Thursday, March 13, 2014

One Hour In Elephant Kingdom Part-1

Pinnawala Elephant Sanctuary, for the first time I was going to visit a place like this. So far I had only heard about animal sanctuaries or safari parks or these sorts of places but it was my first experience to visit a true wild-life park full of elephants!
As I already mentioned, we were having sessions in the MIMT for around two days, so getting fresh air and visiting a new place created more enthusiasm in me.  And I could see others, and could feel their excitement too!

It was a very well-organized place, wonderfully planned apt to the taste of tourists. I kept being amazed with new revelations one after another!

After entering in the park we encountered with the first big fat elephant which was eating very eagerly and two caretakers kept feeding it. At first I thought it was the place where they feed elephants but later it turned out to be that the particular elephant was kept there to be fed by the tourists! Amy Hill and Chole Parry bought a basket full of watermelons and some other fruits to feed that elephant. That elephant must have felt lucky. All it had to do was keeping its mouth wide open and eating. I watched some heavenly moments while it was finishing off remnants of fruits. I gave it a thought whether I wanted to buy another basket and feed it but then I thought the elephant might not mind anything but as a sensible Active Citizens I should pay attention to its diet. How far I could reckon, it still had lots of consuming to come!

Amy and Chole are feeding the elephant

We found the second elephant which was kept in chain. Our two ISV Participants from Sri Lanka, Kaveesha and Madhavi investigated about it and they came to know from one of the caretakers that the elephant was mad. That elephant was a big one as well.  They warned us not to go very near to it. I was a bit curious if a giant elephant becomes ferociously mad whether the chain could control it. As I had read it previously somewhere that elephants had become notorious for their violent rage and sometimes fatal outbursts. Their strength and rage made them one of the most potentially dangerous animals in the world. It was also said that such kind of behavior of elephants was often preceded by a rocking motion and most dangerously this fact was true in the case of both wild and captive elephants in stressful situations, and most commonly the elephants that were kept in circus or zoo. Thought it was a sanctuary and I hoped that the elephants were taken care of well enough still the possibility could not be just thrown away.  

The Mad Elephant 

I looked at the mad elephant again. There were chains in its four legs and neck. It looked quite helpless at the same time it created invisible fear. It was said that excess frustration even made them more violent. What if it had become tired by locked up in chains? What if it had become frustrated from those poles and heavy irons?

Anyway, I moved on.

I found out that every elephant had its own name and the thing which really amused me was that all the caretakers knew each and every elephant’s name and they could even differentiate one elephant from the other! One of the caretakers introduced me with a family of elephants which contained a grand-ma elephant, a grand-pa elephant, some of their children and grand-children elephants!  
Elephants enjoyed a very unique family structure which was to some extent similar to the structure of bull and cow. In the elephant herd, the lead was taken by a female elephant which meant that elephants were matriarch-headed. So, I assumed that now the family was under the command of grand-ma elephant and I bid her a salute!

I finally took a look around the whole ground and at that moment I felt like I was in the lost world! Just in this case, this lost world was full of elephants not dinosaurs!!
I was really enjoying, and I headed to venture more..

(To be continued)