Mumbai joins the largest Global March ever for animals



By Team Thane SPCA


Mumbai united with lakhs of people in 137 cities across the globe demanding action by  individuals, peoples, governments to end the vile trade in body parts of endangered species like elephants and rhinos.


The largest March for Animals of its kind ever, across the globe, the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos (GMFER) on 4th October 2014 aimed at raising awareness about the near – extinction status of elephants and rhinos and asking every government to play their part too, by increasing penalties for bribery, corruption and trafficking offenses, and by shutting down all retail outlets and ivory carving factories.


Elephants, Rhinos and such other large animals are “Keepers of our Forests”. Losing them would mean losing our forests, our rivers and an incredible ecological system. Illegal poaching these animals are increasingly being linked to funding of organised crime and armed militia groups, fuels conflict and poses environmental, development and security challenges. Our cultural need to own Ivory products or use horns of animals in medicines is leading these animals to extinction.


Thane SPCA was asked by the Global Organisers to host the event in Mumbai.


Mumbai marched through an area which has a lot of rich traders of ivory- which houses the Mantralaya, Hon’ble the High Court, State Police Headquarters, 5 Star Hotels – all in all a sensitive zone. To add to our woes, this was a long weekend of almost 5 days, the Eid coming up and the Code of Conduct stretch for the Legislative Assembly elections around the corner. So we were not given permission to March the entire way. Clad in eye catching red we started off with a gathering at Chowpatty, rode an open top BEST bus for 2 hours chanting Anti Poaching slogans, and ended with a silent march and demonstration at Chowpatty forming a human  chain.


Thane SPCA is humbled  that Marchers specially flew in from Bangalore, drove in from Pune, and joined us from the U.K and the U.S. We thank Raww India with who we partnered for this March.


We thank all organisers of all the 137 cities with whom we connected in spirit on this day and marched for a common cause.


We marched for the 672 elephants and the 18 rhinos who will be killed worldwide in the next one week for their tusks and their horns.


We marched for 100% TOTAL worldwide ivory and rhino horn BANS! We marched for strict enforcement, stiffer penalties and TO SHUT DOWN IVORY CARVING FACTORIES!


We Marched for Earth’s wild icons. We Marched for their survival. We Marched against extinction.


This year we were 60 of us, next year let us be 600 !


With warm regards,

Team Thane SPCA


To visit Thane SPCA’s website, click here

Photo: Courtesy of Thane SPCA



KENYA: Daphne Sheldrick’s “Love, Life, and Elephants”



In an interview by Jim Fleming on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “To the best of our knowledge,” Daphne Sheldrick talks about her book, Love, Life, and Elephants.


She had known Eleanor since she was a two year old orphan and had successfully rehabilitated her back into a wild herd.  Occasionally, she went to visit Eleanor, who would come over, greeting her affectionately.  They would spend a few moments together, and then Eleanor would go back to her herd.  One day Daphne Sheldrick wanted to introduce Eleanor to one of her human friends.  They set off to find her, and thought they had spotted her by a waterhole.  She didn’t look quite the same, but she was standing there quite unafraid, so it had to be Eleanor.  When called, she came over.  Daphne Sheldrick stood next to her and put her hand up to touch her behind the ear, as she always did with Eleanor.


It was then that she realized her mistake.  The elephant was startled and lashed out, using the same amount of force she would have used with another elephant, sending Daphne Sheldrick sprawling on the ground.  A moment later she felt the elephant trying to pick her up with her tusks.  With her knowledge of elephants, she knew the elephant would already have killed her if that was her intention.  Instead, she was trying to help her.  Daphne Sheldrick had a broken leg.  The elephant gently touched her with her trunk, trying to help, but seeing that there was nothing she could do, after a few minutes, she turned and walked away.


Daphne Sheldrick discovered later that this elephant, who she called Kathryn, was Eleanor’s best friend, and apparently the two must have had a talk with each other about Daphne Sheldrick, because Kathryn, a wild elephant, had immediately trusted her and even came when called. Kathryn only lashed out when she was unexpectedly startled, and then she was sorry, not having intended to cause any harm.


Daphne Sheldrick’s book, Love, Life, and Elephants recounts stories of a lifetime of profound experiences with elephants and other wild animals.  Of the elephants, she says they are very similar emotionally to humans.  She is convinced that they communicate telepathically, citing the story of Eleanor and Kathryn, but says that they are “very much nicer than humans.”


David Sheldrick, when he was alive was the founder warden of Tsavo National Park, which is the size of Michigan and which holds the largest population of wild elephants in Kenya.  Daphne Sheldrick worked in the park with her husband, and together they began to care for and rehabilitate orphaned wildlife.  After David Sheldrick’s death in 1977, she continued this work and founded The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, in memory of her husband.  Courtesy of the Kenyan government, she has lived and worked in the Nairobi National Park since that time, caring for wildlife, with a dedicated staff, at the Orphan’s Nursery.


To hear this Wisconsin Public Radio interview with Daphne Shelton online, click here.


To visit the website of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, click here.


Photo:  Sharon St Joan / wild elephants at Samburu National Park,  Kenya