|Estman Radio Text
Estman Radio Text
Eastman Radio Text
My name is Brigitte Uttar Kornetzky. I am the Swiss Ambassador of the
FIAPO in India regarding elephants in captivity.
FIAPO is worldwide the largest umbrella organization for wildlife
conservation, animal protection and environmental issues, and
represents more than 50 member organisations all over India.
A few month ago, FIAPO successfully lobbied India`s Ministery of
Environment & Forests to ban the captivity of any cetaceans such as
dolphins and whales. India has put a mile stone in the history of these
sentinent animals, even acknowledging them as „animal
persons“(verbatim). Other countries should take home an example.
Dolphins and whales belong in the ocean, unfettered! Their cruel
butchery in Japan, or on Vager and the Faroe Islands, just a thousand
kilometers north from Switzerland, is an annual horror. Local people
believe that God has given them the cetaceans to be slaughtered.
Twisted minds wielding weapons! Even SeaShepard has not been able to
stop this blood bath yet. Such is our world. Whales and Dolphins belong
in the ocean. Captivity is wrong. However, let`s talk about elephants
here. They belong in the jungle!
Our project is called „Unchaining God“. As the Swiss Ambassador of this
organization, my quest is to free the Indian elephants from captivity,
rehabilitate them to their natural environments and remove their
chains. Human torture must stop. We could use your help and
|Just a few
Elephants are very clever and intelligent animals. They have excellent
memory and social behaviors. This ability of memory is shamelessly
abused by us humans. Taming wild elephants and training them is beyond
brutality. It is criminal. The elephants suffer the worst of injuries
and carry stigma and pain of human torture for the rest of their lives.
A tusk greedily cut too close to the nasal cavity causes constant
livelong pain. The torture to brake their natural spirit and make them
submissive has to be sentenced the strongest way possible. Every
tourist, who wants to ride an elephant, should be aware, that by doing
so he is supporting the big business with the elephants and their
tortured lives, no matter if it is in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Burma, India
or elsewhere. These exploited animals have become defenceless. They
live in apathy. They were tortured until they have given up in order to
serve human greed and selfishness. Beeing afraid of even more torture,
they have submitted to their destiny of being slaves for the rest of
their lives. Whether for greed or for their domestication, cruel human
excesses must be stopped!!! Except, the hour of revenge has come, which
in all cases ends deadly for humans.
As for Africa, in the year 2013, an estimated number of 30`000
elephants have been brutally slaughtered of their ivory, more than
eighty per day. If we`re not capable to stop this butchery, as well as
for the rhinos, both species will be poached to extinction. In that
sense, the Indian elephant has it a little better. But, is he really in
a better position?
Female elephants we find in the north of India. They salut to tourists,
carrying them on their back to sight seeing places like Amber Fort in
Jaipur. Dry and hot climate and an enormous traffic are the smaller of
all evils. The tourist busses stop at the side of the road to take a
snap shot and give alms to the begging god, in order to take some
pictures home for the family album. Look, we have been to India, too.
No one looks directly in the eyes of these elephants to see how blended
they are by the glazing sun, no one sees the scarfs on their bodies, no
one knows about their fevers, no one takes notice of their often
swollen and cracked feet. And no one is looking underneath these feet,
which quite often show wholes in the size of a fist with exposed tow
bones, and cracked skin across the sole. Exposed to the hot sun and
average 40-45°C in a dry desert climate with drastically dropping
temperatures at night, this elephant is hired for walking on weddings
and playing polo, quite often oil sheiks with their harems from arabic
countries. There is barely time to sleep for them, even less time to
take the food. The food is literally „beaten“ into their mouth like the
food into stuffed gooses throat before Christmas… In a very short time
they have to take the most possibly nutrition in order to go back to
work to make money for their owners. Not all elephant owners are
bad, however, unfortunately the good ones are in the minority. Of
course, there are also mahouts who are meaning well with there animals.
But they are the few exceptions of the rule of using violence as an
educational method while taking care of the elephants.
the north as in the south of India elephants live in chains. They are
the property of the Indian government. The slavery (Verknechtung) of
this royal animal finds its lowest expression in zoos, the conditions
for captivity are beyond dignity. With concrete floor under their feet
and jail grid in front of their eyes they are extremely suffering under
these artificial circumstances. In this respect, the forest elephants
might have it a little better. Hundreds of temple elephants in the
south of India are the symbols of royalty, wisdom and maleness. They
carry the idol of God. Hindu people worship these elephants as god
Ganesh. They are expected to withstand firecrackers and fanfares, which
in no distance to their ears were shot in the sky, with no possible
„objections“ or movement of the animal whatsoever. Motionless, in
apathy and with heavily chained feet he has to withstand more than two
thousand festivities per year. The sound level can`t be measured. Not
one of the at least five south Indian doctors could not or did not
wanted to tell me about the health condition of the elephants ears.
These elephants stand like a rock in the surf, and they are crying… I
will never forget their whining. They are anything else but made out of
rock. There is a tender soul under thick skin. They will never forget,
that they were beaten, and they will never forget if someone is good to
them. It is engraved, scarred into their memory, and unlike bears, they
would transmit their cultural memory to the next generation. But, there
won`t be one, born under the circumstances of captivity, and living not
longer than a few years if at all, or being able to survive more than a
few months. The cultural memory which could safe them from us humans,
is failing because of the conditions in captivity in general.
With an Indian saying, an elephant alive is one Lakh Rupees, and a dead
elephant is one and a half Lakh Rupees, because of his skin, his Hufs,
his ivory. In fact, the value of an Indian elephant is enormous. A
temple elephant medium size is estimated about twenty Lakh Indian
rupees, this is about a half million US$.
According to the minister of the environment and forest an estimated
4`000 elephants live in captivity in India. Our project is to phase out
and rehabilitate the Indian elephant in captivity to his natural living
conditions. As for to do so, an enormous apparatus and organization is
necessary, starting with education for the population, special
learnings and trainings for the mahouts to become caretakers, solutions
for the owners of the animals, a.s.o. We need to build rehabilitation
facilities, which could be co-finanzed with controlled ecotourism. The
animals need constant medical care, and jungle like living conditions,
which garantee kilometers of walk per day, and much much more. But
mostly important, that they can eat as much as they want and whenever
they want to eat. Difficult enough will be the training for the mahouts
to understand the changes in the handling. Between broken
English-language barriers up to so called long traditions of how they
think the elephants should be handled, this certainly will not be easy
to relearn and restructure. The traditional methods of training the
elephants are yelling and screeming of the mahouts, and heavy beating,
which is extremely painful for these sentinent animals. The elephants
do not even have the chance to react or defend themselves, without
receiving even more painful beats. They suffer chronical pain.
Mostly important, the law from 2009 needs to be implemented in India.
Selling and buying elephants is forbidden since the law has been
sentenced. The illegality all over India needs to be performed and
controlled. About 70 elephants are living in 15-18 zoos. The zoos
very often are in catastrophical conditions regarding hygienic, food
and living conditions. In general, zoos and circusses do not provide
medical care to their elephants, and in some cases they do not even
provide enough food to their animals. Per law from 2009, the zoos are
forbidden to require new elephants. However, the number of elephants in
zoos is constantly increasing. There are no controls according to the
law. The same applies for the one hundred and twenty five elephants in
Jaipur in the state of Rajasthan.
As for the one hundred and twenty five elephants in Jaipur working in
tourism, until recently they had no medical care either. In 2012, I
have shot a film there about the ayurvedic medicine for these
elephants, as well as the circumstances they are living in… until a
serious case happened. Based on miserable health conditions, and lying
down for more than five weeks on the ground with bone infection and two
compound fractured front legs, with the enormous effort on location of
Help in Suffering and Humane Society International, and the permission
from the high authorities Mr. S. Ahmat, the (now former) Secretary of
the State of Rajasthan, we were able to put the elephant Sita to sleep.
The first case of euthanasia is a very unique case, and the first in
the elephant history in India. In the next following half year after
shooting, at least ten more elephants have died… and at least ten
new elephants have been purchased.
The film with the title „Where the Elephant Sleeps“ I hope will soon
enter the gauntlet of the well-knit film industry, and I hope it will
find a broad audience still in 2014. Based on the story of the film,
meaning the above mentioned case of euthanasia of the suffering
elephant Sita, and with gratitude to the foundation of Humane Society
International, the one hundred and twenty five elephants in Jaipur are
helped. Humane Society International has sponsored an elephant mobil
with three veterinarians on board to give medical treatment to the 125
or more elephants in Jaipur. They are on the road 24 hours x 7days a
week. Also, the relation between mahouts, owners, and the animal
doctors have improved to the better. Also, on my initiative and of some
responsible people from Elephant Village, we could achieve that the
government of Rajasthan has built an elephant hospital in Hathigaon,
Elephant Village. However, medical equipment for the lab is still
The biggest change we need to achieve is to liberate these
approximately four thousand elephants off their chains. We need to
provide sanctuaries and an infrastructure where these sentinent animal
can live an elephants life. An elephant with average size eats 200-300
kg fodder per day which he is eating during almost the full day while
moving in the jungle. And they need daily and medical care. Elephant
owners and mahouts must learn that their thinking should be based on
love and freedom for their animals, not on power, exploitation and
slavery. There is a lot to do. Let`s get started!
Changes can be done if we are all together in this. Let`s get started.
Please support this project. Here is the link for donations: www.animalaidunlimited.com/donate/
Please mention the purpose in the above field for „FIAPO
Captive Elephant Project” when the site opens.
Last but not least, if there is a music band, I would like to produce
„The Elephant Song“. The proceeds will go to the suffering elephants.
In the name of all elephants, thank you very much for your kind
attention and support of this big project.
Please spread the word and forward this to your friends and the general
public. Our vision should die last.
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