Monday, October 31, 2016

This Week's Elephant In The Room!

Halloween Celebrations At Wildlife SOS' Elephant Center.  Trick or Treats?! Guess it's only TREATS for them!
It's Halloween and our elephants couldn't be more excited because they find carved pumpkins in their enclosures! Watch how they gobble up the entire pumpkin in one go! In this frightfully fun compilation, Chanchal and Bijli love their Halloween treats — maybe just a bit too much (check the video to see what we're talking about). Laxmi decides that jackolanterns aren't so much holiday decor as main course, and Coconut will not be left out. This hilarious video features all of them and more of our most photogenic ele friends celebrating Halloween their own special way!
PHOTOS: Prince Harry Helps Rescue 500 Elephants From Poachers In Heart Of Africa
Prince Harry Helps Rescue 500 Elephants From Poachers. Prince Harry has released photographs and videos of him taking part in one of the world’s biggest conversation projects this summer, including shots of him spraying identification marks on a tranquilised animal.

The prince, who has often spoken of how he would like to walk away from his royal duties to live in Africa and work on such projects permanently, spent three weeks in Malawi over the summer where he worked alongside volunteers, vets and experts on the frontline of one of the largest and most significant elephant translocations.

One of the pictures was taken by the 32-year-old royal himself, and shows a volunteer trying to get a bull elephant to lie down.

In another Harry explains how he marked several of the young males so that they will be easily identifiable when released back into the bush. ‘The spray paint disappears after a few days,’ the prince explained.




A third shows Harry with a group of workers trying to ‘tip’ a young male elephant that was trying to fight the sedative drug and head for the trees.

Harry can also be seen hanging onto a rope for dear life as a powerful bull elephant tries to free itself.

The prince writes: ‘This big bull (male) elephant refused to lie down after it had been darted with a tranquiliser. After about seven minutes the drug began to take effect and the elephant became semi-comatose, but it continued to shuffle for a while! They have a tendency to hone in on forest, rivers and people when in this state. Here we are trying to slow him down!’

Up to 500 elephants are being moved over 350 kilometres across Malawi from Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, where the elephants will be able to thrive.

In a statement Harry said: ‘Elephants simply can’t roam freely like they used to, without coming into conflict with communities, or being threatened by poaching and persecution.

‘There has to be a balance between the numbers of animals, and the available habitat. Just how nature intended it.’

Close Buffalo Zoo's Frozen-In-Time Elephant Exhibit!
In Defense of Animals
Frozen in time, the Buffalo Zoo in Buffalo, New York continues to keep the Asian elephant captives, Lothi and Surapa, inside the inhospitable prison it calls a barn, for yet another brutal Buffalo winter. Supporters of Buffalo Zoo brag that the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)has granted the zoo a five-year accreditation. However, meeting the AZA's paltry standards does not ensure a humane life for the elephants there. It's time to close the elephant exhibit and retire the elephants! TAKE ACTION

3 Things Everyone Should Know Before Interacting With Wild Animals. Seeing animals in the wild is one of the coolest experiences on this earth – especially if they are not animals we see every day. Wild animals are so breathtaking that people book special trips just for a chance to see them in their natural habitat. Think of how many people visit Africa just to see the incredible wildlife in its many countries or how many coastal cities offer snorkeling and whale watching as attractions. Wild animals are a sight to see, but they all play a part in our delicate ecosystem. That’s why it’s important to be well informed and careful when you do see a wild animal.

1. Only Go on Vacations Where You Can See Animals on Their Turf
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust/Facebook
Animal tourism is huge, even though animal entertainment opportunities are oftentimes exploitative and abusive to the animals. Luckily, compassionate people are starting to understand the dark side of animal tourism and entertainment. If people didn’t speak up, SeaWorld wouldn’t have stopped breeding orcas and Ringling Bros. would have never retired all its elephants. While we are making progress, there are many businesses profiting off wild animal captivity and entertainment. If you’re planning a vacation and want to see the wildlife that destination offers, only book experiences that keep the animals in their natural habitat. Whale watching expeditions and visiting credible wildlife sanctuaries and refuges, on protected land are two options that offer the benefit of seeing incredible animals in the wild and keeping animals safe in their natural habitat.

It is best to see animals this way as opposed to animals in captivity. Tours and trips with experts to see animals in their habitat is the safest route to go for animal lovers. If you are looking for a more up-close experience, opt for organizations that take in injured or rescued animals instead of zoos and special attractions.

Research is the most important thing to do before attempting to see wild animals. Tourism is a big industry, but one that could be hurting the animals. Consider how your experience will affect the animals and their habitats. Is spotting a unique animal in the wild worth the cost of the species? It’s an important question to ask yourself before you search out these wildlife opportunities.

2. No Matter How Cute They Are, These Animals Are Not Like Your Pets at Home

Just because an animal looks fuzzy, cute and cuddly, doesn’t mean it wants anything to do with your advances. The honey badger is adorable! But we all know not to mess with one. Koalas look like the perfect cuddle buddies, but even those real-life teddy bears can turn aggressive when provoked. Wild animals rely on instincts to protect them and they have no idea what your intentions are, no matter how non-threatening you try to appear. While the animals that share our homes still have a trace of their wild instincts, they are human-friendly due to years of domestication – a big difference between their wild compatriots. So no matter how cute these wild animals look, keep yourself a good distance from them.

3. Don’t Feed Wild Animals
Yeah, you’ve heard this before, but it’s always important to be reminded of why feeding wild animals is dangerous for everyone involved. Part of wild animals’ allure is that they are unpredictable. It is also the reason why you should keep a safe distance from them. By hand feeding them, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to an untrained animal. This rule also applies to the animal’s safety. If a wild animal consistently associates humans with a food source, they will not fear humans as potential predators.

A recent example is Hollywood, the protected elk that was killed by poachers in a wildlife preserve. He was famous for being calm and friendly around people and allowing children to feed him, thus trusting the poachers. While it’s special to interact with a wild animal, it’s important to remember that there are people out there who do not view animals the way we do. For us to best protect them from hunters and poachers, we need to stay away from them and interfering with their protective instincts.

Helping Wildlife One Choice at a Time
There is a major disconnect between the type of entertainment we choose and the impact on wild animals, but we all have the power to close this gap for the betterment of all species. With these simple tips in mind, you can ensure that you aren’t inadvertently causing harm to animals – and you’re sure to have an enriching, wonderful experience that fosters a much deeper appreciation for the beings we share the planet with.

So Green Monsters, have you tried any of these things? Let us know in the comments! Lead image source: Zhukova Valentyna/Shutterstock

Mohan's New Life At Wildlife SOS
55 year old, Mohan is now safely residing at the Elephant Conservation and Care Center, here's a glimpse of his new life with Wildlife SOS which has only been made possible because of your kind support! Please consider donating for Mohan's lifetime care and treatment here;

Kitty, Franklin, and Fabio Are Dead, but Campus Farm Plans to Kill More Animals. A campus farm at the University of Montana is supposedly committed to humane and sustainable agriculture. However, according to students, pigs were shot in the head at only 6 months old, and some were shot while their mothers watched. SPEAK UP TODAY 

Nosey the Elephant

Urge Indiana Festival to Stop Forcing Virtually Crippled Elephant to Give Rides. After a last-minute cancellation, the festival went on without booking Nosey this year—proof that it doesn't need to exploit elephants to be a success. Let's make sure that the festival never books Nosey again. SPEAK UP FOR NOSEY 

Emails for Billy the Elephant
Please support our email campaign to the Mayor of Los Angeles. We recently sent him a letter stating our concerns regarding Billy the Elephant and the exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo. The return receipt indicates that his office received our letter on 10/14. So far, no response. Please email Mayor Garcetti on Billy's behalf and post to social media. Sample email text is below. Thank you so much!! 

Email Address: - Petition, Click Here!

PROPOSED SAMPLE EMAIL TEXT: (feel free to personalize and provide your contact info) 

Dear Mayor Garcetti: 

I am writing in support of Elephant Guardians of Los Angeles and their proposals to: 
(a) Ensure public participation in the Los Angeles Zoo’s Master Plan; 
(b) End captive Elephant breeding in Los Angeles; 
(c) Release Billy the Elephant, held at the Los Angeles Zoo in conditions contrary to science, ethics, and common human decency, to an appropriate sanctuary. 

I hope you will meet with Elephant Guardians of Los Angeles as soon as possible to discuss how these proposals can be accomplished. 

There is no justification for holding Elephants in captivity. Research has established that Elephants are highly complex, intelligent, and social, and they experience the same psychological reactions to captivity and isolation as humans, as evidenced by Billy’s stereotypic behaviors. How long will the leadership of Los Angeles stand by as Billy is exploited for entertainment and profit? It is time to say enough. This is an issue that will not go away, and Los Angeles has the incredible opportunity to take a leadership role in the Sanctuary Movement that is gaining momentum around the world. 

Thank you for your service to the City of Los Angeles and your prompt attention to this matter. 

your name here