Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Elephants Maimed @ Landmines; Killed For Ivory

                     The Elephant Song - Kamahl video: Jesper Linde

This Tragedy Is Not New
Two Songs To Remember
The Elephant Song -  Sung by Kamahl
Baby Elephant Walk - Composed Henry Mancini

David Attenborough, younger brother of actor Richard, is well known for his intimate and vast knowledge of animal and plant life. He has always been in the news and commented recently that elephants face extinction within 10 years if they are not protected from poachers and if the public stopped supporting conservation charities.
Tell me said the elephant
Tell me why this has to be
We have to run from man and hunter
Never safe and never free
                         David Attenborough, Marc Spits, Kamahl

The plight of these giants went as far back as 1975 when a former Malaysian singer Kamahl popularised, The Elephant Song (World Wildlife Fund anthem). Then recently in 2011 when Singapore was part of the international Elephant Parade, huge painted elephant sculptures were displayed and auctioned with proceeds going to the foundation. 

This event was created by Marc Spits and son Mike in 2006, after they witnessed an Asian baby elephant *Mosha fitted with a new prosthetic limb in Thailand. The calf lost its leg in a landmine accident.  The Elephant Parade highlighted the problem internationally.
For two days my grandson and I were chasing coloured elephants on parade all over Singapore, from the Botanic Gardens to Wheelock Place (above). It was meaningful fun.  Since smaller elephant replicas were sold at Orchard we bought the orange one (below) for less than S$50. 

So, David Attenborough is the overall caregiver, Marc Spits and his son made us aware of maimed elephants in Thailand and singer Kamahl highlighted the elephant problem with a song. As citizens of this world we try to do our part too, by buying an inexpensive replica, or if you can afford, a higher priced one.
Why am I writing this post with all seriousness? 

The Straits Times' article, Vanishing Giants (3 Sept. 2016 Pg A37), and other news media all over the world highlighted how **ivory poachers in Africa had international criminal gangs greased the trade with corruption and made law enforcement difficult.

Selling by the kilo, for more than the annual income of an African worker, the ivory is used in unproven medical treatments.  There are now about 350,000 elephants left in Africa, a population decline of at least 30 percent. 

400 tonnes of ivory was trafficked in 2013, representing the tusks of 50,000 elephants. The price of ivory in China, the largest market, has peaked from $6 a kilo in 1976 to $3,000 a kilo today. 

In fact there is a website by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust with a logo called: I Worry (sounding like ivory) that explains the elephant situation today. Researchers maintain that elephants cannot survive without stronger protection effort.  

                  Elephant killed, with tusk sawed off. Piles of ivory $$$.

From the 1st of September to the 10th, 2016, the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) congress will showcase Planet at the Crossroads @ Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, and discuss a range of international environmental issues that includes climate, oceans and wildlife trafficking. Funding for rangers and closing down ivory markets would be one of the issues.

Happy was the elephant
Happy was his jungle life
And then they came, the cruel hunters
With their rifle and their knives...
Please help the elephants and other wildlife.

An original article with information from Websites

Baby Elephant Walk by Henry Mancini. Video Ja Rnd.

*Mosha reminds me of Baby Elephant Walk (1961) by Henry Mancini, which won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement for the movie, Hatari.

                                Mosha with prosthetic leg.  Poachers stealing tusks.

Images: Personal Collection and Google.
                             You Tube Videos: Jesper Linde and Ja Rnd.


ML said...

Thanks. Previously I did buy ivory products - about 40 years ago. Now I won't even sit on an elephant.

People don't realise. They think that an elephant is big and strong, so the elephant can stand the pain.

The truth is, the bigger the elephant, the greater the pain.

ASIA ONE said...

The elephant's head had been hacked into with machetes so poachers could prise out its tusks to sell as ivory.

In 2013, illicit ivory trade may be the highest in at least 18 years, according to figures of seized ivory compiled by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), which limits trade in vulnerable animals.

Dr Tammie Matson, who has written three books on African wildlife, said there are only about 500,000 African elephants left, and about 30,000 are killed each year.

"If you do the calculations, that means the elephants will most likely be extinct within my lifetime," she said.

"Think about it - no more of them in the wild."

Written in 2014.

JCJB said...

It is really gruesome.

PYSP said...

Only politicians or NGO's or government agents who are like Duterte can put an end to all these...

Bruno Sarenson You tube said...

Hi yes I haven't heard it since my younger days. I was 18 - there are 100 elephants shot every day, hunted for ivory and other reasons, by primitive barbarians ...

We must stop it, be member of animal aid protection unions, etc. Humans must be stopped in their way of destruction of this wonderful planet.

From Denmark

Marc Hawker You Tube said...

People are still killing because they are selfish and arrogant. They do not understand that all living things have feelings, wants and need. Everyone of God's creatures have love in them. Until we realise this and that money is only paper, nothing will change.

Lupus1 said...

OLD but still POWERFUL! Still moves me deeply after 35 years! Music like this will never be made again! Due to rap and other modern s**t, people have lost their feelings where it comes to making REAL music!

Rebecca Griffith said...

Baby Elephant Walk

The low horns in the music really complement the subject!

HP said...

Yes, it's very gruesome.


A huge load of smuggled elephant ivory, estimated worth about $13 million, was pulverised and incinerated by Singapore authorities. The ivory crushed came from four seizures over 2014 and 2015. Also found were illegal wildlife parts, including 1,783 ivory tusks weighing about 4.6 tonnes and estimated to be worth about $8 million.

In 2015, nearly 7 tonnes of ivory tusks were seized and in 2014 and 2013, 1.08 and 1.8 tonnes.

WWF director Mr Kim Stengert commented that maximum jail term for import/ export of endangered species or parts was seven years in Malaysia, five in Indonesia, four in Thailand. Singapore's maximum jail term is two years.


EG said...

Good posting for a good cause.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks to Joey Koh for the SPH website reference and others for the personal comments.

Politicians should be involved, tougher laws and a culture to love animals among the young. GRUESOME is the word when readers saw the pictures under Google Images.

Hopefully the song, BABY ELEPHANT WALK will return as a reminder of earlier years when elephants were so much regarded not for its tusks but for its symbol of strength, size and rugged beauty.


Mr Robert Macfarlane, in his book 'Landmarks', about the connection between words and landscapes, tells a stunning story about recent editions of the Oxford Junior Dictionary dropping certain "nature words" its editors deemed less relevant to the lives of children. These included
"pasture" and

The terms introduced in their place,
"MP3 player" and

When the forests, oceans, ice melt, species extinctions, temperature, coral and elephants are all gone, no three-dimensional printer will be able to re-create them.

Dr Sylvia Earle: "We are at a crossroads. What we do right now or fail to do will determine the future - not just for us, but for all life on Earth."

Okay, so you don't care that your kids may never see an elephant in the wild, only in a zoo. That's not all. The species extinction rate is now about "1,000 times faster than before the global spread of humanity", explained the great biodiversity expert E. O. Wilson.

Read full and informative/interesting article by clicking connection above.

chakap chakap said...

Thomas L. Friedman has written the above article.

Thomas Loren Friedman (born 1953): American journalist and author, having won the Pulitzer Prize three times, currently writes a weekly column for The New York Times.

Mr. Friedman has written much on foreign affairs, global trade, the Middle East, globalization, and environmental issues.

Edited: from wiki

S. Go (Perth Australia) said...

The elephant post is a good read. Thought provoking and well researched. I know another elephant song which I sing to my grand kids,

"One elephant began to play
Up on a spider's web one day..."

It's on You Tube.

planet at the crossroads said...

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim // Coordinator, Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad.- “Nature is our food, our doctor, also our economy.”

Rita Schwarzeluehr-Sutter // German Parliamentary State Secretary - “We need to launch a century of forest restoration and conservation."

Porer Nombo // Local Government representative (Komiti) Papua New Guinea.- “Following the knowledge of the forest, our ancestors managed to survive. If we forget these things, where will be now?"