Merry Christmas G Living friends. I thought today would be a great day to just take a break from city life, and watch a special documentary about a unusual family of elephants. This is a special documentary about a family of orphan elephants and the people who love them. The documentary looks beneath the hides and into the hearts and thinking of a unique wilderness family. A family of elephants who have come together as a new herd from a collection of American Circus or Zoo elephants, or orphan survivors of culls carried out in overcrowded African reserves. Today, Botswana’s Okavango Delta is their home. Yet some of the animals endured decades of lonely exile in zoos and circuses on other continents before one man’s vision transported them here.
Wildlife biologist Randall Jay Moore first came to know trained African circus elephants thirty years ago near his home in Oregon. He successfully shipped a pair back to Africa and spent a year teaching them how to live on their own in the wild. Since then he has rescued African elephants from confinement all over the world and returned them to their native soil. Ages six to forty, his herd’s thirteen orphans and exiles have been given a near miraculous second chance to live and wander in the wild realm of their birthright.
While it should come as no surprise that the actions of humans have affected and endangered the large, land-based animals whose habitats we share, you might be surprised to learn that our behavior has brought about a serious elephant crackup. Unlike centuries before, where elephants and humans lived in peaceful coexistence, modern day elephants have been fighting back with hostility and violence — crying out for us to pay attention.
Most of us have only seen an elephant up close at the zoo, circus, or — if we’re lucky enough — on a safari vacation. We know them to be large, slow moving creatures, who appear friendly as they perform tricks or eat peanuts while we snap their picture with our digital cameras. But this simplistic view of these amazing creatures masks what a highly intelligent and complex species these mammals really are.
While these massive creatures for the most part, live peaceful co-existent lives with humans across vast stretches of wild lands in Africa, India and parts of Southeast Asia, this isn’t always true. Recently Elephants have been a little more upset than usual and have set out to destroy villages, crops and even killing humans. In addition, researchers have noticed a spike in the number of animal attacks against trainers and staff in zoos and other places of captivity. So much, in fact, that in the mid-1990s a new statistical category known as Human-Elephant Conflict (H.E.C.) was created to monitor the problem.
South Africa looks at their growing population of Elephants as giant rats who need to be controlled. This giant rat population has now been official marked for death and the shooting season is open for all the big game hunters out there. The good old times are back, right? How crazy is this? Can South Africa really be sliding back down the wrong side of history? They seem to be very short sighted when it comes to cleaning up their country and improving the lives of their human and animal populations.
Elephants live in very complex family groups. Killing family members at random is not only cruel, but destroys the natural learning and maturing process for the surviving members. When the oldest largest members are killed, they die with vast amount of knowledge, the younger generation needs, to survive. It’s even been shown in studies, younger elephants seem to go a little crazy from the anxiety of not being guided by senior members of the family.
In August, 2008, the government of Indonesia committed to more than doubling the size of Sumatra’s Tesso Nilo National Park, one of the last havens for endangered Sumatran elephants and critically endangered Sumatran tigers.
Tesso Nilo National Park was created in 2004 but only 94,000 acres of forest were included. The government of Indonesia will extend the national park into 213,000 acres by December 2008 and integrate an additional 47,000 acres into the national park management area of 250,000 acres.
Besides being a haven for elephants and tigers, Tesso Nilo, in Riau Province, has the highest lowland forest plant biodiversity known to science, with more than 4,000 plant species recorded so far and many species yet to be discovered. The province is under dramatically increasing threat from the pulp and paper industry, from the clearing of the forest to make room for palm oil plantations, and from illegal settlements. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
The former on air NBC reporter Dr. Bob Arnot has moved on to his own reality show he called Dr. Danger. I am not sure if I can get into that name, but the show seems to be doing well and is now in it’s second season on the Mojo HD Network. Dr. Arnot, travels the world looking for dangerous / adventures stories to tell.