From hunting various wild and non-wild animals to extinction to forming animal protection laws, we as humans have come a long way along the road of civilization. However, despite the presence of such legislation that prohibits hunting wildlife, enforcement of these laws and people who find ways around them, have always been and continue to be a major problem in actualizing animal protection.
Elephants have long been poached and hunted for their ivory. According to an estimate by World Wildlife Fund (WWF), poachers kill about 20,000 elephantsevery single year, after which their tusks are traded illegally in the international market and ultimately end up as ivory trinkets.
Since hunting in the open has been declared illegal and banned, these poachers have found various other ways to first injure and then capture the animals.
This baby elephant that we are seeing here seems fine and nonchalant at first. However, at a closer look, we notice that the elephant’s mouth is injured to the point that the jaw is hanging and it is gasping in pain to catch some breath. This is in fact, a very common method used by poachers to injure animals. A local explosive called “Hakka-patas” is used by these inhumane poachers and covered with animal fodder. Once the animals consume it, the gunpowder explodes, often in their mouths, causing severe injury and sometimes death. Because of injury to the mouth specifically, the animals are often unable to feed themselves. This makes them weak, in addition to being injured.
The motive is putting the animal in a state of helplessness and pain which would render them either immobile or unable to escape and protect themselves, therefore making it easier for the hunter to capture it without hassle.
This baby elephant that had been injured in such a way was luckily found by a group of saviors including wildlife officers and vets that rescued it to safety. As we can see in the video, the wildlife workers are carefully moving forward and approaching the elephant to not scare him further. They then use injections loaded with a sedative to put it into a state of unconsciousness so that it can be carefully transported to safety without any further injuries. The path is then cleared to make way for the elephant and it is then carried to the facility where care shall be provided. Specialists take care of the injured animal and provide attention and help in the form of medication and food that helps the animal heal and recover. Once the animal is healthy again, it is released back into the wild, which is its true home.
Just as we consider our homes as a place of safety and comfort, the animals deserve to reside safely in the wild, which is their home. Let’s work together to make this planet safe for animals.