I met Dalah in 2018 when I went to volunteer at the Elephant Nature Park. I went to volunteer as part of my passion for doing something for the plight of Elephant abuse. I am also guilty of playing a role in the entertainment industries which abuse animals. When I went to Sri Lanka with my daughter, I went on an Elephant ride, and I thought it was a cool thing to do because as a little girl, she loved the Indian film called Hathi mere Sathi (means Elephant, my friend ). I never stopped to think or felt that I was playing a part in the Elephant’s misery for life.
In 2015 when I went to Kerala in India, My friends asked me if I would like to see anything, and I said I love Elephants and would love to see them. They said, yes, we know the perfect place, and you can see the elephants. I was excited and thought we would go on a safari and see them in the wild. We arrived at a place called Guruyvar Temple; as soon as I entered, I was shocked to see a lot of elephants all Chained up, and some were being bathed by a hosepipe. One Elephant looked like it was in pain as it seemed to be screaming. They were all on the concrete floor and just looked really sad. I couldn’t believe what I saw and asked my friends why they were chained up and what this place was. I was told these elephants are offerings from people for their wishes to be fulfilled by God or gifts by rich people on occasion. These elephants are also rented out to weddings and festivals. I was really emotional and wanted to leave, but my friends couldn’t understand why. After a while, we left. I told my daughters, and they did some research, and my heart was bleeding from what I read.
I met Dalah, and her story really broke my heart. Dalah was a baby when she was stolen from her mother( just like most elephants are for entertainment, rides, and log pulling industries ). She was stolen for the forced breeding gangs. Forced breeding is another form of cruel abuse where the female Elephant is tied up, and a bull is forced to rape her repeatedly until she is pregnant, and then the babies are sold for rides, entertainment or further breeding. Dalah probably had few babies and possibly killed some too, as the Elephant mother often does due to the trauma they are made to endure.
When I met Dalah, she had multiple injuries. She had severely infected soars on her legs, her feet were exceptionally soared from being tied up for hours on end on concrete floors and no foot care, she was mentally distorting, and the tears which ran down from her eyes told a lot. She was so sad, and despite a lot of treatments and tender loving care, Dalah passed away in 2019. I kind of felt relief that she was at peace and no more pain. I miss her a lot.
We all need a lot of education and awareness regarding all these beautiful animals on earth to co-exist with us and play a significant part in our ecosystems. We need to stop all this abuse to save this earth for the animals, humans, and the future of the next generations.
Since my visit to Elephant Nature Park, I was glad to hear they have stopped all close contact with the elephants with tourists and stopped the bathing with the Elephant’s programs. Elephants are born to be free, and we all have to let them be free and live in their natural environment and not in the Zoos or the entertainment industries. They are brilliant and emotional beings. There should be no need for animal sanctuaries if these majestic beings are left alone to roam with their families and play a vital part in saving our planet.
Saying goodbye to my beautiful Dalah was very emotional
I hope this blog will inspire you to do your own research into wildlife conservation.
Dalah passed away in 2019. May she rest in Peace. She will always have a special place in my heart.
Some links below