Life lessons from Elephants in the Wake of recent Elephant Controversy (4 Mins Read)
Some stories simply grab us. A pregnant elephant died in India apparently after eating some fruit containing a firecracker that exploded in her mouth. This prompted the authorities to initiate a criminal investigation into the suspected cruelty toward animals. The pregnant elephant was wandering on the outer perimeter of the local Silent Valley National Park in search of food when the incident occurred. It’s perhaps time to understand the big picture today and give Elephants their due respect in terms of space and freedom.
Habitat loss for elephants in India has been so extensive that elephants all over the country are wondering out in the agricultural fields for food leading to man-animal conflict for limited resources. These Marauding giants kill about 300 people every year as they march into villages in search of food with shrinking habitat and man. The mighty elephant needs about 150 kgs of food and 150 liters of water every day. It is quite possible that starvation and dehydration can quickly set in. There is a chorus of outrage in elephants for food and water.
Electrocution is the Number One cause of their death as Live wires are laid across elephant paths. Other causes include man-animal conflicts, train accidents, poaching (for elephant ivory), and poisoning. The Government of India has accorded the highest protection to Elephants under the Wildlife Protection Law along with taking many measures like ‘electronic tags’, dedicated elephant corridors, tunnels & underpasses, to give the inherent natural right to the elephants to live as a free, social animal, in the wild.
But above all, we as Humans need to respect the animals in the wild and only one thing that keeps the Indian elephants still protected is reverence in the heart of the villagers and society in large.
How does the well-being of elephants affect Nature?
Elephants came to this planet 2 billion years ago and are our Ecosystem Engineers. They have only two jobs — to eat and poo. As they move and feed and defecate, they disperse seeds far and wide. They wander across the forest 16–18 hours a day, they eat and then poo, and in the dung are the seeds. When they walk around they disperse seeds in their dung and these seeds become trees thereby turning forests into grasslands and grasslands Into forests. They are therefore the key to the genetic diversity of trees in forests.
Life Lessons from Elephants
Not only elephants are indispensable as their extinction means the complete collapse of the forest ecosystem, but also elephants can teach us simple lessons in life. Let us see how:
1. They Demonstrate Patience
The Elephant’s gestation period during pregnancy is approximately 22 months as opposed to humans. This requires patience as the graceful animal bear the child inside with serenity and moves along in life.
2. They Teach us Endurance
Elephants often walk many kilometers in the search for food and water and maraud in forests for 16–18 hours a day. This clearly demonstrates their endurance and strength.
3. They believe in Team Work & Family bonding
Elephants often are found moving in herds while searching for food and water displaying team work and bonding skills. They are known to develop strong, intimate bonds between friends and family members. The greatest thing about these family groups is that they’re not often actually biologically related because so many elephants are forced to be separated from their family due to various factors.
4. They show how Females can be the Boss and how Matriarchy Prevails
The Elephant group is ruled by an older female with a peaceful and less forceful approach. The elders are taken care of and the baby elephants are looked by the entire herd. This shows more Nurturing and Respect in their value ecosystem.
5. They Take Care of Nature by giving back
The elephants as they move, feed, and defecate, they disperse seeds far and wide. And in their dung are the seeds. When they walk around they disperse seeds in their dung and these seeds become trees. The elephant dung is a perfect fertilizer as it is rich in nutrients. The elephants thrive in nature and give back to nature. They care for nature by paying it back. What do we humans pay back to nature- deforestation, pollution? Time to reflect and give back what mighty nature deserves before it consumes us all.
6. They Sacrifice and Move On
Elephants have been tragically impacted by humans. The ivory trade and poaching over generations have devastated these beautiful animals. Much of the population has been affected by deforestation and overcrowding of people into their habitat. Yet elephants continue as they have, living in balance with nature the best they can. They teach us to observe the loss of species and to be aware of our own destiny.
7. They Enjoy Simple Pleasures in life
Elephants take great pleasure in playing around in water, marauding the fields, eating sugar canes and taking the naps. They take simple pleasures in life by enjoying little things that come their way.
8. The demonstrate “Elephantine Memory”
In the wild, an elephant’s memory is key to its survival and of the herd’s. Science has also proven that elephants have great memories. Elephants almost certainly know every member in their group, and exhibit cognitive abilities far in advance than other animals have been shown to have. Humans have taken up their habitat, domesticated them and there have been several incidences of cruelty by humans towards these animals as both are forced to come in close contact. But Elephants are still human’s best friend and coexist together. We as Humans should learn from Elephants- they never forget but they forgive!
Quick Fact Check: Taman Safari, Indonesia names the newborn Sumatran elephant as ‘COVID’
Originally published at https://theeasywisdom.com on June 7, 2020.