I have just come across a book in our library called the Mathangalila. Mathangalila, is Sanskrit text written by author Nilakantha which deals with the science of Elephant. The book talks about Asiatic Elephants, diagnosis and cure of illness that afflict elephants, use of elephant parts in medicine. Folklore round elephants.
Elephants are very part of our cultural ethos, be it Indra’s Airavata, or the panel of Gajalakshmi fanned by elephants. Or the story of King Udayana who could capture a elephant with his powers of playing the Veena. Most of us are familiar with the line up of dressed up elephants that happens on Thiru-Onam.
Laksmeesha and Subhadra were the two elephant calves rescued from nagaraholle and housed in Udupi. Visiting them was a thrill for my daughter, but she was always concerned that the elephant was away from its mom, and that they was no one who could give its favourite food.
The story of the elephant and tailor, the story of the Gajendra moksha they are all there but with the destruction of habitat and extensive poaching Elephants are slowly turning to pictures in a picture book instead of live majestic creatures that roam the world.
Elephants are African and Asian. Fossil evidence shows that elephants of Sri Lanka were 5 tusks, and now they have shrunk to single tusk. The cost of ivory exceeds the cost of gold, so the greed has lead to poaching of elephants. Elephant meat and elephant skin leather are causes leading to poaching.
With the loss of forest cover the elephants are coming closer to human habitat causing destruction to agriculture and crops,
The world elephant day is celebrated annually on August 12th since its conception in 2011. This day is dedicated to the preservation and protection of elephants. To share the knowledge of elephants and to ensure better care and management of captive elephants. The African elephants are currently listed as vulnerable, as their population is about 400,000 while its Asian cousins at 40,000 are endangered. Studies show that they are only 12yrs from being extinct.
The world elephant day is an international event conceived by filmmakers Patricia Sims and Michael Clark of Canazwest pictures and Sivaporn Dardarnanda the Secretary General Of Elephant Reintroduction Foundation Of Thailand.