In a zoo long long ago (the 1970’s), in a land far far away (Duluth, MN) our school took a trip to the zoo. We were all in our hats and gloves because it is cold most of the school year in that land far far away. During this visit one of my classmates reached in between the bars of the cage with his gloved hand toward a large gray animal with the biggest nose I ever saw in my life. The animal promptly stretched out its long nose and grabbed my classmate’s glove, and it wouldn’t let go. My classmate soon began screaming. And so the animal let go of his hand.
This was my first introduction to a live elephant. I’ve always thought it was an interesting introduction, and I’ve always wondered what my classmate thinks of elephants now. I’ve also wondered what the elephant thought of the individual who reached out it, and then reacted so negatively when the elephant returned the favor.
I’m glad to know that zoos are no longer like they were in that long ago age, but I still wonder what elephants think of humans. It’s sad, but many individuals still kill these animals simply for their tusks. Even though these animals are protected by governments, there is an illegal trade for the ivory that comes from their tusks.
I wonder if the elephants think of efforts of individuals like Jim Nyamu. Jim walked 650 miles in Kenya to raise awareness about a program called Ivory Belongs to Elephants. Do you think they are happy about the success of the program has seen in decreasing elephant poaching from 5 elephants a month to 1 or 2? Or do they simply feel that all humans should be avoided because they are all like the poachers?