Friday, 19 June 2015

This World Once Belonged To Elephants

Elephant in the Taru Desert after the rainy season walks up to the highlands

Elephants are one of the most adaptable of all animals in this world. They have been found to survive in all sorts of habitats including deserts, grasslands, highlands, swamps, forests and all these unique diverse environments quite literally cover most of the planet. Their extinct decedents the wooly mammoths were once also commonly found in the Arctic Tundra!

Elephants are majestic mammals that have been able to adapt across the earth primarily because of their high intelligence and extraordinary memory that keeps helping them to find reliable sources of food and water. Elephants follow age old migration routes have been passed down to them from generations. The paths they follow seemingly takes them around in a circle from one place to another in an annual or six month cycle, moving them from one sustainable location to another. 
Once food and water has almost been depleted at their current location, they intelligently know when to move on to the next area and then the next after that, always ensuring that when they return to the beginning, the food and water supplies they had earlier left behind once almost decimated, would now have been fully rejuvenated. This cycle ensures that elephants are able to adapt and thrive in all kinds of living conditions. This key cycle for their survival is however sadly coming to an end. 

For one, Poachers have been killing most of the adult male and also the female matriarch elephants. Adult elephants are the only memory source for all the elephant migration routes and without them around to show the way, young elephants are unable to survive when food and water runs out due to consumption or when the climatic seasons change. 

Urban progress is also taking an effect on the elephant's survival. With new infrastructure being built, habitat and feeding grounds are being destroyed while migration routes are being fenced or cut off. There once was a time where elephants could freely traverse about their continents, today most of them are confined to national parks and surrounding conservancies, their cycle areas are now much smaller in size and also very competitive between other herds of elephants and other animals. 

There is some ray of hope however. Once poaching is drastically reduced, parks and conservancies expanded and new wildlife corridors created, some of the old migratory routes can be rekindled and new ones also created helping to ensure that our world will once again still belong to the elephants.

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