In Kurubarahandi, India, sightseers anxious to have “selfies” with a baby elephant that lost its mother died less than 24-hours later. According to the Express, excited villagers grabbed their cellphones – even as the injured calf cried desperately for his mother.
The eight-month-old baby had been injured after residents of the village attempted to scare the mother and another adult elephant back into the forest jungle. The men shouted and used sticks to drive the animals away in order to protect their crops, but amid the ruckus, the calf became separated from his mother and became too weak to keep up. Instead of the men trying to chase the calf away so he would have had a better chance of being reunited with his mother, they all surrounded the baby and began to take pictures.
When the mother elephant returned for her baby, forestry officials had already realized the calf had a fever and took him away for veterinarian help. Although he was treated with glucose and bottle fed milk, the baby died a few hours later.
Asian elephants continue to present conflicts with humans as their natural habitats are steadily taken away by man’s developments and as the animals enter into the built up areas in search of food. More than 300 Indians are killed annually by elephants, however at least 50 elephants die throughout the year.
Whose side does one take? Aren’t the elephants entitled to their own natural habitats without humans stripping every acre of protected jungles? You be the judge – please remain civil.
(Photo of baby elephant via screenshot via CEN)
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