This is a tribute to these giants and the way they have touched the lives of those of us lucky enough to have watched the water spill from their trunks and heard their gentle thunder.
I grew up in Coorg where, over time, the sociable, intelligent hulks wove their way into my heart. Asian elephants are not only the engineers of the ecosystems they live in; they are also deeply intertwined with the history and culture of countries like India, Thailand and Srilanka and I am passionate about them.
In Coorg and other smaller areas, far-ranging species like elephants often run out of the space and food they need to live. They also encounter people more often, either as they travel along their historical migration routes or in search of food, and these interactions can end badly for one or both parties.
With farmers often planting crops in land adjacent or close to national parks and other wildlife areas, elephants have taken to raiding their crops for an easy meal. When this happens, they devastate the farmers’ property and source of income. This can also lead to the loss of life for both people and elephants.
It can be never the same as experiencing them first hand, however by telling the story, I hope to share the passion, convey the wonder and perhaps inspire people enough to make them care and the answer for themselves why we need them in future.
Let us be the generation that halted the decline of the elephant.