The Asian elephant, constantly under threat from the poachers and a fast shrinking habitat faces a more serious threat today-one that comes from its custodians.
The brutal capture, torture and subsequent death of a young tusker in a capture operation authorised by the government prompted Mike Pandey to stop filming his documentary on ‘Elephants in Crisis’ and turn it into a news feature.
The footage exposed the cruel and archaic methods of capture being used with no concern for the animal, a protected and endangered species.
The news feature was a protest and demanded the immediate cessation of capture of elephants in this brutal way and a call for policy changes if elephants are to be protected.
Within 3 days of the release of this news feature the Government of India suspended all capture of wild elephants. Individuals in charge of the botched capture operation were suspended.
The news created international outrage – International news agencies picked it and activists from all over the world joined in triggering a global signature campaign by IFAW. www.ifaw.org/ifaw_international/index.php
In India changes in policies and rules were made at a national level ensuring that all future captures take place with modern facilities and in the presence of experts to avoid trauma and cruelty after capture. Elephant welfare became top priority.
Winner of the Panda News Award at Wildscreen 2004
Exec’ Producer/Cameraman/Narrator: Mike Pandey
Directed by: Ritambra Rana
Address: C-18, Chirag Enclave, New Delhi – 110048, India
Phone: +91 11 26410684/26216508 Fax: +91 11 26216508
Websites: www.mikepandey.org & www.riverbankstudios.com/doc_vanishing_giants.htm
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Earth Matters Foundation: www.earthmattersfoundation.org
By Jason Peters