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– All civilized countries should ban this

mars 17, 2013

. «It is not natural for an Elephant to have to stand on a stool, or on its head, and perform unnatural acts for the so-called entertainment of humans, added to which there should be nothing entertaining in seeing an unfortunate captive, deprived of its family and friends, who has been turned semi mad by being forced to endure cruelty and deprivation».

Image Credit: Supplied picture

This statement is part of an e-mail sent to «The World of Baba» by Dame Daphne Sheldrick (picture), one of the most recognized and respected elephant experts internationally. She sent the e-mail after «The World of Baba» filmed the stereotypic behavior of the female Indian elephant Baba in Bergen, Norway last year and contacted her. She states that the training of performing circus elephants is brutal in the extreme, aimed at breaking the spirit of the animal» and that the «stereotypic behaviour of circus or zoo elephants indicates psychosis». Read the full statement.

Daphne Sheldrick (born June 4, 1934 Kenya) has a lifelong experience working with orphaned elephants and currently runs The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya named after her late husband David Sheldrick. She was in 1992 elevated to the UNEP’s elite Global 500 Roll of Honour, in 2002 the Kenyan government honoured her with the prestigious Moran of the Burning Spear (M.B.S.) decoration and in 2006 Queen Elisabeth II appointed her Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, the first Knighthood to be awarded in Kenya since the country received Independence in 1963.

«I have been hand-rearing Elephant calves, orphaned by the demand for Ivory in the Far East, for the past 50 years, and to date have successfully hand-reared over 174 orphaned elephant young, two from the day of birth», Dame Daphne writes in e-mail to «The World of Baba»:

«All our elephants are returned back where they rightly belong when grown, amongst the wild elephant community of Kenya’s largest National Park – Tsavo – currently home to the country’s largest single elephant population, numbering some l0,000. Elephants duplicate us humans in terms of age progression, with an identical expected lifespan, and having been with them most of my 78 years, I can rightly claim to know them intimately».

In 2012 she published her long awaited autobiography «An African Love Story – Love, Life, and Elephants» and in the video above she speaks about the book and her work. In connection with the release she was invited to the American Museum of Natural History. She also featured in the documentary film «Born To Be Wild», and gave this interview.

Dame Daphne Sheldrick

«Rearing the young has proved beyond doubt that elephants duplicate us humans emotionally, and in many respects are superior to us in terms of caring and nurturing even when just infants themselves. Like us, the most important thing to an elephant is its family, its friends and a quality of life». Like humans, elephants do not belong in boxes or in cages, since in order to enjoy a quality of life they need each other and more than that space. l00 miles is simply a little stroll for an elephant, something that has been demonstrated time and again rearing their orphaned young».

This is the rest of her letter to «The World of Baba»:

«The training of performing circus elephants is brutal in the extreme and aimed at breaking the spirit of the animal. They are forced through fear of reprisals should they disobey to perform unnatural acts».

«The training of performing circus elephants is brutal in the extreme, aimed at breaking the spirit of the animal. They are forced through fear of reprisals should they disobey to perform unnatural acts for the so-called
entertainment of humans. That «Elephants Do Not Forget» has been scientifically proven through a study of the elephant brain which is far superior to that of a human in terms of memory.

That they also reason and think is also indicated by the similar convolutions of the brain. One of our ex orphans, now living a normal wild life, voluntarily returned to the rehabilitation centre in Tsavo and instantly recognized a keeper she had not seen for 37 years who just happened to be visiting on that day!.With elephants, one reaps what one sows. Handled with loving care and kindness will reap the same from an elephant, but handled with cruelty is a recipe for disaster. Our ex orphans now living wild, who have had their own wild-born babies, bring them back to the rehabilitation centres from whence they were returned to the wild community, simply to share their joy with their erstwhile human family.

All this is recorded through the keepers’ diaries in the orphans section of our website, and with images as well. More than that they have returned with wild elephant friends who have just stood by and watched the human family enter the herd and actually handle the newborn as it shelters beneath its mother’s belly. There can be no greater accolade from an elephant to a human than that!»

«Stereotypic behaviour of circus or zoo elephants indicates psychosis due to the cruel and unnatural conditions in which they are held and is indicative of frustration and psychological suffering».

«By nature elephants are gentle and caring, who live amicably with all other creatures that share their space which do not pose a threat to them or their young, but they can be dangerous when the time comes that they feel they have to settle the score. Stereotypic behaviour of circus or zoo elephants indicates psychosis due to the cruel and unnatural conditions in which they are held and is indicative of frustration and psychological suffering. (The film was shot in Norway and shows the female Indian elephant Baba).

It is not natural for an Elephant to have to stand on a stool, or on its head, and perform unnatural acts for the so-called entertainment of humans, added to which there should be nothing entertaining in seeing an unfortunate captive, deprived of its family and friends, who has been turned semi mad by being forced to endure cruelty and deprivation. Britain has passed law to ban the keeping of elephants in circuses and now that so much more is known about these highly intelligent animals, who duplicate us humans emotionally, I would hope that all civilized countries would do the same», Dame Daphne ends her letter.

Text : Inge Sellevag

Related stories:
This has to stop !
– She is frustrated, bored and sad.
– We are glad to help Baba.
A brief history of Baba.

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5 kommentarer
  1. Stop the abuse. Let animals live out there own life!!! Not for that of human entertainment.

  2. Hey there, I think your site might be having browser compatibility
    issues. When I look at your blog in Chrome, it looks fine
    but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.

    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, great blog!

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