Monday, September 6, 2010

Poachers Cut Tails Off Living Elephants

The Elephants Tail is its natural fly swat, something to keep the irritating bugs away, to flick at an itch or irritation. In good condition an elephants tail be tipped with a bush of coarse thick hairs of up to two feet long.

Something To Hang On To

Elephant Hair is reputed to bring good luck and was once fairly common in the form of bracelets and rings. Some elephant keepers still wear these, made up from the naturally discarded hairs they find whilst cleaning up. Snipping a couple of hairs off could, I suppose, be a forgiveable sin, but to cut the tail tip from a living animal is a cruel and barbarous crime.

This occurred this week to two tame, trekking elephants in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong in Vietnam. Each animal had some 30 cm lopped off their tails under the cover of darkness.

Though the animals are said to be okay they have suffered the pain and indignity of losing their tails. They will not grow again.

Elephants With Tails Cut Off
Photo: Tuoi Tre

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