With Judi being an Elephant Supporter/Advocate and having worked on elephants holistically from Britain she was encouraged to take up the opportunity of going to India to visit some previously abused elephants at Wildlife SOS (they had been rescued from human exploitation such as street begging, circus’s and tourism in other words used for riding). But ultimately they were mostly used for financial gain but sadly some were used and abused through human temper like many others who are sadly still being used to be abused or for human entertainment but who, hopefully – thanks to the amount of coverage they are getting now due to the millions of supporters they have via facebook and generally the internet.
Knowing that Lauder Lass’s History was similar to many of the Elephants we were asked to take some of her books out there. But with having been given donations of Medical Equipment, computers, mobile phones, bandages, pens, pencils and much more, the space left in the case was minimal. However, 6 were taken out and none came back. Some of them were handed over to Kartick Satyanarayan, the Co-Founder and Chairman of Wildlife SOS, Agra, India. Although due to all the animals that Wildlife SOS have and their daily rescues, it was not known whether Kartick would have time to accept Lauder Lass’s book and the other donations in person or not, but Judi got word there was going to be a slot on the third day, which she felt very touched about, especially when he has such a busy schedule rescuing, and organising the rescue of many different animals as well as manning all the sloth bears as well as other animals at Mathura.
The picture below shows her book being handed over to Kartick . Judi explained the fear and clear anxiety that Lauder Lass showed in the beginning which is very similar to some of the Elephants who arrive at Wildlife SOS just as many of Lauder Lass scars are life long like many of the elephants wounds. Most of them having been chained and spurred, often by all four ankles, for many many years, often with many beatings in between and a lack of proper Elephant food again similar to Lauder Lass. Some of you may remember from visiting her or from reading her book that when Lauder Lass first arrived all she would eat was Doughnuts and hobnobs . . it was as if she didn’t know what apples or proper horse food was. But with time and a mass of patience she soon realised, it just took an age to make her feel secure enough to eat next to you never mind out of your hand. In comparison with her, the elephants at Wildlife SOS were surprisingly trusting already.
But with thanks to many people who have visited Lauder Lass her confidence has increased, and a kinder and more gentle horse you will never find, just like each elephant who has been rescued at Wildlife SOS and the time their amazing staff put in to each of the elephants to make them feel as comfortable and at ease as possible.
Thank you Kartick.
THE TRUNK COULD SQUASH YOU, THE PADS COULD FLATTEN YOU, THE BODY COULD MAKE YOU IN TO A PANCAKE IN SECONDS, THE MOUTH COULD MAKE MINCEMEAT OF YOUR HAND yet, not a sign of anger or frustration was shown by the elephants
THE HOOVES COULD KICK YOU, THE BITE COULD KILL YOU, THE BODY WEIGHT COULD FLATTEN YOU, CORNER YOU AND MAKE YOU IN TO ONE HUGE BLACK AND BLUE BRUISE
One of the things Judi was surprised at was the trust that these massive creatures had with humans, unlike Lauder Lass who would rather have ran a mile away or jumped the nearest stone wall or gate as soon as you got within 30 feet of her. At Wildlife SOS there are groups or mini herds of elephants each who are taken for lengthy walks chain and rope free. They meander slowly, with their mahout/Carer and groups of 2 or three volunteers usually first thing in the morning when the sun isn’t too hot (March/April). The elephants just accepted the human presence without any temper tantrums or fear, unless there was a sound of a motor bike, but even then, they would just turn round in circles a few times and create blowing sounds out of their pipe sounding trunk, creating a bit of dust as they pawed the ground with their massive honeycombed pads which was clearly the sign of unease.
Each Mahout and elephant showed the patience of Saints, even when little dumpy Laxmi went on her own little wander down to the river
Chanchal and Bijl and their Mahout called and waited patiently till she decided to return just as Lauder Lass slowly realised that actually life with humans wasn’t /isn’t that bad after all and that joining the kind humans was in their favour.
The similarities, the emotions, the feeling of walking beside such beauties when once they were beaten. scared, chained and tied all by human hands was as powerful as that first moment, albeit months later, when Lauder lass had the confidence to take something from your hand. The affinity was immense and the bond between the Mahouts and these beautiful elephants was as powerful as the bond Judi has with Lauder Lass. it also seemed that the emotions that many people feel when walking with the elephants was as emotional for them as it was/is for Lauder Lass’s new visitors.
The connection between such abused animals was strong, just as the importance of these elephants sharing time with ‘new people’ was as confidence raising for them as it was for Lauder Lass. The proof of organising ‘gentle people’ to share such time with abused animals is absolutely imperative and allows their cruel past to be put to rest and the new chapters of their book of life to begin.
To walk with any animal with 50/50 understanding and respect is absolutely the way to go for all who are involved with animals or indeed any living creature.
More on the similarity between abused elephants and other animals to follow