Chat Archives
Chat on "Wild Elephants" dated May 18, 2005


     
    Susan  Welcome to IWC chat on "Wild Elephants" 18/05/05 
    maathu  Hi ! everyone....I'm Ragoorao...
    Susan  Hi Ragoo Nice to see you.
    Susan  Mysore has been in the news for wild elephants recently
    maathu  In March this year, in Deccan Herald newspaper there was an article on the possibility of a sub-species of our Indian elephant... 
    maathu  somewhere in the Kerala forests.. observed by one of the enthusiasts.. 

    maathu  it was found to be smaller than the regular elephus maximus...somewhat akin to the forest elephants of Africa.. 
    Susan  Yes, that was interesting. Deccan Herald also reported that Mysore is going to shoot rougue elephants, did you read that? 
    sinduja  Hello everyone. This is Sinduja 
    maathu  could somebody throw more light on these.. 
    Susan  Hi Sinduja 
    maathu  yeah we read that..and we feel they should be translocated than shot down..after we are the intruders in their range.. 
    sinduja  I agree...killing them is not an answer. 
    maathu  are you aware that there is another threat posing the elephants because of the tuskers being shot by poachers..it relates to future elephant progeny.. 
    Susan  Translocation will mean bringing in Kumkis and catching them I believe. 
    maathu  or darting them with tranquilisers and transporting them to safer locations.. 
    shalini  Hi Everone,this is Shalini from Hyderabad 
    maathu  HI..Shalini..this is Ragoorao.. 
    Susan  Poaching of all wild animals need to be taken up more seriously in our country starting from sambar to elephant to tigers some will say starting with the wild fowl in the forest. 
    maathu  I agree Susan..it is most important now.. 
    sinduja  what is this about future elephant progeny???That there will be none is I am guessing the issue.... 
    Susan  More and more elephant males being born without tusks is one. 
    maathu  not exactly...with the breeding tuskers dwindling..it is only the tuskless Maknas which are the only breedres... 
    maathu  the cows dont prefer them and only a few breed with them..this will result in less birhts and also increase birth of Maknas..as Susan fears.. 
    Susan  The Srilankan elephants are almost all makhnas- nature's way of protecting them 
    Susan  As Ragoo says weakening of the breed is the biggest threat 
    maathu  fianlly someday ....to see what a Tusker looked like we'll have to go to the Museums or look at pictures.. 
    sinduja  Does this have something to do with a genetic defect????Is it isolated geographically???? 
    Susan  Breeding elephants in captivity has not been a success. The females are encouraged to mate with wild tuskers when in heat. 
     
    maathu  I had written once to CITES to cut the tusks to a bare minimum in the wilds so that the tusker killing is not at all profitable to the poachers... 

    maathu  this is practised in some Game reserves of Africa with the Rhinos.
    maathu  breeding captive cows with wild tuskers is alsoi 
    Susan  Ragoo, your suggestion will mean that each elephant in the wild will have to be tranquilized and then tusks cut off
    maathu  it is being done in Africa... 
    Susan  We are still trying to count their numbers, tranquilizing is far off. 
    maathu  the tusk trimming may be done as and when the males reach thaT STAGE..IT HAS TO BE LIFELONG PROCESS...  
    sinduja  What would people do with those bits of tusks anyway???? Sell it for profit??? 
    Susan  I think we must make sure the elephant corridors are protected and just let them be. Is that too idealistic in today's world? 
    maathu  no not at all...we have burnt a lot of tusks...some have been installedin regiona natural history museums too... 
    maathu  it is in these corridors we call them straying into human habitation..after all these corridors are a hardwird map in their minds.. 
    maathu  we have to study their migratory routes and keep it clear of human habitation.. 
    sinduja  that would be next to impossible......
    sinduja  i remember going into the tholpetty wildlife sanctuary......3 jeeps one behind the other......all blaring horns.....
     maathu  yeah I agree...with the social problems being faced in relocating the residents... 
    sinduja  it was horrible......and that was i believe a protected area.....people will not respect these   
    sinduja  laws that are "imposed" on them  
    maathu  we have to induce visitor education and control..like in many Pristine national parks elsewhere in the world.. 
    Susan  Yes, Sinduja wildlife in our country can survive only with awareness and paricpation of /involvement of people. 
    maathu  with dedicated people nothing is impossible...it may take time but sure it works..
    sinduja  and as usual...we need to think of what to do with the people more than what to do with the animals....something that i seem to be reading about a lot these days.... 
    Susan  When I see advts blaring consumer products I wish there will be advts telling us how to protect our biggest wealth-our wildlife 
    maathu  is it not better if gruos like ours educate children with slide shows and pics and teach them to respect all animals..after it is their planet too.. 
     maathu  wll said Sinduja...it is problem people and not problem animals.. 
    sinduja  I completely agree...... 
    Susan  Children have a natural affinity to animals- But when they grow up we adults tend to see it as childish 
    sinduja  thank you 
    Susan  Thanks Sinduja 
    Susan  Many people ask me if IWC.com is a site for children 

    maathu  I create appealing slide shows ND SHOW IT TO MY NEIGHBORHOOD CHILDREN..IF ANYBODY WANTS TO SHARE THESE SLIDES .i'M PREPARED TO SEND IT TO THEM..NO CHARGES.. 
    Susan  When I say it is a site for adults, it still raises eyebrows 
    Susan  That is a good idea, ragoo. If you can send me the details, we will put it up on the site. 
    maathu  sorry I'was not shouting..it was an accident ...the caps lock was on.. 
    sinduja  And the latest in all magazines and newspapers is the lack of tigers in the various reserves up north......what is the deal with that???? 
    Susan  Shalini are you there? 
    Susan  Sinduja, tigers in our next session 
    sinduja  alright.....i can wait.... 
    maathu  I'll send you some slides by corier...and i'll expect your valuable suggestions to improve them...
    Susan  We have stated " Press this Week" on the homepage-rright side bottom button. It gives a brief overview of weekly news articles 
     Susan  Yes, you can send them to me- May be I can persuade some schools around us to show them  
    maathu  could I add in the last slide as AN appeal by IWC... 
    Susan  Appeal for ? 
    sinduja  so...as of now...what is being done to prevent the poaching????? 
    maathu  to respect and protect animals...I call my slides " Let them live...Its their planet too".. 
    Susan  Yes, GREAT! 
    maathu  or any other message you feel would be more appropriate..
    Susan  Our chat room is not sophisticated enough to show who has left the room. Looks like only three of us are currently here. 
    maathu  Sinduja there are anti poaching squads already in existence in all protected forests...but what we need is teach our children first" catch them young" is something i've seen works a long way..  
    Susan  Ragoo, I think" Respect & Protect" is great May be you can add "in their habitat"
    maathu  Sue Susan..thats a good suggestion... 
    sinduja  That is what I beleive works best.....but most people think that animals are there for entertainm,ent....as in the first of the Harry Potter movies.....with the snake....that is the average person...
     Susan  The Govt has introduced Environment education in schools now. That is a good beginning 
    sinduja  So education is the first step......but it is frustrating that educating people is a very long hard road ahead.... 
    sinduja  they do not learn fast enough....is my objection
    maathu  volunteers should organise eco-tours to rheir nearby Reseves exclusively for kids to bring in awareness.... 
    sinduja  just saying 
    sinduja  yes...eco tourism is a step 
    maathu  Do'nt loose hope Sinduja...do you might...every small thing works.. 
    Susan  I think the so called 80, s generation seems far removed from nature. Most of them are in decision making posts. It is necesary to rope them in too.
    maathu  Yes Susan..every effort has to be put in..  
    maathu  as far as not learning fast enough..I've done a small effort in this... 
    Susan  as you said I think all of us can do a little bit and teamwork can achieve wonders.
    sinduja  how does one get a job like that in eco tourism....does a masters degree in environmental science have any holding???? 
    maathu  I show kids slides and ask them to come back aftera few days with a list of which of the birds they could identify in their nieghborhood..  
    maathu  the kids find it very entertaining and they come and tell me new facts about the birds..   
    sinduja  my father would do that for me.....and we would look at the Salim Ali books for reference 
    maathu  see, Sindula... your father made it work in you...now its your job.. 
    maathu  as far as degrees..the first degree you have to have is compassion for the animals and allow them to exist along with you... 
    sinduja  very romantically put......yes.....i agree 100% 
    maathu  Thanks. 
    sinduja  Susan???   
    Susan  Yes, I am listening- 
    maathu  now I would want to listen for some time.. 
    Susan  Surprisingly I found this romnace alive in a group of villagers who were displaced from a national park- in spite of their grivances 
    Susan  That is the beauty of being an Indian I guess
    sinduja  they agreed to move without grudges...???? 
    Susan  But they also told me there is a10% of that population ( displaced) who are frustrated and seek to work against the interst of the forests. 
    sinduja  without realising that that would be their doom....... 
    Susan  Yes, Sinduja I think you need to read up some of these issues more. It is when youngsters try and understand the issues involved that they can take a stand and help 

    maathu  the thing is not to totally remove the forest dwellers...we could even use them as good guides, foresters and get them involved..after they know the forests better..and they are expert trackers too... 
    sinduja  I actually did some work with n NGO in what is now known as the "peri urban" area......

     
    sinduja  In karnataka the KFDC have planted the forests with eucalyptus.......claiming that those forest lands were infertile..... 
    maathu  Kanha and Ranthambore has shown thy.. 
    sinduja  what does one do when the government itself endorses this???? 
    Susan  The Government is US, Sinduja not GOD 
    maathu  they have totally involved the tribals..in all protection works..and they are doing a marvellous job.. 
    Susan  When a sane voice talks, people will listen including the Govt  
    sinduja  These are villages which were once close to forests......there are no wild animals anywhere close by.....because there are no forests.....what can we do then???? 
    maathu  Very well said Susan, get up and express yourself...somebody someday will listen..
    Susan  We can always train them as guides, rangers, 
    sinduja  who will train them????NGOs, or the government???? 
    maathu  we volunteers can do it.. 
    Susan  Most of them have thorough knowledge about forest plants and animals- they need to be tauught the English names as well 
    sinduja  how do you propse to do that???? 
    maathu  in fact I've urged a lot of zoo keepers to learn to identify the animals body language and try to undrstand them...even taught them some vocalisations of the animals.. 
    Susan  Suppose you make a project and send it to the Government? or Forest Dept 
    sinduja  i want to learn as well..... 
    maathu  Susan...frankly I do'nt have much hope with the Policy mas all are not Maneka Ghandis..  
    sinduja  I am guessing that was directed to me.......yes that does sound like some good hard work......i would need some help.... 
    maathu  the WWF does a lot of global campaining through their web-site...they urge people to write by e-mail to campaign...we could start it in IWC...could we Susan.. 
    sinduja  even of it asn't directed to me.....i would like to have a go at it..... 
    Susan  IWC has members from the Forest/Govt/Activists etc. They may be silent but they all listen.. If yoou have agood project a practical one, we can upload it and see if there are people willing to join up 

    maathu  right from now could we poll in on the elepant issue campaign.. 
    Susan  What is your suggestion, Ragoo 
    maathu  start an e-campain to do feasible, tangible things for elephants...corridors for example, tribal involvement, and such things.. 
    maathu  fortunately we have a VRY GOOD PRESIDENT... 
    Susan  And Sinduja will work on a project report to involve the villagers displaced- Seriously.

    Please send the report to me if possible by end of this month? 
    maathu  I would also send some suggestions for the elephant campaign... 
    sinduja  will try......have to go to the old workplace.....haven't been there in a while.....but will try and do this as fast as possible.... 
    Susan  I am glad today's chat has thrown up many ideas..... 
    maathu  for a model campain..please look into the WWF's site..WWW. panda.org... 

    Susan  Ragoo and Sinduja thanks a lot. shall we call it a day? 
    maathu  Sure..it was very refresing talking to both of you. 
    sinduja  ok....I had a great time....thank you....and i will work on the report starting now...
    Susan  In fact we can direct members to take part in Panda's campaigns. 
    Susan  Bye and thanks to all 
    maathu  My special Thanks to Dr. Susan for creating this site and creating a think Tank..Thak You Dr. Susan. 
    maathu  Bye and Thanks to all. 
    Susan  Oh! Thanks 
     sinduja  Bye   

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