Elephants are magnificently beautiful animals, that never fail to catch the wonder of humans. But they are much more than meets the eye. They are sentient, gentle beings with strong ethics. Their lives deceivingly simple, are highly complex. They shoulder on themselves the health of a forest and the various inhabitants of it. In fact, in the fight against climate change elephants are the warriors that we need to preserve and conserve. Today as we celebrate Save The Elephant Day, let’s take a moment to learn from the wisdom of the elephants…
- Be a feminist. Elephants herds are fantastic examples of what happens when you have a female leader. The matriarch, generally the oldest adult female member, is deeply respected by the herd members who trust her ancestral wisdom. The matriarch never shies away from making tough decisions for the survival of the herd, whether it be leading them long distances to vegetation or water during drought. Under her strong leadership, the herd is well-protected and sails through adversities. So, listen to the elephants and trust the ladies!
- Be the hero that society needs! Elephants are the good Samaritans of the jungles- they take care of the needs of the other animals. They have a keen sense of smell that enables them to detect water sources up to 19.2km away. Elephants using their tusks, dexterous trunks and front feet, dig up water holes that not only helps to quench their thirst, but also several other species who would have otherwise dehydrated to death. Many animals rely on elephants to open mineral licks in the jungle that provide them with vital minerals for the healthy functioning of their body. Elephants for sure believe in the greater good!
- Give out hugs. Empathy is a strong emotion felt by elephants. Through their elaborate system of communication, an elephant can detect when something is amiss with their herd member. Elephants communicate tactilely and are always ready with trunk touches to console a fallen elephant. Elephant mothers, especially, wrap their trunks around their unsure calves to reassure them. Trunk hugs are a common way of elephants reassuring their companions. Elephants do know the power of a supportive hug!
- Plant! Plant! Plant! Elephants take their title ‘Gardeners of the Forests’ very seriously. Many trees and plants rely on elephants to disperse their seeds or pollinate their flowers. The seeds of the fruits consumed by the elephants pass through their guts which come out with their dung. When the conditions are right, these seeds germinate giving birth to new plant life. In fact, as elephants walk through the thick forests, they create new pathways and clearings that give space for new plants to grow. Planting trees never did anyone harm, and elephants surely do realise that!
- Go the DIY way: make your own eco-friendly products! Giving dust-baths comes naturally to the elephants. While this might incite an ‘ew’ from humans, there is a purpose to elephants plastering themselves with dust or mud. The forests are not an easy place to live in as bugs are omnipresent to attack you. Sometimes there is no cover from the harsh sun as elephants drink water from ponds. In these times, elephants resort to making their own bug repellent and sunscreen by mixing mud and water together and splattering it all over their body using their trunks. Elephants absolutely love to enjoy their all-natural self-care routine, giving us all food for thought.
Wildlife SOS first put their concern about the plight of India’s elephants in 2009 and established a one-of-a-kind Elephant Conservation and Care Center (ECCC) in 2010. The centre currently providing lifetime care and treatment for over 20 rehabilitated pachyderms, rescued from illegal captivity and circuses where they were ill-treated and subjected to cruelty. Wildlife SOS is committed to providing them a safer, happier and healthier life post-rescue by giving them a life of freedom, companionship, and a chance to simply be elephants again.