The first ever Elephant Parade India is a resounding success with an outpouring of love and support from the public of Mumbai. There is now less than a week left to buy one of these exceptional pieces of art and raise funds for conservation in the process - online at Paddle8.com or by contacting the organisers.
The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee is busy planning a super-sized birthday celebration for one of their senior residents.
According to Kate Mason, communications coordinator for the sanctuary in Hohenwald, Shirley, an Asian elephant, will turn 70 years old on July 6. That is a remarkable milestone with the average lifespan of captive elephants being 42 years for Asians and 47 years for Africans.
Shirley would have an amazing life story to tell, if only she could talk.
Lek is known as “the elephant whisperer,” she began the Elephant Nature Park 20 years ago as a safe-haven for the majestic animals. Elephants in the area are so mistreated in the tourism, and logging industries in Thailand.
Elephants thrive at the rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary Lek created and works hard to maintain. Some come with dislocated hips, and scars from bull horns (hooks stabbed into an elephant’s ear by a trainer to teach tricks) and are free from a life of pain for the first time.
Elephants have lived peaceful lives around Kilimanjaro for centuries but the pathways they have used are disappearing as land is being farmed and farmers safeguard their land against the travelling herds. Without access, it is becoming harder for the elephants to reach safe ground in the dry season. Some of the traps can cause lethal harm to the wandering creatures. Some lucky ones are treated by bush vets but other injuries go unnoticed and can lead to death.
Elephants in captivity around the world face a life of isolation living within substandard facilities facing boredom, neglect and in some cases direct abuse at the hand of humans. Unfortunately it comes down to human greed and lack of understanding.
The only reason elephants are subjected to these lives of imprisonment is to entertain people; we are intrigued by the animal world and we want to be as close to it as we can, even if means the animal is destined to a life of suffering.