Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Appu's family

Bittu Sahgal writes in Sanctuary Asia:
"What is to be the fate of the elephant in India? Poachers know their migration routes even better than researchers and forest officers do. And with CITES in the clutches of wildlife traders, loopholes that allow them to continue to kill and profit seem here to stay for a while. What is worse is that the high stakes have led many people who should be protecting elephants to turn a blind eye, because they are in on the take. Adding to the bleak future for elephants is the fact that they are intensely disliked by farmers, whose crops they raid and whose deaths they occasionally cause. And the retaliation is vicious. Live high tension wires from overhead electric lines are laid onto elephant paths. Petrol soaked rags are lit and then thrown on their backs. Barbed wire, laced with pesticides is hidden under the leaf litter on known trails to wound and thus kill the animals."

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