Post by Rory Young:
Something To Lighten Things Up
Post by Rory Young:
Something To Lighten Things Up
Answer by Rory Young:
The Brutal Reality That No One Wants To Face… Welcome to my world…
There are many horriffic ways to die. However, few are so common as what you will see in the following pictures.
I took the first series of shots last week whilst on an area reconnaisance patrol in one of Malawi's National Parks. It shows a ranger triggering a large home-made gin trap. One of the men under my command just missed stepping on it as he was focused on flank security for the tracker nearby.
The tracker amazingly spotted it from behind and to the right from a distance. Tracker-scouts are trained not to walk on game trails for this reason, as well as to not leave signs of their presence for poachers to see. The picture below that shows what one of these traps did to a baby elephant.
You can see in the above picture how well concealed these terrible devices are.
In this picture the ranger pushes on the trap with a stick.
In the above shot the trap is triggered. Look at the size of it compared to the rangers ankle/leg.
Now look at what one of these sick machines did to this poor creature. It survived for days in agony with sepsis streaming through its system before a vet saw him and after trying to see what could be done, asked a friend of mine mercifully put him out of his misery.
These horrible contraptions are equally a threat to the rangers. Some are deliberately intended for elephants. They are huge and chained to large leadwood trees. Stepping on them will simply remove your leg at the knee. The smaller one such as that in the picture will destroy the bones in your leg. We have no helicoptors waiting to swoop in an pick us up and these areas are inaccessible to vehicles. The only way to get a wounded man out is by carrying out through swampy ground and then boat. At least a day.
I am lucky, I at least have insurance, thanks to Chengeta Wildlife. Most of the rangers don't. Being injured can also mean financial ruin for them and their families.
Here is another terrfying, slow and agonizingway to die.
A wire noose round your neck slowly strangling then loosening over and over until eventually it tightens enough to cause you a slow and painfull final strangulation.
These wire snares are not only good for strangulation though. Here are some more shots of lions dying from starvation because they are caught by wire or by infection or loss of blood.
Caught by the leg.
Caught round the chest.
Maybe these are really not painful, sickening or frightening enough. In which case there is having your horn hacked out of your face while you are still alive…
I guess I better stop there. Those who have complained I have been spammy in trying to gather support to stop this holocaust might be offended…
To those who have tried to spread the word or who have even just told someone else that there is a tragedy happenng or simply acknowledged it, thank you. To the men and women I work with in the field and to those who struggle on our behalf to find the money, I love you all.
I am so, so tired right now of seeing scenes like this in real life.
Post by Lisa Groeneweg:
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
Post by Rory Young:
A pin for a life.
That is exactly what you and I are doing by letting elephants and other “keystone” species race towards extinction.
I can certainly understand that many people wll imagine that I am exaggerating as this catastrophe is belived by pretty much everyone to be very distant. I am not exaggerating at all and I will explain…
We need to stop this insanity now for the sake of our children and our children’s children. (Photo: Rory Young)
African, Asian and Forest Elephants are all amongst the most important “keystone species”. Their size and power combined with their eating habits mean that they literally shape their environment, “gardening” the forests and other habitats they live in, keeping the entire ecosystems healthy.
Forest elephants at Dzanga Baie in Central African Republic. (Photo: Rory Young)
These ecosystems, from the Congo Basin rain forests and the tropical and sub-tropical woodlands of Africa to the forests of South-East Asia are dependent on elephants “gardening” them.
Rain forests alone directly supply 28% of the world’s oxygen and are a key element in keeping our climate stable. They are only one of the habitats of which a large part are dependent on elephants to keep them healthy. Does anyone really believe our world could survive with a bit less oxygen in our atmosphere? Unfortunately not. Without healthy air we all, humans and animals alike, get sick and we die. Good luck trying to live a healthy life breathing even slightly polluted air.
Elephants are the largest frugivores on earth. Just as insects, bats and birds are critical to pollination, elephants are extremely critical to seed germination and dispersal. They have very poor digestive systems yet eat a huge variety of fruits and cover vast distances. The result is a major proportion of the different tree species having their seeds widely dispersed after being planted in a nice pile of elephant poo.
Other animals and plants are dependent on elephants opening up areas for them to access. I was recently in a park in West Africa where elephants are now extinct. The first thing that struck me was how impenetrable the forest now is. In a healthy forest ecosystem there is a maze of game trails and clearings where other animals and different species can move about, or young plants can gain a foothold…
All of this adds up. When we destroy the pillar of an ecosystem, we create a terrible domino effect.
There are now no elephants in 95% of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s forests. The DRC has the bulk of the Congo Basin rain forest. Recent studies have revealed that the African rain forests are now “browning”. No one has the faintest clue how badly that could affect us. However, no one is denying that it is a disaster of giant proportions. No one amongst those who even know about it of course..
We are heading for catastrophe. Add up all of the other areas where elephants are key to a healthy ecosystem and the situation is chilling.
Non-elephant (Photo:Rory Young)
This is not even taken into account when it comes to discussions on the effects on climate of man’s “progress”. We have yet to discover what the results of this disgraceful and stupid failure on the part of Africa, Asia and the international community will be.
It doesn’t stop there. The disaster only begins with climate change. The effect on agriculture and the economies in Africa will be devastating. The Sahara is already moving South, causing starvation and inter-ethnic conflict never before seen on this scale.
People are on the move and every year the numbers living in extreme poverty are rocketing. Those desperate people are prime candidates for recruitment by the number of terrorist and rebel groups proliferating rapidly across the continent. These groups are getting stronger and more popular by the day.
Has everyone forgotten 9/11? Does everyone believe they can contain extremism militarily? I guarantee you that unless we put a stop to the unfolding chaos, it will become, over time, far, far worse than ever before. This really is a global village in every way.
Welcome to the future. (Photo: National Geographic)
These masses of hungry people are also driving the bushmeat trade. The unprecedented Ebola epidemic this year was only one aspect of a dire warning. There were outbreaks in three completely different parts of Africa; West Africa (Guinea etc.), Central Africa (D.R.Congo) and East Africa (Uganda). This is the habitat of elephants. As we are wiping them out and raping their habitat, we are releasing unknown biological weapons on ourselves.
Refugee family fleeing inter-ethnic killing in CAR (Photo: Rory Young)
We are in a total war against ourselves and have not yet realized it. The world’s response has been less than pathetic. We are trying to fix the problem as it was, not as it is, let alone what it could be.
Here is the key to the problem and the solution. We are not separate from or independent of our environment. We are a part of it and are dependent on it being healthy. The elephant’s decline is not just the loss of a beautiful species, it is a reflection of the loss of the elephant’s environment, and if we lose the elephant’s environment, we will lose our environment. We cannot fix the looming sixth extinction just recently prophesied by scientists (USA today article) once it has happened:
The loss and decline of animals around the world — caused by habitat loss and global climate disruption — mean we’re in the midst of a sixth “mass extinction” of life on Earth, according to several studies out Thursday in the journal Science.
One study found that although human population has doubled in the past 35 years, the number of invertebrate animals – such as beetles, butterflies, spiders and worms – has decreased by 45% during that same period.
“We were shocked to find similar losses in invertebrates as with larger animals, as we previously thought invertebrates to be more resilient.” said Ben Collen of the U.K.’s University College London, one of the study authors.
Although big, photogenic species, such as tigers, rhinos and pandas, get the bulk of the attention, researchers say it’s clear that even the disappearance of the tiniest beetle can significantly change the various ecosystems on which humans depend.
“We tend to think about extinction as loss of a species from the face of Earth, and that’s very important, but there’s a loss of critical ecosystem functioning in which animals play a central role that we need to pay attention to as well,” said lead author Rodolfo Dirzo of Stanford University.
“Habitat destruction will facilitate hunting and poaching, and species will have difficulty in finding refuge given land use change and climatic disruption,” added Dirzo.
We cannot live without healthy wild areas. The cities we live in are not isolated little bubbles that exist without dependence on the rest of the world, they depend entirely on the supply of food and other resources that originate in the warzone that are our last wild places. Instead of interacting in harmony with the environment they need to sustain themselves, they are becoming out of control monsters, with ravenous appetites, sucking up resources and the sucking up of those resources is . The loss of the elephant will signal the beginning of the irreversible loss of our world.
This is not something I have heard or read about. I have seen all this happening with my own eyes. In the last year alone I have seen the inter-ethnic butchery in Central Africa on two separate trips there. I have spent six weeks in Guinea at the height of the Ebola outbreak. I have seen the slaughter of elephants with my own eyes over and over and over, all over the continent. I have watched the forests change over my entire life time. It is all very personal and in my face for me right now, and it is going to all get very personal and in your face for everyone else’s too, very soon.
If we cannot save the elephant then we cannot save ourselves.
If you are interested in avoiding the creation of hell on earth then please visit Take a Stand for African Elephants and Rhinos or Chengeta Wildlife or Quorans For A Cause
Post by Christine Leigh Langtree:
My Frugal Family…
Post by Ellen Vrana:
Help Goose Save The Elephants