Investigate & Penalize the Ruthless Murderers of 8 Elephants in 3 weeks!!
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A call to investigate and penalize the perpetrators of a SENSELESS GENOCIDE OF ELEPHANTS underway in India! Between May 27th and June 15th at least eight elephants have been killed.
June 13, 2020: The latest victims are two elephants, including a tusker, whose tusks had been sawed off! Although the exact cause of their deaths will be revealed after the post mortem, poisoning and poaching is suspected! It happened in the Joda forest of the Keonjar district of Odisha. Apparently the elephants had strayed into the villages in the Gurubahi forest reserve where people have occupied the land.
June 12, 2020: An elephant calf was found dead in the Kuanrmunda forest range in Sundargarh district. The Kuanrmunda ranger and Kalunga forester have received a "show-cause notice" for allegedly suppressing the incident. Meanwhile, the criminals are still at large!!
June 10, 2020: Three young female elephants were poisoned to death in Chhatisgarh. One of them was about to give birth to a baby in just a couple of months. And a body of a third elephant was found in Rajpur, in North Chattisgarh
May 27, 2020: A pregnant elephant was killed as she meandered near a plantation near Palakkad, Kerala, after she consumed a coconut laden with illegal and dangerous explosives which exploded in her mouth. After suffering for 15 days, and standing inside a lake to cool off, her suffering finally ended - she died standing in the water!! Three weeks later, the plantation owners are still absconding, although, a worker was arrested as a scapegoat!!
THE IMPERATIVE TO PROTECT ELEPHANTS: Elephants are endangered and a keystone species. They are vital not only for the survival of forest ecosystems and other living beings, but also, for our own survival. They disperse seeds in their dung, and these seeds then become trees that in turn give us oxygen to breathe, necessary for our survival and take up CO2, purifying the air. They are THE only seed disperses that dump so much and disperse so many seeds over long distances. Most of these seeds are whole, because elephants mostly swallow, and seldom chew, unlike the cows that regurgitate and ruminate. If elephants are gone many trees will also disappear.
What's more, elephants are also climate mitigators because they trample the soft wooded trees, allowing sunlight and rain to penetrate into the woods. This allows hard wooded trees to thrive! And these trees absorb more carbon-di-oxide from the atmosphere, one of the pollutants exacerbating climate change. The demise of elephants would be a collasal loss for the forest ecosystems that will disintegrate and eventually collapse.
Aside from all these amazing benefits to so many species of our planet, and of course people, elephants are considered to be the EMBODIMENT OF LORD GANESH!! Is this how we treat India's cultural icon, and heritage animal that had been granted a Schedule 1 status, and declared an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)?
Additionally, India has stringent wildlife and animal welfare laws, as well as regulations for explosives, and materials used to make explosives. But sadly, they are not being enforced, nor even implemented!
The foundation of India's culture is AHIMSA, COMPASSION, and LOVE for ALL BEINGS!! Our DHARMA includes protecting all living beings, including humans and nonhumans. It's UTTERLY SHAMEFUL!! WHAT HAD THESE ELEPHANTS DONE TO DESERVE THIS?
We call for an URGENT INVESTIGATION into these ruthless murders and levy the most stringent penalty against the culprit. Hefty monetary fines - at least ONE CRORE RUPEES, and 10 year jail sentence!! This will send a strong message to the people and deter such future crimes!! We need to send a strong message before it's too late!!
Sangita Iyer (B.Sc., M.A., Environmental Education and Communication), Nature & Wildlife Journalist & Filmmaker, Founder, Voice for Asian Elephants Society
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