Saturday, November 15, 2008

Just Trying To Help

Funny how things sometimes turn out. Not funny Ha! Ha! Funny strange. A friend in Sri Lanka has just told me about a poignant series of events that happened there just recently. Sri Lankans are for the most part a kindly and gentle people and in all the years I lived in Sri Lanka I can never remember seeing people being cruel to animals. It is not just that they are not cruel to them they will actually go out of their way to help them. And like many people in the East they have a special regard for elephants. A villager from Morahena near Kakirawa up near Anuradhapura came across an elephant and her calf stuck in a pit. He ran back to the village to tell everyone what he had found and to summons everyone to help. About 60 people came both to lend a hand and to watch and after a lot of discussion and experimentation they managed to get the calf out. The calf, probably terrified by the experience and confused by being separated from her mother charged the crowd and then ran off. The mother, probably equally frightened, not understanding that the people were trying to help her and thinking that they had taken her calf, managed to extract herself from the hole and immediately began chasing the very man who had found her and called for help. She chased him across a field, caught him and holding him in her trunk stamped him to death. Understandably, the villagers feelings now changed from sympathy to angry horror and taking sticks and rocks they tried to kill the mother. Some policemen how had arrived on the scene prevented this from happening and the villagers retrieved the body of the dead man and returned to the their village and the elephant and her calf ran together back into the forest. Such are the strange twists and turns of samsara.
To see the dramatic photos of a man who happened witness this whole tragedy go to and click Human Elephant Conflict

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