To live or to die? Makuna, elephant in Nepal

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If things go as the local authorities in Sunsari District wish, the young male elephant in the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve will be put down. Over the course of the years he has killed several humans including most recently, a 28-year old man. The man's family and the villagers are furious and want the elephant to be executed. They argue that 'Makuna' has gone mad.

National wildlife conservationists claim that to kill Makuna would be not only unethical, but also totally wrong. There will for sure be more similar incidents between the local inhabitants and wild animals, and an hasty killing of the elephant would also set an ugly precedent, as well as harming the country’s wildlife conservation reputation. They are appealing for other measures to be taken into consideration first.

The government department responsible for National Parks and wildlife conservation is currently unwilling to give in to the pressure of the local people. It has mobilised a team of wildlife technicians to look into the matter and find out whether Makuna has really gone mad or not, and to immobilise him for some time.

What exactly happened? The Kathmandu Post reported on the incident in an article of 18 December 2020, mentioning that the elephant was in the 'musth' period, and would be roaming around to find a female for mating. Due to an increased level of testosterone, elephants are more aggressive during the musth period. "When these elephants are disturbed by humans, get irritated or sense that they are being attacked, they charge on humans in an act of defence", says Ashok Kumar Ram, Chief conservation officer at Khaptad National Park. He adds, that all of the previous incidents happened because the people were inside the core area of the park or tried to chase the animal away.

I contacted Ursela Rabe, an Animal communicator who lives in California, and asked her to connect with Makuna.

She wrote: "... I have communicated with Makuna telepathically and sent him an energy healing, and I can say with confidence that he is not“mad” as the villagers claim. I understand that he did not have the intention to kill someone, but that he felt threatened by this man who was trying to chase him away, waving a large stick at him and shouting. The musth elephant, who was already in an excited state, then went on the offensive. I am not putting the blame on the man, who was himself frightened; I am merely explaining the elephant’s irritation and consequent action. Killing Makuna is not a solution, because other cases are bound to follow. Better ways need to be found to manage the wildlife reserve, such as better fencing (naturally a gargantuan task), improving the elephant breeding centre, and having an early warning system for approaching elephants for the villagers. I know this is all very expensive, but there may well be help from international animal welfare organizations such as IFAW, once they are contacted for help. Another solution may be to have Makuna neutered, or for him to be transported to another accredited sanctuary which might be willing to take him - given improved circumstances for Makuna. I am appealing to the Nepalese Government to show 'ahimsa' (the Sanskrit term for non-violence) on behalf of the elephant Makuna (...), and to inspire the world."

In signing this petition, you are requesting that the Nepalese authorities:

  1.  Do not kill Makuna, but  respectfully and peacefully deal with him and strive for measures which will prevent similar incidents in the future. Workshops for the villagers and  informing them on how to behave, or how not to behave in an encounter with an elephant, might be helpful
  2. Extend financial compensation to the family of the man who was killed, or any other immediate support that might be needed.

Furthermore, you are expressing the general wish to the world to grant this other life form on our planet - wild animals and their habitat, as well as animals in general - the respect and appreciation they deserve.

“…And as adults, we must remember that we are living in a world borrowed from our children’s future. We are living in an extremely delicate phase of human development on our planet. And the future of the planet and all its inhabitants relies on what we do NOW, and on what choices we make NOW. Those choices can be informed by what the animals are telling us. If we are just willing to listen and hear. Perhaps the only real question for us humans is: How are we going to respond?“ (Anna Breytenbach, The Animal Communicator and Her Incredible Ability)

"…. Any efforts to improve human health are doomed unless they address the critical interface between humans and animals, and the existential threat of climate change that is making our earth less habitable…“.  Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a recent video message on the pandemic

Thank you!

The petition in German