Elephant is the largest living land animal, characterized by its long trunk, columnar legs, and huge head with temporal glands and wide, flat ears. Elephants are grayish to brown in color, and their body hair is sparse and coarse. Elephants may be the largest animals but they are majestic and yet most friendly in nature. Elephants are easily domesticated too, though it is illegal to domesticate them now under Wild Life laws. They are living example of ‘family’ system as they live in families, caring and rearing children. Young elephants are as naughty as any child. See pictures in this tweet:
Look at this Baby Elephant first time on the beach.🤩
From the family Elephantidae, the only extant family of proboscideans and comprising the genera Loxodonta (African elephants) and Elephus (Asian elephants): elephants of all species are characterized by a long, prehensile trunk formed of the nose. African elephants are larger and have bigger ears. They are grazers who still do quite a lot of browsing: they eat leaves, branches and grass. These big ears have many veins, which carry blood throughout the body. Both genders of Loxodonta and just the males of Elephus have tusks.
An elephant‘s trunk is actually a long nose used for smelling, breathing, trumpeting, drinking, and also for grabbing things—especially a potential meal.
Right of Way
The Supreme Court of India, last week, rejected the appeals by resort owners to uphold a 2011 judgment of the Madras High Court that declared that the Tamil Nadu government was within its rights to notify an ‘elephant corridor’ in the Nilgiris district and ordered the eviction of all 39 resorts and encroachments. SC described elephants as “keystone species” for the survival of Indian forests and other animals; during the hearing, Chief Justice of India Sharad Bobde had stated, “the will of men must give way to elephants“.
The elephant corridor connecting the forests in the Western and Eastern Ghats is situated near the Mudumalai National Park, on the way from Mysore to Ooty. In 2010, the Tamil Nadu government notified the area as an elephant corridor. The resort owners went to court against the decision, but the Madras High Court ruled in 2011 that the state was fulfilling its duties under Article 51-A (g) of the Constitution, which says it is the duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment, including wildlife.
The High Court had directed the resort owners to vacate their lands and asked the state to provide an alternative and suitable accommodation for the forest dwellers under the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act. They then approached the SC, which has now upheld the ruling. The SC appointed a three-member committee, headed by retired Madras HC judge K Venkatraman, to identify exact areas to be acquired for the purpose of securing the elephant corridors.
Elephants need spaces and corridors to travel. India can not be imagined without elephants. We must do everything to provide them safe habitat. They have protected us for thousand of years till the artillery broke their near monopoly and for next 800 years of so India was in captivity of invaders who ruled in partnership with local rulers.