Friday, August 12, 2022

GARGANTUAN EFFORT

 

It's no secret that I have a great love of animals and Mother Earth over humans. I have long been a advocate for animals, and my soft spot is especially for that of elephants. I have no idea where my love for them came, except it's been there since my wee youth. If I could, I would sell all my earthly belongings to an elephant sanctuary, and then volunteer my time in loo of food and board to be able to work and be a caretaker at one. It's been a long dream of mine. I hope someday, to up and leave and head off to Kenya and do just that. But this is to raise awareness for World Elephant Day! Today is World Elephant Day, August 12th. The inaugural day was launched to bring attention to these highly intelligent, gargantuan, yet little babies, of the plight of Asian and African elephants. The elephant is loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, yet we are on the brink of seeing the last of this magnificent creature, like so many other species.

The escalation of greed, sport hunting, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are just some of the threats to both variety of elephants. Working toward better protection for wild elephants, improving enforcement policies to prevent the illegal poaching and trade of ivory, conserving habitats, better treatment of captive elephants and when appropriate, reintroducing captive elephants into natural, protected sanctuaries are the goals that numerous conservation organizations are focusing on around the world.

These creatures are highly social and do indeed have very long memories. Our dear and very generous Agnes Goldberg-DeWoofs two Christmases ago, gifted me with a membership, and a choice of elephant to adopt at the very important Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, in my name. It's my go too, and usually give a donation to them several times a year since. What a great organization.  It operates an orphan elephant rescue and wildlife rehabilitation program in Kenya and was founded in 1977 by Dame Daphne Sheldrick to honor her late husband David Sheldrick and to this day still run by their daughter Angela. They do amazing work and have rehabbed 100's of elephants, to be released back in the wild. It's a tight run organization, and I have learned a lot just by their Instagram and their live feeds which I never miss. Dame Daphne was the only person to finally perfect a milk recipe to be like that of mother elephants, that they could raise the baby calves on. Some elephants, once released, years later will drop by and still remember their human caretakers.

I've witness one of their elephants named Murera, who walked on a poisoned dart as a baby, beat the odds simply by surviving this grisly injury, let alone becoming the leader of her own elephant herd. But matriarchs don't let another walk alone. Murera knows her limitations. Her hind legs will always be compounded and cannot move as fast as the others. So every day, another matriarch named Lima Lima, acts as Murera's deputy, and will lead her and the herd in the approved direction, while Murera will not let another elephant go behind her, and bring up the rear with her caretaker.  It's humbling to see such teamwork.

This above is a very special family portrait. If you can believe it the rescued Icholta, left, one of my adoptive elephants was rescued last century. Over the last 24 years, she's faced a lot. After a near death poach gone wrong as a baby, she spent her infancy at the trust. Over the years she was taught how to become a wild elephant. Since then, she became a mother, and had Inca in 2016, and barley a day into 2022, she came back to the trust to show off her newest calf, Issy, the littlest one. It's so rare for a three-generation family to happen anymore. And it's nice to watch the family flourish. And these creatures never seem to forget their caretaker, even after years of not seeing them, just be scent!!!

 


So, on World Elephant Day, why not get educated on this wonderous species. Learn about them. Spread the awareness of the threat they face, and express your concern, share your knowledge and support solutions for the better care of captive and wild elephants. The Sheldrick Trust Instagram never ceases to amaze me daily, with laughter and sometime tears... and is a good example of an account doing some good and what social media should be here doing. And if your so inclined to go further, you can go to Support World Elephant Day to see ways and organizations doing good work and places to give, or I highly recommend donating to The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

I've never seen such a large creature that can be still so gentle.

36 comments:

  1. Awww...I love Elephants too. You're right - they are large and gentle, and they know how to work as a team.
    Sx

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  2. Such ginormous graceful animals, and, again, funny how animals seem to treat one another so kindly, and stepping up to help. Too bad people didn't get that memo.

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    1. Thats why I say I think animals are more intelligent than humans. They can also overlook differences.

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  3. Elephants are great. I'm surprised you didn't include this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyCnzimVZtE

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    1. I hadn't seen that before...but how funny!!!! Baby elephants certainly get wily.

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  4. Beautiful creatures, and a wonderful initiative. How awesome that Daphne found the perfect recipe for the milk!

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    1. Dame Daphne was an amazing person. I imagine it was a sad day in Kenya when she passed. I venture to say even the elephants felt it.

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  5. Thank you for this post! I had no idea. Now I have another "Noteworthy Date" folder and will do a post post-haste.

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    1. Thank you dear friend for doing a post also. Spread the word!

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  6. This warmed my heart but also made me sad. I abhor some humans who think everything is there for their benefit.
    Thank goodness for the good people.

    Elephants do seem to be gentle giants. I hope they continue to be cared for. Our world would be a poorer place without them.

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    1. I agree, And what many don't understand is the role they play in the eco system. Every creature plays a part and remove one, and it could throw the whole system out of whack.

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  7. Anonymous8/12/2022

    Tundra Bunny here.... Elephants are very intelligent, empathetic animals that form strong social bonds. I once watched a documentary about an elephant sanctuary in Africa where an individual handler-nurse is assigned to each orphaned baby elephant (they even sleep with the baby in its stall) until the baby is taken under the wing of a older female elephant to form new matriarch groups. One such matriarch group came across an elephant graveyard on their migration within the sanctuary and each living elephant caressed the bleached bones with their trunks before moving on. I think the old adage is true that elephants never forget!

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    1. Yes Tundra. I think I saw the same documentary. It was quite moving and sad to watch but also a neat moment. The Sheldrick Trust I donate to also does the same thing with their baby orphaned elephants. The caretakers are assigned a baby and even sleep with their orphan at night. Basically rise it till it is undertaken by a female elephant. Many of the care takers say, even years later, some of the grown-up babies, now adults return to see their care takers.

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  8. It's outrageous that intelligent animals like elephants and whales are still hunted, not to mention all the wild cats and others that the tiny brained Trumples kill on fun trips to Africa.

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    1. That's why I don't feel bad when I hear one of them trophy hunters is killed or accidentally shot with a gun or arrow. Throw them in the ground I say.

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  9. It's a shame the Republican Party uses these wonderful creatures as their Emblem

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    1. True Adam! What an insult for the majestic creature. They are the furthest thing from being anything like a noble, intelligent creature.

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  10. Such an informative post. I have a new appreciation for elephants. Murera's story touched my heart.

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  11. I LOVE elephants too. Your about one of the only places I saw anything on this topic today. I can see your pain and passion. This is the most beautiful post of the many things you post about. To see these magnificent beauties walking side by side with caretakers makes my heart lift because it is how I believe it was meant to be. Hopefully we won't be here one day talking about "Remember when there were elephants? " I did check out the Sheldrick Trust too so thank you for the link.

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    1. I hope I'm long dead before that unspeakable thing would happen. I couldn't imagine life without so many of these creatures.

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  12. It's great to read about such places. And you have moved me to make a donation to them. It's nice to see and read about at least some elephant triumph.

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    1. That is great! I know they will appreciate any donation.

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  13. I couldn't agree more. Such beautiful animals. The ugliest is usually the human.

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  14. Mistress, what a wonderful, poignant and meaningful post. It's nice to see some passion and heart for the animal kingdom. Elephants will always be a favorite of mine, with a close second of all other animals. Thank you so much for the beautiful post. And your passion. I know you will get your dream one day to help protect and work with them. I sent you an email also about the Sheldrick Trust for Elephant Day.

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    1. AGNES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are a dear heart!!!!! Thank you , thank you!!!!!!!!!

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  15. I love elephants too. Such amazing creatures, and so highly intelligent. I also started following their Instagram and it is amazing. I joined in time to see their live feed of the babies being let out of their nurseries for the day, with their caretakers. It was very interesting and neat to see. It was like being there. It was adorable the babies had on little blankets. I wonder why they have them on in Kenya?

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    1. Apparently, Empress, the Kenyan nights can get nippy so the baby elephants can get pneumonia easily. So after their nighty milk bottles, they get wrapped in their quilted blankets at night to keep them warm.

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  16. Adore. The Nebraska Zoo has two new babies and they're advertising to come see them... I adore the commercial - I see it when I visit my Mom and we watch Judge Judy. They are adorable. It makes me sad that they will never know true freedom, but at least they are safe. In many ways, human kind is the worst thing that has ever happened to this planet. Glad there are those who try to counteract all the destruction. Kizzes.

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  17. They are so beautiful. I don't understand why someone would want to hunt them for sport. Hunting for sport breaks my heart. I remember one story about a dentist who shot a tiger or lion for sport. It made national news. Heartbreaking.

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    1. Yes, I remember that story. I was infuriated over it. So it shouldn't surprise anyone, when I have not a feeling of sorrow or sadness when these hunters get killed by these animals or shot by accident. I wish a poacher would get stampeded by a herd of elephants.

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  18. My love for elephants is second only to my love for giraffes. They are beautiful, fascinating, and majestic creatures.

    Sassybear
    https://idleeyesandadormy.com/

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  19. You know Ogden Nash's silly little poem about elephants I trust?

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  20. I see blogger didn't post my Ogden Nash elephant poem :-(

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Go ahead darling, tell me something fabulous!