Straining against his chains, bellowing helplessly for his mother, baby Raja is held captive. He is alone, scared and hungry. The villagers in this Sumatran village are holding him for ransom. His crime: he and his family were searching for food in a deforested area, trespassing on the crops.
Raja’s family, along with other homeless elephants were foraging for food, trying to survive. He was captured and brought into the village, held for weeks in an attempt to bargain with the government for compensation for their lost crops.
One man went so far as to jump on the baby’s back in an attempt to”ride” him, saying the elephant should be trained to do tricks to “earn” his money back.
Various groups tried to get veterinary care to the baby, and fought for his release but sadly Raja died. The stress and inadequate diet were too much for the little elephant.
In the end, it’s not just a matter of saving the elephants (and the Tigers, Rhino and Orangutans in the forests of Asia), but also of saving the people. Deforestation has disastrous effects on the soil, the climate and ultimately the villages.
PLEASE BE AWARE AND RESPONSIBLE!
Palm oil is used in 50% of consumer products, but is NOT a necessary ingredient. Your ice-cream, margarine, shampoo, lipstick, and some breakfast cereals all contain palm oil. Please read labels and avoid palm products. For more information on palm oil or other names it goes by please go to : Say No to Palm Oil or the previous post There’s Orangutan Blood in my Kitchen.