amordisney:

Aw little Dumbo! 💙

amordisney:

Aw little Dumbo! 💙

queen-p-controls-the-universe said: hi, just wanted to thank you for posting about elephants! I try to educate myself about killer whales and cetaceans captivity and so far I have gathered quite a bit of knowledge but I didn't know much about elephants and how poorly they were treated, about the one forced to beg for food in the streets etc... so thank you for educating me! Just one quick question. Is it true that elephant have graveyards that they visit after the death of their loved ones or is it an urban legend?

Hey, no problem!  I’m glad you like my posts.  :)

They definitely visit their dead but they don’t have graveyards per se, so that part is just a myth.  They have a special interest in all dead elephants, not necessarily just family, and especially their skulls and ivory.  In a book by Joyce Poole, Coming of Age with Elephants, she talked about how back in the day when ivory was more mainstream, people out in the bush were told to hide any ivory jewelry they had on them because the elephants could smell it and would even reach around a woman’s back to get at the ivory bracelet she was trying to hide.  Cynthia Moss and others have done studies where they present elephants with different skulls, like rhino or buffalo, and they’ve shown elephants are only really interested in elephant skulls.  They’ve also been known to place grass or sticks on their dead, which people interpret as a kind of burial.  Elephants are really remarkable for their treatment of their dead, very unique in the animal kingdom.

renamonkalou:

"Good bye old friend"
by John Chaney

renamonkalou:

"Good bye old friend"

by John Chaney

(Source: National Geographic)

Wildlife Agency Seeks Educational Use For Crushed Ivory

As you may have heard, the United States Fish and Wildlife Agency and counterparts elsewhere, including in China and France, have been crushing tons of confiscated elephant ivory in the fight against elephant poaching.

There are debates about whether such efforts are effectiveScarcity can drive the price for illegal ivory higher, while the publicity might discourage consumers from buying ivory products. But the crushing has the support of many environmental groups, including the Wildlife Conservation Society.

So what happens to the rubbly remains?

The Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking your help in putting the resulting material to educational use. From today through Oct. 15, the agency, through an “Ivory Challenge,” is accepting proposals for a “compelling, thought provoking, informative and impactful display to increase awareness about our fight against illegal wildlife trade.”

I know at least one artist, Asher Jay,* who’ll almost assuredly come up with an idea. [Boy, was I wrong! See the postscript below.]

Here’s more from the agency:

The outcome of this project will be the creation of an educational tool that will raise awareness of the plight of African elephants and other species threatened by poaching and illegal trade and help motivate people to take action to help save endangered wildlife around the world. Given the scope and gravity of this project, there are certain logistical and tactical guidelines that must be followed:

1) As you develop your ideas, please keep in mind that we want this project to create awareness of the issue and incite change. In other words, the idea should incorporate a kiosk, signage, or some other means to provide information about the initiative and the need to stop illegal wildlife trade.

2) Design submissions should reflect the overall intent of the U.S. Ivory Crush – to render the ivory useless – so the ideal design will not glorify or add value to the crushed ivory. For example, creating beautiful, ornate sculptures of elephants from the crushed ivory is contrary to the objective of this design challenge.

3) Given the black market value of ivory, the ideal design will take into account potential security/theft risks. For example, embedding the ivory in a structure where pieces can be easily chipped out and stolen is problematic unless it is encased in a polymer or otherwise shielded.

4) Designs should be in good taste and suitable for display in areas of broad audience (e.g., museums, zoos, schools, etc.).

Download the Entry Form

Postscript, 10:52 p.m. | Actually, I got in touch with Asher Jay tonight and it turns out she’s campaigned against the Fish and Wildlife Service’s approach. Here’s an excerpt from a petition she’s posted at Avaaz.org:

Let us band together and lend a voice to the voiceless, and truly ensure elephants a wild future that is not constantly threatened by the blood ivory trade. Ask yourself this: would you be comfortable with orbiting a design challenge around the remains of human victims from any mass murder or act of genocide? This is simply hypocritical, unethical and a completely counterproductive measure to every effort taken thus far to end the trade in Ivory. Say no to the design challenge, help ensure their future.

Last year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service crushed six tons of seized elephant ivory. Now they are asking you to design a way to display the crushed ivory so that it raises awareness of the illegal wildlife trade and reduces demand for illegal ivory. #IvoryCrush. I know the U.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has been deliberating this for sometime now, and I simply don’t think the Design Challenge idea is a good step forward for FWS, the moratorium, the crush or the trade. It does not sit well with what we are trying to accomplish as a collective, which is to end the slaughter of elephants for their tusks.

If USFWS wants to make a statement that is creative yet not counter productive, then they should not allow for the crush material to take any visual form. Even when mixed into a substrate, the crushed pieces are still large enough to be visible to the naked eye, which will make anything created out of it — no matter how seemingly “educational” or “repellent” or “tragic” — beautiful.

Suggestion:  The best artistic proposition I have for this is to take it to Burning Man, and burn the remains at Burning Man 2015, on a funerary pyre. Not as a spectacle but as a moment of mourning….

What do you guys think?  Is it disrespectful to use the crushed tusks to raise awareness in a romanticized “artful” way or do the (hoped for) ends justify the means?  I think both sides make good points, although the assertion that involving Burning Man and a funeral pyre won’t amount to a spectacle is kinda dumb.  Like, Burning Man is where people go to make spectacles.  Naked hippies will be dancing around that shit sure as the world, lol.

I’m submitting an idea!

(Source: rotmydarling2)

http://youresuchatwat.tumblr.com/post/97707206404/tokitaee-wiildfloweriinbloom-tokitaee

tokitaee:

tokitaee:

wiildfloweriinbloom:

tokitaee:

wiildfloweriinbloom:

tokitaee:

Thinking about visiting the Toronto Zoo soon, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been there other than when I was very young. I know they’re pretty respected and do a lot of good conservation work,…

Wow eh. I’m glad the move ended up happening, cause I mean, elephants in Toronto just isn’t right. I wonder where they went in the winter?
I remember talking to the owner of the Bowmanville Zoo, where Limba lived, and he told me he might try to acquire another elephant. I lost it. I asked him what invisible force gave him the idea that he could adequately care for an elephant if the Toronto zoo couldn’t wen do it. After that, he was all stammers and stutters. Asshat.

From what I could find, Toronto Zoo did what a lot of zoos do during the winter and just locked them inside on concrete (where their feet got torn up and their stereotypies increased). [x][x][x]

Zoos are always trying to get more elephants, they’re like Pokemons (gotta catch them all!) for zoo managers.  A zoo in Kansas is currently trying to charge the city the money they couldn’t raise themselves to build a new breeding facility.  They want to spend 10 million on a brand new tiny yard and barn instead of just sending their elephants to a sanctuary and calling it a day.  Zoos are FUCKED.

dreams-of-whales:

Today I met L120!

wiildfloweriinbloom:

bathe-the-whales:

dreams-of-whales:

I’m beyond thrilled! And Rhapsody breached a dozen times or so. In orca heaven.

PICTURES PLEASE :D

Hey
youresuchatwat
, didn’t you make a post about pregnant Polaris breaching? I thought it was bad bad for pregnant…

A lot of the external trauma of Polaris’ calf was believed to be caused by the stranding and by other pod members trying to keep it from stranding. As for the internal trauma it does point to a dystocia, difficult delivery, though the cause is unclear.

I could definitely see how slide out work on pregnant females would be detrimental to the calf, I’m just not sure that breaching—at least the wild behaviors—are a likely culprit. And I would also say that in all likelihood the whales breach a lot less in the wild than they do in captivity during shows and training sessions.

Again though, these are just my own opinions from my own observations and experiences. :)

Yeah, I actually read the facebook post I linked to and I’m familiar with the term dystocia.  And, like I said in the post you replied to, I’m aware what specifically caused the trauma was not determined.  I don’t need to have my own words repeated back to me.

The fact that people are always out bothering the whales and making them jump more than they normally would (maybe even approaching SeaWorld levels some days) leaves prenatal trauma from repeated impact open as a possibility (as SeaWorld seems to think it’s a possibility, or so I’m told).  I obviously don’t know how likely it is statistically and apparently they couldn’t prove the cause either way, but Polaris was one case where it may have occurred because of the calf’s condition.  

tokitaee:

wiildfloweriinbloom:

tokitaee:

wiildfloweriinbloom:

tokitaee:

Thinking about visiting the Toronto Zoo soon, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been there other than when I was very young. I know they’re pretty respected and do a lot of good conservation work, and I am really…

Thank you guys both! I had read that the reason TZ didn’t want to send their elephants to Cali is because they were old and keepers weren’t sure if they would make the trip without any injuries. Any merit to that, do you think?
I was disappointed to read that basically they had to be forced to send the elephants away. it’s definitely a blemish on their record. I was never able to uncover any other scandals and controversies so I’m actually kind of impressed. I was expecting a laundry list of secrets.

Iringa (44) was the oldest elephant from Toronto to make the journey and that’s not that old (despite what zoos say about life expectancy to cover their own asses).  

Each of the elephants might have had physical maladies I’m not aware of but, yeah, age wasn’t one of them.  The Elephant Sanctuary brought in Shirley when she was 51 and had been in the circus and she had her famous bum leg.  Elephant transport at any age is not without danger but it’s not a legitimate reason to keep elephants in Toronto.  Zoos transfer elephants all the time, circuses travel with them constantly.  It’s not a new thing and there are established practices, I’m sure.  On that zoosmatter site they also seemed to discuss TB a lot, too.  They were probably just grasping at straws.

The only controversy I found was in regards to their dead elephants.  The fact that they seemed to lose so many so rapidly is what prompted the move to PAWS for their remaining elephants to begin with.

Today I met L120!

wiildfloweriinbloom:

bathe-the-whales:

dreams-of-whales:

I’m beyond thrilled! And Rhapsody breached a dozen times or so. In orca heaven.

PICTURES PLEASE :D

Hey
youresuchatwat
, didn’t you make a post about pregnant Polaris breaching? I thought it was bad bad for pregnant orca to be breaching. This makes me nervous! (If she’s even really pregnant)

I thought the latest word was that Rhapsody pooches out her belly and she might not be pregnant?  Funnily enough, I’m basing my “pregnant orcas shouldn’t jump” opinion on the experts at SeaWorld.  Since all the procaps keep telling me how SeaWorld doesn’t let its pregnant orcas do high belly-impact aerials or lay out on the slide out, increased pressure must be bad, right?  SeaWorld is the leading expert in how to kill orca calves, so I’m taking their word for it.

But anyway, yeah, Polaris gave birth to a calf that was all fucked up and it died but I didn’t find any final word on the cause, just injuries that seemed to point to trauma.  

wiildfloweriinbloom:

tokitaee:

wiildfloweriinbloom:

tokitaee:

Thinking about visiting the Toronto Zoo soon, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been there other than when I was very young. I know they’re pretty respected and do a lot of good conservation work, and I am really interested to see what their enclosures are like.

I know there was some drama with…

PAWS is really great from what I’ve read, as far as I know. Or wait are you asking about the zoo?

I was asking about PAWS but also interested if anyone has any opinions on the zoo! I don’t want it to be a SeaWorld situation, where it looks good at first, but is actually awful on the inside.

PAWS is great. I would just to to their website http://www.pawsweb.org

For anyone who doesn’t know PAWS is comprised of three large sanctuaries in northern Cali that is dedicated to rescuing circus animals. Also PAWS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. So there’s that which is definitely important that they’re non profit. They’re not in it for the money. It was started by Pat Derby an ex circus trainer.

Toki if you want my sincere opinion on zoos…blah. Especially in Canada, they seem to be pretty lax on the animal welfare front. I won’t go to any zoo, when I was looking up zoos to discredit someone’s elephant photos from a zoo a while back I just pretty much decided to hate them all unless they’re non profit, and don’t hold animals they can’t provide for. That’s pretty hard to find.

tokitaee I’ll echo Sami’s words about PAWS and add that for me their biggest selling point is they’re endorsed by wild elephant experts and they themselves push the idea that elephants shouldn’t continue to be kept in captivity, even in sanctuaries.  

As far as the Toronto Zoo, what I know about them comes from what I’ve read about the PAWS elephant transfer fiasco.  They were housing the elephants in inappropriate weather in a too-small exhibit and then basically fought tooth and nail to keep them there.  It got really ugly.  So my opinion, based on that info, isn’t that high for the zoo (plus I can’t tell who ran this PAWS smear site but I feel like it was definitely intimately connected with the Toronto Zoo).  Basically when it comes to their ethics I’m not as impressed as I have been by zoos, like the zoo in Detroit who willingly sent their elephants to PAWS when they recognized their limitations in providing them a good life.

But I’ve never been to the zoo or seen the other exhibits so I can’t really speak about their treatment of other animals.