Tell India to stop allowing the torture and burning of elephants!

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The human-wildlife conflict in India has recently come to light for millions of people worldwide due to the disturbing image of a baby elephant set on fire, photographed by Biplab Hazra taken in Bankura district..

The photo shows a baby elephant, screaming while on fire, as it and an adult elephant run for their lives.The photo was taken in West Bengal, where human-elephant conflict is rife and it's disturbingly unclear as to what eventually happened to the two elephants after the photograph was taken.

An insert from an article written for BBC reads,

"A "crowd of jeering men" were flinging "flaming tar balls and crackers" at the two elephants when Biplab Hazra took the photograph. He recalls the calf screaming in "confusion" as it fled."For these smart, gentle, social animals who have roamed the subcontinent for centuries, hell is now and here," he added. Mainak Mazumder, who lives in Bankura, commented that villagers were responsible for "heavy habitat destruction" and that "elephants have been subjected to terrible abuses and tortures". "

Upon further research there have been countless documented incidents of extreme animal cruelty as well as many lost human lives, property and crop damage due to this conflict.

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Training citizens in the use of non harmful preventative measures so as not to aggravate the animals would greatly reduce the amount of conflict. Such preventative measures could include:

*Electric fencing- It has been proven to be a long-term deterrence against elephants. Some ways to reduce the cost of having such a fence include: A single live strand of electric fencing located 1.5 meters (4.9 ft) above the ground can be sufficient to deter elephants, while allowing other animals to come and go untouched. Use bush poles instead of metal stanchions to reduce the costs and when possible, solar panels to create the electricity.*

*Plant crops that elephants don't like- If growing crops to sell, crops of good value that elephants don't like include ginger, cocoa, sisal, tea, oil seed, and chili. If crops are grown for personal food, elephants cannot stand chili peppers and if they're liable to get a mouthful of chilis with the crop, they're more likely to avoid it. Other ways to use chilies to deter elephants include mixing chili pepper with old engine oil. Paint twine or string with this mixture and hang the twine around your field or garden. Collect elephant dung and pile chili peppers onto the dung and burn it. The pungent smoke will release chili pepper residue into the air (citizens should steer clear too) Tobacco can also work when ground up and mixed with engine oil and ground chili. Smear this concoction on ropes surrounding the food garden or crops. Tobacco dust from tobacco factories can also be used, even without chili.*

*Use strong flashlights, spotlights, or floodlights at night to deter night raids. Elephants are partial to feasting by night so if you can rig up a motion detecting spot or flood light, this can scare the elephants off.*

*Keep crops clustered together. Crops that form islands dotted here and there have proven to be more vulnerable to elephant raids than crops clustered closely together.Try planting crops or food gardens in large communal fields. Band with neighbors to grow large, square or rectangular fields with fences or hedges grown using thorny and spiny plants.*

*Adding beehives to the perimeters of  crops or food gardens. Elephants are afraid of bees and strategic placement of the beehives could help keep elephants at bay. Citizens can also harvest the honey and sell to generate income.*

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Humans and animals are both suffering in your country and a humane solution MUST be found and instituted IMMEDIATELY.

We urge you to address this horrible situation as a top priority and enact and enforce laws forbidding this sort of torturous behavior on innocent animals with severe punishment!

 

 



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