand of ivory. Then hopefully, after viewing the video, one might want to go back to the previous post & carry out the instructions or click the link at the bottom of this post, that will take you to the page. It’s only 3 steps. 1 send an email letter (the template & email addresses are included) 2. sign 2 petitions (links are there) 3. to simply share it with everyone you know; we all need to do our bit, to help save the elephants.”

“The National Geographic film is 45 minutes long…but well worth 45 minutes of anybody’s time. I have watched many videos on the subject, but believe this one  gives a very real & disturbing insight into all areas of the ivory trade. From the poachers to customs & excise, even the Chinese government! This racket is definitely very shady; undercover agents were told things that really puts this expensive trade; into perspective!”

“As previously stated in the prior post, the sixteenth Conference of the Parties (CoP16) in March 2013 is so important in stopping the ivory trade. The scientific community, global intelligence agencies and wildlife trafficking authorities warn that the African Elephant is on the precipice of extermination due to the unmitigated slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants each year.”

” One interesting fact pointed out in the film, is that some Chinese people, believe ivory comes from the elephants teeth, which they presume just grows back! Therefore, education is a big factor here, the Chinese government need to get their ass into gear & make the Chinese aware of what ivory really is & the despicable, heinous way, in which it is taken from the elephant, often leaving many baby elephants to die also!”

“One big problem, is something used by many Chinese people…ivory chopsticks! Now I know that their not all made of ivory, but do up market restaurants use them; if so  imagine how many chopsticks China gets through in week? How many elephants are killed just to support the demand for chopsticks??

Please note: Viewer Discretion is Advised (more so in the fist 10 minutes)

Help the elephants CITIES CoP 16 Link; everthing you need is included in this link :-http://www.elephantectivism.org/p/ivory-action-1-2-3.html

National Geographic:-Wild-Blood Ivory Smugglers

Published on 18 Jun 2012

National Geographic:-Wild-Blood Ivory Smugglers

Elephants Need Us – Countdown To CITIES CoP16: Please Follow The Instructions In This Post

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EMAIL ACTION1_SQHR

ACTION FOR FEBRUARY 2013

With 35,000 elephants a year being slaughtered for their tusks, the fate of the African Elephant hangs in the balance. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) prepares for the sixteenth Conference of the Parties (CoP16) in March 2013. The scientific community, global intelligence agencies and wildlife trafficking authorities warn that the African Elephant is on the precipice of extermination due to the unmitigated slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants each year.

Please click the link below to find out exactly what you need to do!!

It’s very easy & simple…everything you need is in the link below, including a pre-drafted letter; you just need to find the people to send it to from where you live, the email addresses are included for each country (just below the letter)

PLEASE HELP...sign share of FaceBook & Twitter. On March 16th WE MUST have an international ban on Ivory; before these magnificent & gentle giants leave this earth…via mans bloody hands!!!

FOLLOW THE LINK to Send 1 Email, Sign 2 Petitions, 3 Share the actions with all your friends:

Help the elephants CITIES CoP 16 Link; everthing you need is included in this link :-http://www.elephantectivism.org/p/ivory-action-1-2-3.html

Please Note – Viewer discretion is advised

Dying For Ivory

Published on 11 Apr 2012

The copyrights to the music and lyrics are reserved by the artist. We hold them in deep respect. Video created and produced by Elephant Advocacy. The images in this video are not the property of the producer, but belong to the photographers who have been credited for their beautiful work. This video was made as a contribution to the salvation of the African Elephant. It is only for non-profit educational purposes, without any intention of commercial advantage or private financial gain. There is no intention of copyright infringement. We offer our deepest gratitude to the organizations listed who work heroically on behalf of the African Elephant.

*WWF URL FOR PETITION IShttp://action.panda.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1773&ea.campaign.id=17713

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