The Asian elephant once roamed from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in western Asia as far east as China's Yangtze River. No longer. Now a highly endangered species, it has been eliminated from western Asia completely, from substantial parts of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, and almost entirely from China. Exceedingly adaptable in diet and behavior, elephants can survive anywhere from grasslands to rain forests, but they must migrate across large areas to find water and suitable food at different times of the year.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has filed a notice of appeal following a decision quashing a 20-year jail term imposed on businessman Feisal Ali Mohammed who had been convicted of possessing ivory valued at Sh44 million.
Through prosecutor Jami Yamina, the DPP said he was aggrieved and dissatisfied with the decision of Justice Dora Chepkwony who had termed the sentence imposed on Mr Mohammed as unconstitutional.
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.
As India celebrates the Ganpati festival which honors the elephant-headed god, Ganesha, it's a stark reminder that 15,000 Asian elephants, nearly one in three Asian elephants live in captivity. Without question elephants are highly intelligent, highly emotional, long-living animals that need the support of their herd to survive. When locals stole these poor creatures from their natural habitat, for labor or tourism, it raised a number of ethical and practical challenges for their future.
Last week, the carcass of a 40-year old elephant bull was found in Ngamiland, northern Botswana, partly covered with still green Mopane bushes and half of its skull hacked away by poachers to remove its tusks. The bull was killed during full moon two days earlier.