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Nombre de messages : 1490
Date d'inscription : 24/09/2011

MessageSujet: ELEPHANTS   Lun 9 Juil - 10:51



One Giant Step for Elephantkind ..

..Written by PETA
Posted 08-20-2011
Elephant advocates are celebrating a new policy by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The policy requires that all AZA-accredited facilities prohibit staff and elephants from being in the same space, with some limited exceptions, by September 2014. This means that elephants in zoos will be protected from handlers (and the abusive instruments they wield) and vice versa.

There are two basic styles of managing captive elephants–‘protected contact’ and ‘free contact. With protected contact, there is always a barrier between handlers and elephants, which is not only more humane but also much safer for both species. In "free contact," the handler is always armed with a sharp, metal-tipped bullhook that they use at will to strike elephants, and elephants know what will happen when they see the bullhook coming. Although the new policy does not require full protected contact, as it has exceptions for things like required health and welfare procedures, it is a giant step in the right direction.

PETA has agitated for protected contact for more than a decade, back to the time when Sissy, an elephant at the El Paso Zoo, snapped under the pressure of captivity and attacked her handler. Allowing trainers armed with bullhooks to be in close proximity to captive elephants can go horribly wrong.


Over the past 20 years, captive elephants in the U.S. have killed 15 people and injured more than 135, often the result of rampages by elephants who have had one beating too many. No deaths and only one injury (from disregarded protocol) have occurred at zoos that use protected contact.
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Date d'inscription : 24/09/2011

MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Lun 9 Juil - 10:52

Elephant Fights Back ..

..Written by PETA
Posted 07-22-2010
Bullhooks are heavy batons with a sharp metal hook and point on the end. If someone routinely smacked you with one, wouldn't you eventually fight back? Video footage taken at the Toledo Zoo shows that a young elephant named Louie did just that: He charged his bullhook-wielding keeper, leaving him hospitalized with serious injuries. In the video, Louie is shown backing away when he sees keeper Don RedFox approaching him with a bullhook. Louie then turns around and charges at RedFox after RedFox jabs him with the implement.






The Toledo Zoo still uses the archaic free-contact elephant-handling system. In free contact, elephants are dominated and punished with force, and that puts keepers at constant risk. The zoo's use of the free-contact system has previously been discussed in Toledo. The zoo failed to act on a July 8, 2005, "Lucas County Commissioners Special Citizens Task Force for the Zoo Final Report" that confirmed that keepers have been injured under the current free-contact system. Now we are asking the zoo's board of directors to allow us to bring in a team of elephant experts who can train zoo staff to eliminate the use of bullhooks and transition to a protected-contact system, which more than half the accredited zoos in the country already use.

For the elephants' well-being and for the safety of zoo employees, please join us in asking the Toledo Zoo to eliminate cruel and outdated circus-style handling.
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Date d'inscription : 24/09/2011

MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Lun 9 Juil - 10:53

Zoo Fined in Fatal Elephant Attack ..

..Written by PETA
Posted 06-08-2011

ViNull/cc by 2.0


Tennessee officials agreed with PETA that the Knoxville Zoo should be penalized for allowing handlers to come into direct contact with elephants and has recommended $8,400 in fines in connection with the death of a handler earlier this year.

Since the attack, the zoo has switched to a safer and more humane method of managing captive elephants called "protected contact," in which barriers always separate elephants and handlers. Elephants handled through protected contact are never beaten with bullhooks.

It's time for all zoos to move to protected contact, before another elephant who has suffered one beating too many lashes out against the person holding the bullhook. If you live near a zoo that is still using pain, fear, and force to control elephants, such as the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.; Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida; and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in California, contact our Action Team for help with launching a campaign to put an end to it.


Written by Jennifer O'Connor
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MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Lun 9 Juil - 10:54

AUGUST 18 2011

Approved unanimously by the AZA Board of Directors 12 Aug 11
1
Maximizing Occupational Safety of Elephant Care Professionals
At AZA-accredited and AZA-certified Facilities
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) continually strives to advance the occupational safety of elephant care professionals1 as well as the care and welfare of elephants. Through a series of AZA actions over the past two decades, AZA has attempted to promote significant improvements in safety, care and welfare. Among other things, AZA has developed a Principles of Elephant Management training course and has adopted minimum Standards for Elephant Management and Care, which were made mandatory in 2001. These Principles and Standards have assisted AZA entities and organizations in developing sound practices regarding elephant care professionals.
In January 2011, the AZA Board of Directors initiated another review of the occupational safety of elephant care professionals. As part of this review, the AZA convened a special meeting in May 2011 of all directors of AZA facilities2 with elephants and their elephant managers to discuss occupational safety in elephant care and management. While every facility is as different as are their elephants, a number of factors emerged from this discussion that have and will continue to increase workplace safety and reduce occupational risk, including adherence to high standards, increased staff training, well-developed management communications and protocols, and frequent program evaluation.
Concurrent with this review, in March 2011, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Board of Directors adopted revised Accreditation Standards for Elephant Management and Care3. These are comprehensive, performance-based standards that were developed over several years.
The above-listed safety measures notwithstanding, preliminary information suggests that the amount of time (both frequency and duration) an elephant care professional spends with an elephant in the same unrestricted space increases occupational risk4. Therefore the Board of Directors is taking the following measures to maximize the safety of elephant care staff, while continuing to advance the care and welfare of elephants.
As soon as possible and no later than September 1, 2014, elephant care providers at AZA facilities with elephants shall not share the same unrestricted space with elephants, except for in certain, well-defined circumstances outlined in II.d below.
The Board recognizes that, in order to achieve the above-stated goal, a transition period will be necessary. This transition period is sequenced to encompass:

Additional work from the AZA Elephant Taxonomic Advisory Group (TAG) to support AZA facilities in safely managing elephants and providing advanced care and welfare;

Program safety assessments;

Immediate steps regarding the management of aggressive elephants;

Program planning and documentation;

Staff training; and

Facilities/infrastructure changes.
The Board:
I.
Tasks the AZA Elephant Taxonomic Advisory Group (TAG) with the following:
a.
By September 1, 2012, to provide guidance to institutions on elephant aggression in the form of a widely applicable scale/index, so that there is consistent understanding and implementation of item II.a. below;
b.
By September 1, 2012, to develop standardized methods and protocols for AZA facilities to
Approved unanimously by the AZA Board of Directors 12 Aug 11
2
maintain daily behavioral profiles/ethograms for each elephant and document all instances of aggression5 to be applied in item II.e. below;
c.
By September 1, 2012, to develop an appendix to this document that provides guidance and examples to AZA facilities making modification to their infrastructure to accommodate this change in policy (see item II.i. below).
d.
By September 1, 2012, to develop standardized methods and protocols for AZA facilities to report annually on:
1.
The circumstances in which elephant care professionals share unrestricted space with elephants versus when barriers and/or restraints are present (see item II.d.).
2.
The number of workplace injuries or fatalities, if any, that occurred in the care and management of elephants and the specific conditions under which each occured.
3.
The number of elephant births and mortalities and a description of the specific practices and protocols used during each event.
e.
By January 1, 2013, to develop standardized methods and protocols for AZA facilities to evaluate and maintain records of each elephant care professional’s safety-proficiency, in a manner that integrates their experience level with the specific behavioral profiles of the elephants in his/her care (to be applied in II.g. below).
f.
Convene a task force to research means of successful breeding, health care and welfare that will be increasingly effective with barriers in place between elephant care professionals and elephants.
II.
Directs all AZA facilities with elephants in their care to:
a.
As soon as possible, move any elephant that displays aggression (see item I.a. above) towards an elephant care provider(s) into management and care with barriers or restraints in place between that elephant and that care provider(s).
b.
By January 1, 2012, perform at least one of the semi-annual program safety assessments, as outlined in AZA Elephant Standard 1.4.9.5.
c.
By January 1, 2012, specifically address the facility’s elephant program in the risk management policy required in AZA Accreditation Standard 11.4.1.
d.
By September 1, 2012, amend their existing elephant management plans to include clear protocols for the frequency and duration when elephant care professionals and elephants may share the same unrestricted space6 for the specific purposes of required7 health and welfare procedures, transport, research, active breeding and calf management programs, and medical treatments and testing.
e.
By January 1, 2013, maintain daily behavioral profiles/ethograms for each elephant and document all instances of aggression.
f.
By January 1, 2013 provide a report (required annually) to the Accreditation Commission, the Elephant TAG, and the AZA staff that, for the previous year, defines:
1.
The circumstances under which elephant care professionals share unrestricted space with elephants versus when barriers and/or restraints are in place.
2.
The number of workplace injuries or fatalities, if any, that occurred in the care and management of elephants and the specific conditions under which each occurred.
3.
The number of elephant births and mortalities and a description of the specific practices and protocols used during each event.
g.
By June 1, 2013, evaluate and maintain records of each elephant care professional’s safety-proficiency, in a manner that integrates their experience level with the specific behavioral profiles of the elephants in his/her care.
h.
By September 1, 2013, train their elephant care professionals to manage and care for elephants with barriers and/or restraints in place that provide employee safety.
i.
By September 1, 2014, have put in place and implemented use of adequate infrastructure to manage and care for elephants with barriers and/or restraints in place that provide
Approved unanimously by the AZA Board of Directors 12 Aug 11
3
employee safety.
j.
By September 1, 2014, if a facility cannot meet the infrastructure standard (see item II.i. above), it must apply for a variance. Before the variance can be issued by the Accreditation Commission the facility must describe to the Commission its plan to meet the standard. No variances will be granted after January 1, 2016.
III.
Tasks the Professional Development Committee to:
a.
By September 1, 2012, update the Principles of Elephant Management-I course curriculum, which shall include mechanisms to:
1.
Manage and care for elephants with barriers and/or restraints in place.
2.
Minimize the frequency and duration elephant care professionals share unrestricted space with elephants subject to the exceptions outlined in item II.d. above.
3.
Develop and maintain detailed elephant behavioral profiles/ethograms.
All elephant care professionals8, managers and directors of AZA facilities with elephants will complete by November 2016.
b.
By September 1, 2013, create and deliver a series of online elephant training modules on subjects including: safety, elephant record keeping, behavioral profiling and developing and maintaining elephant ethograms, positive operant conditioning, assessment of elephant aggression, and assessment of personal safety-proficiency.
All elephant care professionals will complete by June 2014.
c.
By September 2013, create a facilities-based Principles of Elephant Management-II course curriculum, which includes experience with managing live elephants with the use of barriers and restraints and the application of advanced principles of elephant management, care, welfare, and occupational safety.
All elephant managers will complete by November 2016.
1 The term “elephant care professionals” includes all who provide for the care and welfare of elephants including veterinary care and other health care providers.
2 In this document the term “AZA facilities” refers to all AZA-accredited and AZA-certified Related Facilities.
3 References to “elephant standards” refer to “AZA Standards for Elephant Management and Care” as approved by the AZA Board of Directors in March 2011.
4 The Board understands that non-AZA entities and organizations may assess and address these risks in a different manner, and the policies adopted herein are only intended to be applied to AZA facilities.
5 This is an expansion of Elephant Standards: 2.2.1.9 (Daily and life stage variation in patterns of social affiliation, which requires that a behavioral profile must be maintained for each individual elephant and updated annually); 3.3.2.1 (Daily Care, which requires that all elephants must be visually inspected on a daily basis); and, 5.2 (Animal and Keeper Safety, which encourages that a record of all elephant-related keeper injuries or aggression directed at keepers should be kept, and related keeper injuries or aggression directed at keepers, and elephant behavioral profiles should be reviewed annually.).
6 This is an expansion of Elephant Standard 4.1.1 Training Methods.
7 The word “required” is intended, first, to allow for a degree of flexibility, recognizing the wide array of conditions that occur in managing animals and, second, to indicate that a decision to engage in any of the specific exceptions (i.e. in which elephant care professionals and elephants may share the same unrestricted space. See: II.d.) should involve more than a single individual and must be approved by the facility director.
8 Veterinary staff are encouraged but not required to complete this course. Elephant managers who have already completed PEM-I will not be required to re-take the course but will be required to complete the online elephant training modules outlined in III.b.
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Date d'inscription : 24/09/2011

MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Lun 9 Juil - 10:56

No More Hooking at the Knoxville Zoo ..

..Written by PETA
Posted 03-25-2011

Minarae/cc by 2.0


Great news out of Knoxville: The Knoxville Zoo has decided to permanently employ the protected contact (PC) system to manage the elephants there.

PETA has been urging the zoo to switch to PC, which involves using a barrier such as a metal screen, bars, or a restraint chute to separate elephants and handlers at all times. In PC, handlers don't hit elephants with bullhooks or keep them chained up. Elephants who don't cooperate are never beaten. PC is a far safer and more humane method of managing captive elephants.

If you're planning a summer road trip, please keep in mind that the National Zoo, Disney's Animal Kingdom, and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom still use bullhooks and chains on elephants—so keep on driving.
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Date d'inscription : 24/09/2011

MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Lun 9 Juil - 10:56

Death of Elephant Handler Was Avoidable ..

..Written by PETA
Posted 03-15-2011
PETA has asked officials with Tennessee's Division of Occupational Safety and Health to penalize the Knoxville Zoo for repeatedly allowing handlers to come into direct contact with the elephants there. Handler Stephanie James was crushed to death when an elephant named Edie pushed her into a bar in her enclosure in January.



sdixclifford/cc by 2.0


Despite a previous elephant attack at the zoo that resulted in injuries to at least two other handlers, the zoo refused to switch to the "protected contact" system of handling elephants—a much safer and more humane way of interacting with captive elephants. Protected contact, which is already being used by the majority of the accredited zoos in the country, involves the use of a barrier between elephants and handlers at all times. No bullhooks are used to punish and control elephants.

Zoos that have switched to protected contact report that the elephants' freedom to make choices about their lives has had a dramatic impact on the elephants' emotional well-being and reduces their aggression. The elephants are far more relaxed and content, and the system is far safer for zoo employees as well. The risk of human injury or death is nearly eliminated since there is little actual human-elephant contact.

After James' death, the Knoxville Zoo temporarily implemented protected contact. Let's hope that our call for action will prompt the zoo to make that change permanent.
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Masculin Nombre de messages : 19987
Date d'inscription : 17/05/2007

MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Sam 2 Fév - 2:12

february the 1st of 2013

Tell USDA: Adopt Stronger Tuberculosis Guidelines To
Safeguard Elephants And The Public

Please follow the instructions at the bottom of this page to
submit your comments by March 5, 2013

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=APHIS-2011-0079-0001

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced plans for increased precautions regarding tuberculosis (TB) in elephants, and is seeking public comment. Please urge the USDA to put the safety of the elephants and the public first, and to implement these changes without further delay.

In 2010, experts on animal and public health and disease control recommended that increased safety measures be incorporated into the USDA's Guidelines for the Control of Tuberculosis in Elephants. These guidelines are key to protecting elephants and the public from the spread of this deadly disease.

Special interests, especially circuses, have delayed the adoption of these increased precautions for two years, and will now do their best to prevent their implementation. Stronger guidelines addressing TB testing and the movement of affected elephants will limit the use of elephants for performances and for giving rides to the public.

It is estimated that more than 12% of the elephants in the United States are infected with TB, which is highly transmissible to humans and from one elephant to another. The stress of travel and performance increases an elephant's susceptibility to the disease, which is extremely difficult to detect.

Please send comments to the USDA, urging the agency to immediately adopt the 2010 Guidelines for the Control of Tuberculosis in Elephants.

You can submit your comments here. You need to complete only the "required fields" on the submission form. Personalized letters are always best, but if you don't have time, simply copy and paste the sample letter below into the comment field.

You can also send your comments by postal mail to:

Docket No. APHIS-2011-0079
Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD,
APHIS
Station 3A-03.8
4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

Sample letter: (you can copy-and-paste this into the USDA form, but personalized letters are even better)


To whom it may concern:

As a supporter of In Defense of Animals (IDA), I am gravely concerned about elephant welfare and public safety. I urge you to immediately adopt the proposed 2010 Guidelines for the Control of Tuberculosis in Elephants.

It's been more than two years since experts on animal and public health and disease control recommended that increased safety measures be incorporated into the guidelines. It is unconscionable to continue to allow special-interest groups including circuses to delay or halt the implementation of stronger measures to safeguard elephants and people from contracting and spreading this deadly disease.

As you are surely aware, it is estimated that more than 12% of the elephants in the U.S. are infected with TB, which is highly transmissible to humans, and from one elephant to another. Further, the stress of travel and performance increases an elephant's susceptibility to the disease, which is extremely difficult to detect. The USDA is charged with oversight of the welfare of exhibited animals, and these guidelines must be implemented without further delay in order for the agency to meet its mandate to protect them.

In Defense of Animals, located in San Rafael, Calif., is an international animal protection organization with more than 100,000 members and supporters dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals by protecting their rights and welfare. IDA's efforts include educational events, cruelty investigations, boycotts, grassroots activism, and hands-on rescue through our sanctuaries in Mississippi, Mumbai, India, and Cameroon, Africa.

In Defense of Animals is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We welcome your feedback and appreciate your donations. Please join today! All donations to IDA are tax-deductible.

In Defense of Animals
3010 Kerner, San Rafael, CA 94901
Tel. (415) 448-0048 Fax (415) 454-1031
idainfo@idausa.org
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Masculin Nombre de messages : 19987
Date d'inscription : 17/05/2007

MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Sam 2 Fév - 2:22

february 1st , 2013

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=APHIS-2011-0079-0001

tell USDA: Adopt Stronger Tuberculosis Guidelines To
Safeguard Elephants And The Public

Please follow the instructions at the bottom of this page to
submit your comments by March 5, 2013

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced plans for increased precautions regarding tuberculosis (TB) in elephants, and is seeking public comment. Please urge the USDA to put the safety of the elephants and the public first, and to implement these changes without further delay.

In 2010, experts on animal and public health and disease control recommended that increased safety measures be incorporated into the USDA's Guidelines for the Control of Tuberculosis in Elephants. These guidelines are key to protecting elephants and the public from the spread of this deadly disease.

Special interests, especially circuses, have delayed the adoption of these increased precautions for two years, and will now do their best to prevent their implementation. Stronger guidelines addressing TB testing and the movement of affected elephants will limit the use of elephants for performances and for giving rides to the public.

It is estimated that more than 12% of the elephants in the United States are infected with TB, which is highly transmissible to humans and from one elephant to another. The stress of travel and performance increases an elephant's susceptibility to the disease, which is extremely difficult to detect.

Please send comments to the USDA, urging the agency to immediately adopt the 2010 Guidelines for the Control of Tuberculosis in Elephants.

You can submit your comments here. You need to complete only the "required fields" on the submission form. Personalized letters are always best, but if you don't have time, simply copy and paste the sample letter below into the comment field.

You can also send your comments by postal mail to:

Docket No. APHIS-2011-0079
Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD,
APHIS
Station 3A-03.8
4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

Sample letter: (you can copy-and-paste this into the USDA form, but personalized letters are even better)


To whom it may concern:

As a supporter of In Defense of Animals (IDA), I am gravely concerned about elephant welfare and public safety. I urge you to immediately adopt the proposed 2010 Guidelines for the Control of Tuberculosis in Elephants.

It's been more than two years since experts on animal and public health and disease control recommended that increased safety measures be incorporated into the guidelines. It is unconscionable to continue to allow special-interest groups including circuses to delay or halt the implementation of stronger measures to safeguard elephants and people from contracting and spreading this deadly disease.

As you are surely aware, it is estimated that more than 12% of the elephants in the U.S. are infected with TB, which is highly transmissible to humans, and from one elephant to another. Further, the stress of travel and performance increases an elephant's susceptibility to the disease, which is extremely difficult to detect. The USDA is charged with oversight of the welfare of exhibited animals, and these guidelines must be implemented without further delay in order for the agency to meet its mandate to protect them.

In Defense of Animals, located in San Rafael, Calif., is an international animal protection organization with more than 100,000 members and supporters dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals by protecting their rights and welfare. IDA's efforts include educational events, cruelty investigations, boycotts, grassroots activism, and hands-on rescue through our sanctuaries in Mississippi, Mumbai, India, and Cameroon, Africa
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Masculin Nombre de messages : 19987
Date d'inscription : 17/05/2007

MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Ven 15 Fév - 2:03

February the 13th , 2013

Elephant Tania Needs Your Help

Tania is a 37-year-old elephant suffering a life of solitary confinement at the Targu-Mures Zoo in Romania, transferred from an Italian zoo in September. Although the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria requires that zoos house female elephants in groups, Tania continues to languish without the company of other elephants. This is cruel punishment for female elephants, who are profoundly social.

Tania was captured in the wild in the 1970s, likely prematurely separated from her mother and other family members. She was then sent to a zoo in France where she appears to have lived alone for more than 20 years. Observers note that since her arrival at Targu-Mures Zoo, Tania has been forced to live indoors in a tiny barren cell standing on concrete, often in her own urine and feces. The zoo industry reportedly claims that Tania does not get along with other elephants. Zoos often use this claim to justify housing solitary elephants when, in fact, it is the unnatural conditions at zoos that deprive elephants of their most basic needs - room to move and more natural social groupings. Tania also repeatedly rocks and sways, which is a coping mechanism indicating she is in psychological distress.

Please write a polite letter to the European Commissioner for the Environment, who is responsible for implementing and enforcing the EU Zoo Directive. Urge the Commissioner to investigate Tania's situation, and work toward raising standards to improve the lives of millions of zoo animals in the European Union.

Mr. Janez Potocnik, Commissioner for the Environment, European Commission
Environment DG, B-1049 Brussels, Belgium. Email: janez.potocnik@ec.europa.eu

Also, ask the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria to take immediate action to alleviate Tania's suffering and integrate her with other elephants.

EAZA Executive Office, Dr. Lesley Dickie, Executive Director, c/o Artis Zoo - Amsterdam, PO Box 20164, 1000 HD Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Email: lesley.dickie@eaza.net

Click here to view video of Tania at the Targu-Mures Zoo.
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Masculin Nombre de messages : 19987
Date d'inscription : 17/05/2007

MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Lun 22 Avr - 9:55

april 22 2013

http://www.causes.com/actions/1748234-alert-an-apology-to-elephants-powerful-hbo-documentary-22-april?utm_campaign=activity_mailer%2Fnew_activity&utm_medium=email&utm_source=causes&token=VqAX9S-_Gi0R6DRWyakk79Zv

Alert: An Apology to Elephants - powerful HBO documentary 22 April
Posted by Petter Granli (campaign founder)

Tell your friends about this
SHARE THIS NOTE
The powerful, thought-provoking HBO-documentary An Apology To Elephants debuts on Earth Day on HBO & HBO GO' in the US, Monday 22 April, 7:00-7:45 ET/PT. The film explores the beauty and intelligence of elephants, and tells the troubling story of their exploitation in captivity. An Apology to Elephants is a call for compassion and better treatment, and a plea to save what's left of the wild in our world.



ElephantVoices' Joyce Poole are among those presenting what elephants are about, and why they don't thrive in captivity. Perhaps you want to watch the trailer for An Apology to Elephants, read the synopsis or set a reminder? You should know that these pages may take quite a few seconds to load.

This is what The Hollywood Reporter wrote about the film - "A succinct, graceful argument to save an endangered species."

We're grateful if you share this mail with others.

Trumpets, Joyce and Petter
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Masculin Nombre de messages : 19987
Date d'inscription : 17/05/2007

MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Lun 22 Avr - 9:56

http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/an-apology-to-elephants
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Masculin Nombre de messages : 19987
Date d'inscription : 17/05/2007

MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Lun 22 Avr - 10:02

april 22nd 2013

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/an-apology-elephants-tv-review-441479


An Apology to Elephants: TV Review
1:34 PM PDT 4/17/2013 by Sheri Linden
0 12 0 0 0 Email Print Comments

The Bottom Line
A succinct, graceful argument to save an endangered species.
Airdate
7 p.m. Monday, April 22 (HBO)
Executive producers
Lily Tomlin, Jane Wagner
Narrator
Lily Tomlin
Lily Tomlin’s eloquent HBO doc is a kind of Pachyderms 101, informed by compassion, outrage and a sense of urgency.

Lily Tomlin lays her cards on the table at the very beginning of An Apology to Elephants, the HBO documentary she executive produced and narrates. “I love elephants,” she says over the poignant sequence that opens the film. Setting up the doc’s central argument, director Amy Schatz contrasts footage of showbiz elephants lumbering off a train at dawn with visuals of the beasts in their natural element, the African savanna. If there’s one thing the filmmakers want viewers to take away, it’s that elephants don’t belong in captivity.
OUR EDITOR RECOMMENDS

Guest Blogger and 'American Idol' Alum Allison Iraheta: 'The Judges Owe Haley An Apology'
Tomlin isn’t alone in her deep affection for the pachyderms. Their fans have had access over the years to a multitude of documentaries and books about them. For those familiar with any of those works, Apology offers nothing particularly new, and none of the astounding intimacy that makes nature docs so compelling. But the 40-minute film covers the basics — the matriarchal social structure, the intense and lifelong emotional ties, the appalling history of abuse — with energy and clarity, making for a concise overview and a convincing call to action.
The talking-head interviews, with people who have devoted much of their lives to the endangered mammal — among them wildlife researcher Cynthia Moss, conservationist Joyce Poole and veterinarian Mel Richardson — are as succinct and impassioned as the judicious narration, written by executive producer Jane Wagner.
Archival material is also effectively employed. It includes the film’s hardest-hitting element: footage of training routines at zoos and circuses that’s painful to watch. In order to learn how to entertain humans, the animals are tortured into submission with bullhooks and whips. The unspeakable mistreatment began in 1796, when a “specimen” was torn from its home and shipped to the U.S., the first of many elephants that would be put on display for an entrepreneur’s profit.
Inspired by the intelligent beasts' unique grace and nobility, humans broke their spirit. It’s a story not unlike King Kong’s, and with no less tragic an ending; though the elephants have survived the ordeal, it has denatured them. And they continue to be a money-making attraction, which is why zoos continue to breed them — a practice that one expert eyes with profound ambivalence.
Without specifically addressing the long-running controversy over the Los Angeles Zoo’s elephant exhibit, the film spotlights protests at such facilities. The Oakland Zoo gets a nod for exemplary improvements that give the animals more than 6 acres for roaming — not much compared to their African treks, but a vast improvement over the cramped quarters in which most captive elephants are forced to spend their lives.
According to former TV animal trainer Pat Derby, to whom the film is dedicated, “You can fix a zoo. You can’t fix a circus.” Derby, who died in February, co-founded the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), and Apology includes what must be some of the last footage of the spirited crusader at the rescue group’s elephant sanctuary in Northern California. (It airs just days after the Los Angeles City Council paid tribute to her.)
The images of hope and salvation are responses to the dire warning that runs through the documentary. But the sense of emergency remains. The film touches briefly on the flourishing ivory trade that makes tusks a hot commodity, noting that if African elephants continue to be poached at the current rate, they’ll be extinct in 10 years. Like much of what’s said in An Apology to Elephants, it’s a fundamental fact, plainly stated and brokenhearted.
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MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Lun 13 Mai - 16:05

MAY 12TH 2013

http://www.npr.org/2013/05/11/182951560/to-count-elephants-in-the-forest-look-down

With the number of elephants across Africa rapidly decreasing, it's important we know just how many are left so we can protect them.

Listen to this interesting 5 minute NPR radio clip about how scientists go about counting the elusive forest elephant.

Imagine you're flying in a two-seater plane over Africa, and, in an effort to see how elephants are faring, your job is to count all the ones you see. Over the savannah, that's easy. But how do you peer into the forests, where all you see is treetops?

For years, the zoologists who tried to do this just guessed. But in the late 1980s, conservationist Richard Barnes devised a method to take an elephant census in the densest of forests.

To do this, he recruited young scientists. Winnie Kiiru had just finished grad school in biology and returned to her native Kenya. She was told to tie a piece of twine around her waist and walk through the forest in a straight line, with the twine trailing behind.

"And you'd walk in a straight line. It didn't matter whether there was a river, a ravine, stinging nettles, buffalo, whatever. You just kept going," Kiiru says.

Just to the north and just to the south of her were other young scientists also trailing their twine through the brush, literally slicing the forest into samples. What Kiiru and the others were counting was not elephants — they move around a lot and tend to hide — but rather, a different kind of evidence: poop.

The poop serves as a kind of clock, a way of tracking the elephants in space and time. It allowed Barnes to build a model of elephants' numbers and movement through the forest.


13.7: Cosmos And Culture
When Animals Mourn: Seeing That Grief Is Not Uniquely Human

Africa
Poachers Decimate Tanzania's Elephant Herds

The Picture Show
Amazing Art From Ivory, But At An Extreme Expense
"You'd then ... figure out how old the dung pile was. So if it is completely fresh you'd give it an A. If it was slightly more decayed then you'd give it a B. You'd give it a C if you could actually see the dung beetles already — because dung beetles ... spread out the dung, so you'd see this one maybe has been there a little longer. So we graded the dung piles according to age," Kiiru says.

It wasn't only age but also other factors, like how much sunlight was there that could be making the dung decay faster or how much vegetation might be hiding other dung on the forest floor she couldn't see.

"It was so exciting because here were these huge animals — a lot of times you would walk through the forest, you didn't see them. You smelled them, but you didn't see them, and yet, you were so powerful you could actually count them or get a sense of how many they are," Kiiru says.

Think how exciting this was: Scientists since the time of Anton van Leeuwenhoek in the 17th century have been looking into lenses to gaze at microscopic organisms. And yet up until this moment near the end of the 20th century, something as proverbially unmissable as an elephant was for all intents and purposes invisible in its natural habitat.

"In the forest you don't see them," Kiiru says. But counting the poop, they weren't so invisible.

"You knew they were there. Sometimes the dung was steaming! You knew that the elephant that dropped that poop was not very far," she says.

Kiiru is no longer walking through the forest, but other young scientists are. And those surveys have found that just in the past decade, 62 percent of Africa's forest elephants have died. Kiiru is now a doctor of biology and director of the group Conservation Kenya, trying to save those that are left. But she still gets goose bumps remembering her days as poll-taker in the forest.

"Sometimes you are walking through these really thick forests and you know what? You step one step out, and you're in this beautiful gladelike Sound of Music type of thing, and you're like, you have to stop and dance," she says.


Dernière édition par végétalienne-13 le Lun 13 Mai - 16:10, édité 1 fois
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Date d'inscription : 17/05/2007

MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Lun 13 Mai - 16:07

MAY 13TH 2013

Ivory seizure:

Nigerian Customs Officials have seized over 21kg of ivory and arrested three people for trying to smuggle ivory out of the country's airport.

The ivory, concealed as bangles and beads were to be flown to China via South Africa before they were intercepted.

Customs nab 2 Chinese, Malian over illegal export of elephant tusks
Written by Shola Adekola - Lagos Monday, 13 May 2013 00:00 font size Print Email
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THE Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Murtala Muhammed International Airport command, has nabbed two Chinese and a Malian while attempting to smuggle over 21 kilogrammes of processed ivory and elephant tusks out of the country.

The tusks were concealed as hand bangles, hair attachment, building materials, beads and decorative samples through the cargo wing of the Lagos International Airport.

The items, which were packaged as courier in 176 separate packages, were to be flown to Monrovia, South Africa and China, before they were discovered and intercepted during a joint examination by customs officers at the cargo sheds of the airport.

All items and the suspects, according to the public relations officer of the airport command of the service, Mrs Thelma Williams, would be handed over to National Environmental Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA) for prosecution.

She said officers and men of the service would continue to carry out surveillance at airports nationwide, to foil attempt by people to take out of the country items on the prohibition list.

Williams said the arrest and handover of the suspects to the relevant agency of government followed a similar incident on March 4, 2012, when a Chinese, Miss Liang Zuliwho, was intercepted, also at the Lagos International Airport with some processed pieces of Elephant tusk.

She said between May 6 and 9 at the airport, during the outward clearance of passengers, a routine check of a courier package belonging to Courier Plus (T&T) and manifested as building materials revealed 12 bars of polished elephant tusks weighing 950 grammes and destined for China.

Similarly, another parcel presented for examination and manifested as decoration samples was, upon examination, discovered to contain 17 polished ivory of various shapes and sizes, also destined for China.
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Date d'inscription : 17/05/2007

MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Jeu 4 Juil - 13:06

14 de junio de 2013

YOU can make a difference - ACT NOW!
Posted by Petter Granli (founder)

In a couple of hours Hong Kong time (14th June) Joyce is having a lecture at the Royal Geographical Society. During her 10 day visit to Hong Kong and mainland China - to Shenzhen and Beijing - she will hold 4 lectures and several meetings. She will also talk with representatives of the Chinese media - all with the objective to spread the word about what is happening to Africa's elephants and promoting the need for superpower China to be part of the solution.

Please give elephants and Joyce moral support while she visits China! You can do so by downloading ready-made headings for your Facebook-page on the page linked. We will update ElephantVoices on FB with the same campaign-headings every day - feel free to save and share. http://links.causes.com/s/clK4bl?r=wFNM

Thanks - elephants need YOUR support more than ever!

Trumpets, Petter
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Date d'inscription : 17/05/2007

MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Dim 14 Juil - 17:22

july 14TH 2013

sign this petition

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/820/465/716/


Keep Elephant Abuse Out Of California's Nevada County Fair!
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Keep Elephant Abuse Out Of California's Nevada County Fair!

signatures: 113,003
deadline: ongoing
signature goal: 150,000
overview letter
Target: Nevada County Fairgrounds Board of Directors
Sponsored by: Care2.com
Elephants are majestic, intelligent and endangered animals who belong in the wild -- not at county fairs providing rides for people.

California's Nevada County Fairgrounds Board of Directors has contracted with Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT) -- a company that provides elephants for entertainment purposes. An undercover investigation by Animal Defenders International (ADI) of HTWT's Perris, CA location, showed elephants being repeatedly abused, jabbed with bull hooks and shocked with electric stun guns during routine handling and training.

Despite an outpouring of public outcry against HTWT and their abuse of elephants, the authorities insist on allowing these abused elephants to come to the Nevada County Fair. The reason they gave was that the people speaking up were not constituents of Nevada County or county fair patrons. We cannot allow the authorities to continue with this plan and HTWT should not profit from animal abuse!

Please sign this petition to urge the authorities to stop HTWT from transporting elephants to the Nevada County Fair. less
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MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Mar 23 Juil - 14:49

APRIL 5 , 2011


Why is Go Daddy killing elephants?

Many people post their vacation videos online, but most vacations don’t include killing elephants. Unless you’re Bob Parsons, CEO of web-hosting giant Go Daddy.
Parsons's vacation video shows him shooting a bull elephant in Zimbabwe who had wandered near a farmer's crops, and then posing victoriously with his victim. In the next scene, the villagers merrily butcher the animal to the soundtrack of AC/DC’s "Hell’s Bells" while weirdly sporting Go Daddy baseball caps.
Parsons isn’t just unapologetic about this gruesome event -- he called it "one of the most beneficial and rewarding things I do."
Elephants are considered a vulnerable species, and experts warn that these amazing animals could be extinct within 15 years due to poaching. It doesn’t help that high-profile trophy hunters like Parsons post self-congratulating videos of their kills online.
Thousands of Change.org members have called on Parsons to apologize and use his fortune to protect both elephants and farmers. Click here to add your name to the petition.
Several conservation organizations have found simple solutions to conflicts between elephants and farmers, such as warding off the animals with beehives or scaring away the elephants with light and noise. Crops are saved, and not a single elephant has to die.
Add your voice and tell Parsons to donate the thousands of dollars he spent on his deadly vacation to programs that help farmers without killing elephants:
http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-go-daddys-ceo-real-men-dont-kill-elephants?alert_id=sioKcupOQz_QiKCLJwrJG&me=aa

Thanks for taking action
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MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Mar 23 Juil - 14:50

APRIL 11 2011
Bulletin from the cause: Aboliamo il Palio di Siena e fermiamo i maltrattamenti sui cavalli / Stop the Palio di Siena
Go to Cause
Posted By: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
To: Members in 17 Causes
Elephants Need Your Voice Again
After witnessing the "Scummiest CEO of the Year," Bob Parsons of GoDaddy.com, boasting about shooting and killing an elephant, you took a stand and spoke out against cruelty.
Now, elephants need your voice again—this time, to save them from imprisonment and suffering at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Baby elephants are torn away from their mothers, kept in filthy conditions, and routinely beaten with bullhooks as part of their "training." These abused animals live under the constant threat of punishment and are forced to perform painful and uncomfortable tricks that have left many of them with life-threatening foot ailments and arthritis.
Please speak out today and urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture to rescue the ailing elephants from Ringling!
Sincerely,
Delcianna Winders
Director
Captive Animal Rescue and Enforcement

Call to Action
Spread the word. Every invitation counts:
Invite Friends
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MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Jeu 1 Aoû - 9:49

june 13TH 2013

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Man-Eating Elephant In India (VIDEO)

Maneating Elephant
The Huffington Post Joanna Zelman First Posted: 02/18/11 05:58 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:35 PM ET

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Animals , Television , Video , Elephant Eats Man , Elephant Eats People , Elephant Kills , Human-Eating Elephant , Man Eating Elephant , Man-Eating Elephant , People-Eating Elephant , World's Deadliest Towns , Green News
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After a rogue elephant killed 17 people in India, locals knew it had to be stopped. Once the animal was killed, DNA tests on the contents of its stomach revealed something even more terrifying: the elephant had consumed human flesh.

According to zoologist Dave Salmoni, humans are to blame for the herbivore's shocking behavior. In this clip from his new TV show, he claims this particular man-eating elephant lashed out in an act of revenge after her calf was killed.

Elephants have recently witnessed their homes destroyed to make room for crop fields. Raids have forced elephant herds to split up, and the animals can grow exhausted and increasingly stressed and in turn, aggressive.

Elephants aren't the only ones reacting aggressively to human imposition. ABC News reports that in one part of India, tigers killed 14 people from just one village last year. The Bengal species is being threatened by rising sea levels and hunters encroaching on their territory.

But when it comes to the elephants, Salmoni is clear on who's to blame, stating that the animals "are man-made monsters. It's us, not the elephants, who will decide what happens next."

"World's Deadliest Towns: Killer Elephants" debuts February 21st on Animal Planet.

WATCH the man-eating elephant story:


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Jeronimo Suarez Riera
3 Fans
07:02 PM on 03/17/2011
The journalist could at least walk or catch a bike instead of riding a motorbike. That was a ridiculous ending.
What happened after the elephant was killed? Was that just another patchy solution? Nothing was said about give the area back to the elephants.
Please, make complete news rather than super-effects! It's pathetic!
Jeronimo_Suarez_Riera: The journalist could at least walk or catch a bike
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Jeronimo_Suarez_Riera/maneating-elephant-featur_n_825345_81090125.html
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Pink birrd
86 Fans

05:28 PM on 03/08/2011
Poor elephant. I think there had to be some better solution than killing her.
I do not believe that she ate a person. That sounds like heresay baloney to me. I mean, were getting this info through folk-lore from India.
Pink_birrd: Poor elephant. I think there had to be some better
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Pink_birrd/maneating-elephant-featur_n_825345_79961583.html
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gotopcat
6 Fans
04:12 PM on 02/21/2011
Poor girl. Mankind again displaying his finest attributes...
gotopcat: Poor girl. Mankind again displaying his finest attributes...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/gotopcat/maneating-elephant-featur_n_825345_78152105.html
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Richard Tiedemann
1 Fans
01:22 PM on 02/21/2011
If one of our females was repeatedly chased from her home and source of food then had her baby killed by the cruel creatures causing this it would make sense that she turned her rage on the persecutors. Greed is the driving force behind the drive to exterminate any other living being that interferes with our desire for more and more.
Richard_Tiedemann: If one of our females was repeatedly chased from her
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Richard_Tiedemann/maneating-elephant-featur_n_825345_78125681.html
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Corn Holio
6 Fans

02:32 AM on 02/21/2011
Maybe Shiva the monkey in Oregon will take a note of this elephant's bravery and start her own revolution for the monkeys by eating Mr. Grove.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2011/02/20/health/20monkey.xml
Corn_Holio: Maybe Shiva the monkey in Oregon will take a note
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Corn_Holio/maneating-elephant-featur_n_825345_78084863.html
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yogandclimber
41 Fans
02:19 AM on 02/21/2011
if wild elephants were in the U.S. they would have been extinct a long time ago.
yogandclimber: if wild elephants were in the U.S. they would have
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/yogandclimber/maneating-elephant-featur_n_825345_78084445.html
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Meesterclean
167 Fans
03:45 AM on 02/21/2011
That is exactly what happened. Go to the La Brea Tar Pits.
Meesterclean: That is exactly what happened. Go to the La Brea
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Meesterclean/maneating-elephant-featur_n_825345_78086800.html
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yogandclimber
41 Fans
09:53 AM on 02/21/2011
Yeah there is no way in the US you'd have people trying to live and tolerate with elephants. They didn't want to kill this elephant because they understood why it was mad so they watched it for a while and it kept killing people. When it got to 17 people and started eating them then they decided to do it for safety.
yogandclimber: Yeah there is no way in the US you'd have
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/yogandclimber/maneating-elephant-featur_n_825345_78099762.html
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LUCABLEU
14 Fans
01:45 AM on 02/21/2011
Yay Elephant!
LUCABLEU: Yay Elephant!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/LUCABLEU/maneating-elephant-featur_n_825345_78083067.html
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Souldrifter
Newton's 3rd Law of Motion: Not just for physics.
105 Fans

12:38 AM on 02/21/2011
Good for the elephants. Maybe we humans will get the picture and stop believing we're the center of the universe.
Souldrifter: Good for the elephants. Maybe we humans will get the
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CuteAndVicious
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01:48 AM on 02/22/2011
Someone told me in Environmental class that we had every right to test on animals, because they can't talk. Also because we were "all created on the 6th day". Oh yes. She brought all of that mess up in there.
CuteAndVicious: Someone told me in Environmental class that we had every
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Souldrifter
Newton's 3rd Law of Motion: Not just for physics.
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03:52 AM on 02/22/2011
*facepalm* Really? Creationism in (what I assume to be, due to the wording of your post) a non-religion based school? *sigh*
Souldrifter: *facepalm* Really? Creationism in (what I assume to be, due
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Pink birrd
86 Fans

05:19 PM on 03/08/2011
That's disgusting. I can't stand it when semi-religious people act like they 'know' the Bible. If she really remembered anything she read out of that book, she should have remembered that it also said that we were supposed to be the caretakers of the animals. Some Bible thumpers take it as 'we can exploit animals for our own use' but I do not think that is what it means. I bet she thinks Capital punishment is okay too.
Pink_birrd: That's disgusting. I can't stand it when semi-religious people act
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HippieSlug
37 Fans

10:57 PM on 02/20/2011
Of course we had to kill the elephant, after screwing him up to begin with. Such an anthropocentric point of view, people feel they have the right to ruin the homes and lives of wild animals, and then wonder why peaceful animals like elephants become violent. Just because humans have "power" in societal/technological forms doesn't give us the right to feel superior to animals in any way. Humans have lost the inherent intelligence/connection with nature that every other living thing on this planet has.
HippieSlug: Of course we had to kill the elephant, after screwing
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thromulese
i have a scream
105 Fans
12:47 PM on 02/21/2011
Calling any animal a “jerk” is just so immature, and childish.

How old are you? Ten, eleven..
thromulese: Calling any animal a “jerk” is just so immature, and
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thereisonlyoneparty
more amazing than you
397 Fans

05:13 PM on 02/21/2011
It is an apt description for elephants.

They are intelligent and big enough to not be afraid of most other animals.

Elephants in reality are not like the ones you see in zoos or circi. They are big dangerous animals. And they know it and use their power.
thereisonlyoneparty: It is an apt description for elephants.<br><br>They are intelligent and
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Barbara Graham
Comin at u from Area 5150
292 Fans

04:48 PM on 02/20/2011
Well, I laughed at the Simpsons when Stampy the elephant ate Homer. Hah! Hah! Hah! I said, in my best imitation of Tom Cruise. Everybody knows elephants don't eat people!

Well, I can admit when I'm wrong. Let's hope we don't become a trendy snack for foodie pachyderms.
Human pate with banana, anyone?
Barbara_Graham: Well, I laughed at the Simpsons when Stampy the elephant
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peskime
Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel
774 Fans
03:16 PM on 02/20/2011
An elephant never forgets
peskime: An elephant never forgets
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Blackorpheus
the decisive blows are always struck left-handed
618 Fans
12:57 PM on 02/20/2011
Call me a Homo sapiens deserter, but I'm on the side of the elephants.
Blackorpheus: Call me a Homo sapiens deserter, but I'm on the
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pakaal
Pigs, in cages, on antibiotics
2245 Fans
02:34 PM on 02/20/2011
You'll never be called a "specist" with that kind of progressive attitude.
pakaal: You'll never be called a "specist" with that kind of
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/pakaal/maneating-elephant-featur_n_825345_78022619.html
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personal beliefs
Things never go according to plan, so plan accordi
147 Fans
10:49 AM on 02/21/2011
I agree, even the animal kingdom believes in an eye for an eye. I wish this view would be carried over into our species more. But consistency is hard to follow.
personal_beliefs: I agree, even the animal kingdom believes in an eye
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Master-T
433 Fans
12:35 PM on 02/20/2011
"According to zoologist Dave Salmoni, humans are to blame for the herbivore's shocking behavior. Elephants have recently witnessed their homes destroyed to make room for crop fields. Raids have forced elephant herds to split up, and the animals can grow exhausted and increasingly stressed and in turn, aggressive."

I couldn't agree more with that assessment. There's nothing I can even add to improve upon it, other than that elephants are incredibly social, emotional, and intelligent animals. Shame on humans for how we have treated them. Shame on anyone who poaches these - or any - animals. Shame on people for attending circuses and zoos. I don't blame the elephant at all for turning on people. Not one bit.
Master-T: "According to zoologist Dave Salmoni, humans are to blame for
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Bryan Rae
21 Fans
11:54 AM on 02/20/2011
its nelly pay back time
Bryan_Rae: its nelly pay back time
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saveallGOD'sAnimals
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Masculin Nombre de messages : 19987
Date d'inscription : 17/05/2007

MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Mer 28 Aoû - 14:04

25 AUGUST 2013

"The bull elephant had roamed our northern marches of the Laikipia plateau for decades. I always recognised him when he passed through the farm because his handsome 65-pound tusks had a distinctive curve and a thickness that showed his ivory might have grown much larger, had he lived. Instead, armed Pokot poachers ambushed him as he browsed with two other younger bulls one afternoon in the woodland at the top of our Pinguaan valley. They sprayed a burst of bullets at him and several rounds ripped into his lungs and guts. He was mortally wounded, but staggered away bleeding. The poachers chased him up and their aim would be to finish the job of killing, then use an axe to hack away half his skull to extract the tusks, which they would take off to sell to a Somali, who would sell to a Chinese man, who would smuggle the tusks to China."

Read the full article: http://www.spectator.co.uk/life/wild-life/8999441/killing-in-kenya-aidan-hartley-tracks-the-last-steps-of-an-elephant/

Killing in Kenya: Aidan Hartley tracks the last steps of an elephant
2 CommentsAidan Hartley 24 August 2013
KENYA-POACHING-ELEPHANTS


Laikipia

The bull elephant had roamed our northern marches of the Laikipia plateau for decades. I always recognised him when he passed through the farm because his handsome 65-pound tusks had a distinctive curve and a thickness that showed his ivory might have grown much larger, had he lived. Instead, armed Pokot poachers ambushed him as he browsed with two other younger bulls one afternoon in the woodland at the top of our Pinguaan valley. They sprayed a burst of bullets at him and several rounds ripped into his lungs and guts. He was mortally wounded, but staggered away bleeding. The poachers chased him up and their aim would be to finish the job of killing, then use an axe to hack away half his skull to extract the tusks, which they would take off to sell to a Somali, who would sell to a Chinese man, who would smuggle the tusks to China.

The poachers’ plan was spoiled when a courageous man who had heard the shooting arrived on the remote scene and engaged them in a brief exchange of gunfire. They ran away without their trophies. By this time the bull elephant was long gone. He bled profusely from the high-velocity bullet wounds that had torn his internal organs, but he died slowly, stumbling through bush, among rocks of our valley, sagging on his great legs as he struck out on to the high plains, separated from his younger askari bulls and the sight of the main herd of females, blinded by pain and falling and rising once more and then collapsing for the last time.

We could see the course of his last tragic journey in his tracks up to the point where his carcass lay. Within hours of his death the predators had converged and when we arrived the great cage of his chest was a door, out of which a lioness emerged caped with gore. Her young cubs were around her already stuffed with meat. When the lions were done hyenas, silver-backed jackals and vultures closed in, taking their turns to consume what they could of this great mountain of flesh. It was the only wonderful aspect of this terrible sight, to see the multitude of animals all feeding for a day. But the bull was simply too large to devour entirely. By the next day his corpse had bloated into a thing like a crashed zeppelin, with legs stuck out straight, his thick hide splashed white with droppings that ran down the cork-tree wrinkles of his flanks. Scavengers had gashed into his guts through the backside until they could eat no more, nor bear the stink of putrefaction that hung around this rotting balloon stuck in a puddle of faeces and chyme. It was over. As we drove away among the vultures, they were so replete they flapped off on their legs like drunks but could not get airborne.

The corpse was headless. Soon after the bull died, to prevent the poachers from coming at the dead of night to retrieve those tusks, the brave neighbour had hacked the skull off with a chainsaw, hooked it up with chains to the back of his tractor and towed the great thing back to his farmyard until the wildlife services arrived. The action of dragging the head along the rough ground had rubbed all the skin off but not the flesh. The head sat in the farmyard with the eyes still in their sockets, perfectly intact, and as I stood there the bull seemed alive as he looked at me, unblinking. I thought: ‘Was that eye fixed on his killers? Does he accuse me?’

We will lose all our elephants if this goes on. Poor men pull the trigger to feed their families. Our African governments are ineffectual or corrupt or both, allowing traders to operate almost with impunity. And the buyers are Chinese, millions of them, who believe ivory will bring them luck, and that removing tusks will not kill an elephant any more than sheering a fleece will cause the death of a sheep. Whatever we have been doing up to this point has failed. Celebrity conservationists in their donated safari vehicles have failed. Journalists like me have failed. I personally favour sport hunting as a way to conserve wildlife. I think poor people have to see a value in an animal, and they might set out to protect game if a monetary value is put on the head of an elephant, or a lion, or a rhino. I personally dislike the idea of killing an elephant or lion or rhino, but I am just interested in what works in conservation. In Kenya especially there are many people who will disagree with me, and overseas there are animal-rights activists who will foam at the mouth. It doesn’t matter. We have all failed and we need a fresh plan.

Tags: elephants, Laikipia, poachers
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MessageSujet: Re: ELEPHANTS   Aujourd'hui à 17:14

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