South African big game hunter crushed by elephant falling on top of him

In Zimbabwe, a professional South African big game hunter was killed on Friday after an elephant shot by a member of the group fell. Theunis Botha, 51, had been walking with his friends when three female elephants rushed in front of the men. According to News24, Botha fired his gun, but a fourth elephant approached from the side, and just as another member of the hunting party shot the animal, the elephant collapsed on top of Botha.

The incident occurred near Hwange National Park when the men accidentally came upon a herd of breeding elephants according to Zimparks spokesperson, Simukai Nyasha. The Telegraph reports Botha had been a frequent hunter leading leopard and lion hunting safaris with his pack of dogs. The website Game Hounds Safaris described his hunting method as using “Monteria hunts” in southern Africa. Dogs are trained to track deer and boar and then drive the animals towards the hunters who then shoot. Botha refined the hunting with his large tracker hounds trained to hunt leopards.

Botha would often travel to the United States searching for wealthy Americans to take part in his southern African safaris.

(Photos of game hunter screenshot via News24)

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.

 

 

Herd comes to rescue of young elephant when its trunk is grabbed by crocodile

An elephant herd took revenge on an attacking crocodile one week ago, while a young elephant was drinking water at a lake in Liwonde National Park in Malawi and a crocodile leaped out of the water and grabbed the elephant’s trunk. According to the eyewitness, Alexander Makanga, who recorded the entire frightening event, stated initially the others backed away as the young elephant shook his trunk frantically back and forth to get the reptile to release him.

And then came a member of the herd who delivered a powerful blow to the offending beast by charging at it and knocking it back to the ground.

 “I did not realize the severity of the situation until I had finished recording. Absolutely insane. This happened just few meters from the boat,” wrote Makanga online, who now lives in the United Kingdom and is a biomedical scientist.

According to Makanga’s Facebook page, the entire herd trumpeted all at once seemingly to signal the baby elephant was safe and there wasn’t anything else to see.

It may be the reptiles have been all meeting their formidable opponents lately and have been losing in the fight to kill large prey. Just last week a wild horse in Gainesville, Florida kicked the scales off of an alligator protecting his herd. As has been said for those keeping scores – animals – 2 and reptiles – 0.

Check out Alexander Makanga’s YouTube of the scary encounter: (Lucky baby elephant for sure!)

 

 

 

 

Atork the Elephant suffered 2-hours before dying after authorities used AK-47

Tourists visiting eastern Cambodia who wanted better pictures of a 60-year-old elephant and begged the handler to unchain the animal, watched as police opened fire on Atork the elephant after he trampled his owner to death before going on a rampage. According to the Daily Mail, the elephant named suffered for two hours before he died after police shot him three times.

Witnesses reported Atork and his female mate Me Krapum had been released from their shackles when tourists wanted to get better photos of the elephants, but soon after, the owner of the male elephant, Choeung Team, 47, was found dead as Atork went on a rampage – destroying several homes and damaging a police vehicle. Authorities wouldn’t wait for wildlife experts from the nearby Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center to arrive to tranquilize the elephant- stating they were afraid lives were in danger.

It is not known why tranquilizers were not available locally to be used on Atork, however it has been reported fireworks and a water cannon were used to scare him, but none of that worked. And when the police fired with AK-47 rifles at Atork; hitting him in the head, heart and leg, the huge animal fell to the ground. Me Krapum’s handler told news media that tears ran down the female elephant’s face as she watched her beloved mate slowly die in agony. Her handler quickly took her away – in fear she would become fierce over her mate’s death.

Atork was the family’s “money tree”; just another tragic lesson keeping animals cruelly shackled. The handler’s widow was allowed to keep Atork’s tusks, but the family is liable for the damage. Atork and Choeung were buried near each other. It is not known exactly why Atork became so violent, but when male elephants are in musth (surge of hormones in male elephants for mating) they can become very aggressive. Then there is also the incredible intelligence of elephants who “never forget.” Asian training techniques often involve “breaking the will” approach to baby elephants where their movements are restricted and they are beaten into submission. It is unknown what makes an elephant “snap” later in life.

Rest in peace Atork. We are sorry humans abused you for giving tourists rides and performing in shows; just another disturbing reminder of animal cruelty in other forms.

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.

(Photo and video via World News)

Video is graphic and may not be suitable for all viewers:

 

Shameful: Elephant is starving in Venezuela zoo because they can’t afford to feed her

In the Curicuao Zoo in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, Ruperta the elephant is starving to death. The zoo claims they cannot afford to feed her, however officials have turned away concerned citizens and animal advocates who have brought food to the 46-year-old elephant stating there may be some “bad intentions.”

According to the Daily Mail, the head of the Venezuela’s National Parks Institute Marlene Sifontes issued the following statement:

“There is food, but there is not enough variety. They are feeding her only with auyama (a type of pumpkin) and papaya, but it is not covering what she really needs.”

Ruperta’s gaunt body, with her ribs showing through her sagging skin, have been shared online.  Caracas’ El Universal reported that Ruperta  suffers from diarrhea and dehydration, but when neighbors tried to bring carrots and oranges to the elephant over the weekend, the donations were turned away by zoo officials citing sanitary issues. Days later, as the ire boiled over from well-wishers, the zoo released a statement:

“Workers are not allowed to receive donations, because while there are people with good feelings, there are others with bad intentions.”

Román Camacho, the reporter who originally broke the story, took the pictures, and has since stated in a country where hunger abounds, the crisis has become so severe that the only African elephant in all of Venezuela needs help. The elephant had been reported to have fallen, which media claims has been a result of malnutrition, Venezuelan officials insists it was just a simple slip.

Elephants can eat up to 330 pounds of food a day, and the concern remains high on social media importance.

“…this is INHUMANE and INFURIATING. spread the word to help these beautiful creatures that so much deserve a better life,” Paris Jackson, daughter of the late Michael Jackson tweeted on March 26.

Maribel Garcia, the animal rights activist who confirmed the reports on Ruperta’s health, told Fox News that the elephant, who should be weighing seven tons, currently weighs in at four tons.

“Elephants feed on carrots, grass, vegetables, fruits and bamboo leaves,” she said. “We believe that the diet of just pumpkins and the absence of her veterinarian who has treated her for more than 10 years influenced the elephant to be in that state.”

In addition to Ruperta suffering, there have been reports of the lack of basic cleaning supplies at the zoo as well as food for the animals. Unconfirmed reports state at least 50 other zoo denizens have died from starvation. A starving jaguar has been removed from public view, and a horse once on display is gone – advocates fear the animals are being killed to be used as food.

Still Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the country’s socialist leader denies the claims the elephant is starving claiming it is all a conspiracy theory by enemies trying to demoralize the country.

(Photo of elephant is starving via Twitter and R. Camacho)

Check out her video.

 

 

Villagers knit ‘jumbo jackets’ to protect elephants from the cold

Animal lovers in Mathura, India have been knitting sweaters for sanctuary elephants at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation Care Center. The rescue is currently home to 20 elephants who are blind, lame or being rehabilitated. The jumbo jackets will keep them warm through the anticipated cold spell in North India.elephant sweaters 2

According to the Times of India, most of the pachyderms have been rescued from trafficking, illegal captivity and cruel circus venues. Almost all of the elephants have suffered through a lifetime of abuse. Now their compassionate rescuers are making sure these giants never suffer again. Several of the peaceful giants spent most of their lives doing hard work in harsh and cruel conditions; caring for their tortured souls physically and psychologically presents a challenge that everyone is prepared to handle. Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder and CEO of Wildlife SOS stated:

“It is important to keep our elephants protected from the bitter cold during this extreme winter, as they are weak and vulnerable having suffered so much abuse making them susceptible to ailments such as pneumonia. The cold also aggravates their arthritis which is a common issue that our rescued elephants have to deal with.”

In addition to the jumbo jackets provided for the elephants, the center  also provides the animals with extensive open spaces to roam, frequent baths, good food, the best of medical facilities and lots of love. The organisation also runs an Elephant Rehabilitation Centre in Haryana which is home to three elephants. For more information about Wildlife SOS and how you can help, click here.

(Photos screenshots of jumbo jackets to protect elephants via the Independent by Roger Allen)


baby elephant Good things

If only all elephants had the right to be free and raise their own families… Read about excited baby elephant here.

Viral photo of elephants sharing one last moment together is heartbreaking

The viral photo of two elephants sharing one last moment together, as their trunks touch and their eyes longingly gaze upon each other, sadly reminds us how heartless humans can surely be. A Facebook image, posted by Sowmya Vidyadhar, taken on an unknown Bangalore, India city highway just days before Christmas, shows the elephants’ parting moments on two separate trucks; perhaps just seconds before their paths lead in different directions.

Surely elephant emotions reach deep into the human soul because these mammals share so many of our traits. They share the same life span as us and raise their young for nearly 20 years before they reach adulthood. They have strong family ties with intricate social networks, and when a member of the herd dies, elephants mourn very deeply. The young are closely guarded and when migrating, elephants will slow down to accommodate both the young and the very old. Scientists who have studied elephants assure us these immensely intelligent animals easily display jealousy, behavioral issues and love. They are able to communicate in silent voices unheard by man, hear sounds far beyond what we can sense and have memories that are known to span their entire lives. We’ve seen them smile, we’ve seen them grieve, yet we still treat them as if they were placed upon this earth to entertain us.

On December 22, Sowmya Vidyadhar posted the heartbreaking words above the memorable photo:

“Two elephants reach out in a brief moment of love and bonding before being taken away from each other for a lifetime of serving man.
How this image breaks my heart!”

Reactions from readers added to the sadness of the situation:

Sally Kannanthey are such intelligent beings and can recognize their families aftr many many years.. so just imagine the pain they face if they have to stand in chains and see their siblings nearby but can’t even go near them coz of the beatings and shackles ( humans are the worst..”
 
Eat Pray Love SleepFelt the same emotions the first time I saw this very touching moment ! It’s a pity that systems haven’t changed a bit to look into these areas .”
Ayushee SahaI’m waiting for the day when animals won’t be tortured anymore. When humans shall actually be humane and that day isn’t near…I’m afraid.”
Tragically, the question about humans ever changing or better yet – one day be willing to respect all life still remains unanswered? Even more disappointing is it just doesn’t seem to be heading that way.  We can only hope the elephants shall one day meet again and be together.
(Photo of elephants courtesy of Sowmya Vidyadhar Facebook)