Did you know that elephants have the same kind of emotions as humans? Do you know what mankind has done to the biggest mammal on earth? If an elephant could talk what would he say?
“Hello, I am Aftand the Elephant. Help me because I find humans really puzzling. They are so much like us, yet they do not seem to realise this and if they took each other out at the rate they have killed us there would be a huge outcry.
As the largest land animals on the planet you would think we would just take over and destroy this little 2 legged species. We are more intelligent than your average man. We can communicate over long distances with our sub-sonic rumbles and our sensitive skin. Unlike many men, we are smart enough to honour the females in our herd. Matriarchs save us by guiding us, sometimes for many kilometres, to watering holes that they remember from long ago. So, an Elephant Coup is quite possible.
However, luckily, we feel emotions like joy, anger, grief, compassion and love. We love our families as much as humans do. When we sense that another herd is near we begin calling each other from kilometres away. As we draw closer we cry with joy. We run towards each other, screaming and trumpeting and we form an astounding loud, rumbling mass of flapping ears, clicked tusks and entwined trunks as we spin around, play and indulge in the joy of the reunion. Our greatest joy is when a baby elephant is born!
Humans could learn from the love between an elephant mother and her calf. The small calf walks under its mother to protect it from predators or hot sun. She never ever steps on it or trips over it. She bathes it and steers her calf by grasping its tail with her trunk. It is easy to see why the bond between mother and daughter lasts 50 years or more . unless man kills them.
Sometimes we kill people in accidental encounters because our living space is constantly invaded by the +/- 8 million humans sharing the planet with us. We can also kill out of rage. Way back in what you call 1870 five hundred of us roamed the forests around Knysna and thousands lived in the fynbos and grasslands. By 1968 The Wildlife Society of Southern Africa established that only 7 of us were left in the Knysna Forest and very few in the rest of Africa.
We remember and mourn all our loved ones many years after their death. Whenever we pass one of the places where a loved one died we smell and caress the bones of our beloved departed. It has been especially hard on our females who experience great despondency after the death of a calf.
Yes, we also feel terror, rage and stress. In the really bad years many youngsters would wake up screaming in the middle of the night after their families had been murdered by man.
Elephants are suffering from chronic stress after sustaining decades of killings and the ever-increasing human presence in traditional wild elephant habitats, loss of territory and resources and the effects of climate change.
There is a glimmer of hope in this sad story. Through a brilliant initiative called Eden to Addo some intelligent humans have created a Conservation Corridor. Instead of fencing us in and calling it a ‘park’ or ‘reserve’, the corridors promote biodiversity. Key ecological processes come into play once again. If you want to join in this special http://edentoaddo.co.za/hike-the-e2a-corridor/ hike you will experience our magnificent Corridor which starts in Knysna and links the mega reserves of The Garden Route National Park, Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site and Addo Elephant National Park.
We don’t want conflict with humans. We don’t want them to kill us and take our tusks. In our 350 kms of Corridor there is peace as we only see respectful people who hike through the corridor to raise money to sustain our freedom.”
Being clever people, Eden to Addo realise the positive impact of live theatre shows. They have taken the initiative and sponsored a https://lunchbox.org.za/ Lunchbox Theatre show about us and biodiversity. It is a happy story about the magic that happens when humans, animals and Mother Nature co-operate. Please schedule in the
https://lunchbox.org.za/great-eden-addo-adventure/ Great Eden to Addo Adventure for the next time you want to give joy to your offspring. You could even stage the show as a ‘fundraiser’ and use it to educate and spread the love! Check out https://lunchbox.org.za/https://lunchbox.org.za/.