After visiting Boon Lotts Elephant Sanctuary (BLES) last Christmas, I kind of fell in love with elephants. I realized how intelligent and social they are, and how many of them suffer in circuses, ill-equipped zoos, as tourist lures, as loggers. Elephants mean money, whether they're giving rides to kids (which is NOT safe for them or the children!) or being killed for their tusks.
So I'll be celebrating World Elephant Day tomorrow by advocating for elephants. It's so easy to make a difference by signing petitions and spreading the word.
If you want to know more, go here. You can sign their petition or learn more or download badges like the ones I have here.
And here's a petition near and dear to my heart - to Free Mali, the elephant suffering alone in the Manila Zoo without friends, in a tiny concrete pen, suffering from bad feet. I'm actually not a huge fan of PETA for many reasons (you do NOT want to get me started on that!), but I do completely support this effort by them and other organizations to move Mali to BLES, where I myself have seen just how happy the elephants there are.
Here, for example, are how the elephants at BLES are handled - with no hooks, spikes, or whips - just gentle guidance from their kind, trained mahouts
They walk and wander where they like on natural surfaces, get regular foot and veterinary care, and eat nothing but the freshest plants and fruits. They also get to choose their friends, and spend all day and night happily in their company.
Here are Lotus, Wassana, and Pang Dow, three ladies who are the best of buddies, on a day they decided to go down to the river and splash in the mud.
There are more like Mali out there, but that's enough lecturing for one blog post.
Maybe one day we can stop the trafficking of ivory, save the elephants in the wild, and treat those in captivity with the respect they deserve.
So here's to that day and early Happy World Elephant Day!