Elephants

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.

 

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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

ELEPHANTS

Date: 15th February 2016

ELEPHANTS

We have been taken to task over our Elephant ride.

I am a life member of  the David Shepherd Conservation Foundation and Born Free.

I am a massive animal lover and in an ideal world would like nothing better than to see them all living in their natural habitat free from the threat of Man but it is not an ideal world.

Perhaps those who criticized would be better expending their energy on re-educating the Idiots who want carvings in ivory, and believe in the power of ground up tiger penis and rhino horn etc. to improve their sexual prowess.

Elephants have been part of Indian culture for centuries and, though you will get cruelty anywhere in the world to both people and animals, the Elephant is revered and most of the mahouts live with and care for their charges.

Do African elephants fare much better – Unfortunately not. They face the constant danger from poachers who butcher them and also radically disturb the family order.

Two weeks ago there was a news story about a pilot – a conservationist flying a light aircraft to find poachers - the latter using an assault rifle hit his plane; he crashed and was killed.

And who were the other idiots who burned a huge huge pile of Elephant Ivory years ago – the elephants were already dead, sadly – and those tusks could have been released under licence and possibly saved the lives of a few elephants over the years.

There was a documentary a few years ago which shocked me. In the film they came across several female elephants who had been ‘raped’ and killed. The culprits were Male elephants in Musth and it was thought that the problem may have arisen because of the lack of Old Male Elephants (killed for their ivory) to tutor the young ones. In other words they were ‘delinquents’. The Elephant is a ‘herd’ animal and their family circles are incredible from the way they protect each other to the way they teach their young – gathering round the babies in times of danger, teaching them how to behave etc.

In 1995 I was on a Safari led by the artist David Shepherd. We had gone out on an evening ride and were rewarded amazingly. A herd of Elephant literally walked past us (we were behind some Bush in a vehicle, of course), down a river bank and started crossing the very wide but very shallow river to get to night time safety on a large island. (They are highly intelligent and knew that when the river rose they’d be safe from most predators) Half way across something alarmed them and they immediately formed circles round the young ones. I’ve never forgotten it.

Painting – I would rather not see them painted – it undermines their dignity but again this is part of the Indian culture. And we were assured that the paint is non-toxic but can find no further information on this.
 

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.