Tag Archives | Elephant

Rescued Elephant ‘Cries’ Following 50 Years of Captivity and Abuse

Lizzie Dearden writes at the Independent:

An elephant that was kept in chains for 50 years and abused by a drug addict who used the animal beg in India has been freed.

Raju had been beaten and starved since being poached from the wild as a baby and resorted to eating paper and plastic to fill his stomach.

The chains and spikes wrapped around his legs had left him with chronic wounds and arthritis and he was in almost constant pain.

But now he is walking free for the first time after a daring rescue by conservationists with a court order by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department to take the elephant from his abusive owner.

Screenshot of Raju from Above Video

Screenshot of Raju from Above Video

The charity took Raju in the middle of the night on Thursday, supported by police and state officials.

The elephant’s mahout and previous owner tried to stop him being taken by adding more chains and having people block the roads for the rescue lorry.

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Jodorowsky’s Lost Film

Tusk1980 wasn’t a great year for Alejandro Jodorowsky. Having just barely survived the end of the 1970’s when the film that was to be his magnum opus — an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic Dune — fell apart for the final time, Jodo was anxious to get back to work. He agreed to make a children’s film.

At first, the idea of the anarchist auteur making a movie for kids might sound odd, but Tusk (Poo Lorn L’Elephant) told a tale about the shared fate of an English girl and an Indian elephant. The story had the kind of spiritual overtones that Jodo had marshaled so furiously in The Holy Mountain and the coming of age tale shared some similarities with El Topo — even the Indian locations promised exotic settings that surely inspired the director.

Alas, a classic it was not meant to be. Tusk is roundly criticized by those who’ve been able to see it — the only home release is an un-subtitled French language version on VHS.… Read the rest

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Bomb-test fallout could catch illegal ivory traders

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Could nuclear weapons testing be used to preserve life, instead of representing the ultimate destruction of?

via New Scientist

Nuclear bomb tests 50 years ago have given us a conservation weapon. Determining the levels ofradioactive isotope in ivory should allow us to find out whether it is being illegally traded.

The amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere peaked in 1962 just before the introduction of an international ban on surface testing of nuclear weapons. The rapid rise and subsequent decline of this isotope is known as the bomb curve.

Animal cells take up carbon-14 when they are formed, and because the decay rate of carbon-14 is known, the time of death can be deduced from the amount ofisotope left. Linking the amount of carbon-14 found in organic material with the bomb curve has been used to date human tooth enamel and even regenerating brain cells.

Kevin Uno at Columbia University in Palisades, New York, and colleagues have now used the technique to test 29 samples including elephant tusks and rhino horn collected in East Africa.

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