Elephant – the most exploited animal
Despite elephant-headed Ganesha being widely worshipped across India, at least 100 elephants die every year in the country, with many poached for ivory and many more captured and sold to traffickers. Years of exploitation have made the Asian elephant an endangered species, while their African counterparts too have become vulnerable. “It takes about six months of consistent torture to break an elephant calf’s strength and courage in order to domesticate it – thereby making it fit for sale,” said Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of animal conservation organisation Wildlife SOS. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFor a juvenile elephant the degree of the torture is three times more in order to “break it”.After this “orientation”– which involves starvation, piercing of the ears with hot iron rods and pulling a rope through the pierced holes to restrict its movement, these animals are sold to circuses, temples, the timber-lifting trade or safaris for further training and service. According to elephant biologists, without the methods of torture it may take up to six years for a calf to become submissive.“They are being trafficked and poached from everywhere.” said Shekhar Kumar Niraj, Head TRAFFIC, WWF-India. Animal experts say that by the time elephants are rescued, they develop psychological disorders and are unfit to be released in the wild due to the extensive damage done to them. In India, less than 100 elephant corridors remain in the wild, with many dysfunctional and all shrinking.