Raja – The Innocent Elephant Held Captive By Angry Palm Oil Growers — Dies

Baby-Raja-Rotator

 

Photo credit: Ecologist Film Unit (Ulet Ifansasti) and/or Elephant Family: http://www.elephantfamily.org/

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[NOTE:  This piece got thousands of hits on the day the story about RAJU (note the “u”) was first published in the international media (7/8/2014) — and still gets more daily.

 

BUT THIS IS NOT ABOUT RAJU!  It’s about Raja, because many are apparently looking for stories about RAJU (note the different spelling; with a “u” not an “a” at the end) the 50 year old captive elephant who supposedly cried after finally being rescued after a life of torture, abuse and imprisonment.  That particular punishingly sad story for 50 years, but with an uplifting ending, can be found here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/07/raju-elephant-cries-rescue_n_5564543.html

But this is a different, yet equally sad elephant story about similarly-named RAJA]

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This is such a tragic, heartbreaking and maddening story. Weeks ago, the Ecologist Film Unit, accompanied by the NGO Elephant Family, was documenting the “environmental genocide” going on in Sumatra, that is, the disappearing rainforest in the (once) wilds of Aceh Province, Sumatra, and how that rainforest depletion is killing off all the great biodiversity and critically endangered species who inhabit it, like the Sumatran elephant. Apparently unplanned, the film crew stumbled on angry local villagers who were holding a baby wild elephant, nicknamed Raja (look at that adorable photo above), hostage for what comes naturally to an elephant when its forest habitat is depleted and it’s hungry — foraging for food, which destroyed the palm oil crops planted by these now-angry villagers. (Look, I get it that this is the villagers’ livelihood.)

Despite the NGO’s efforts to get the elephant released, Raja was kept tethered to a chain for weeks. No vet could visit. Nobody was allowed to release the elephant. The villagers just wanted to keep him hostage, demanding government compensation for the damage. Their crops are being destroyed by elephants without a home, and in the escalating man v. nature battle raging in Sumatra the humans wanted to win.

Nicknamed Raja by the people who fed him, the baby elephant cuts a pitiful sight, straining for food at the end of a rusty padlock and chain. Caught in a plantation in Aceh Utara last month, the villagers said they were keeping him here by force. Government vets have tried to remove him, but they refused, demanding compensation for the damage that elephants do to their land first. Farmer Sabaruddin, showed us chewed up banana leaves, missing coco pods and a hut verging on collapse, all surrounded by tell-tale feet marks of thieving elephants, that he says are drastically impacting on the livelihoods of the community here.

‘The people are angry when the elephants destroy the fields, because it is not just one or two years waiting to harvest, but sometimes for many years. When we are about to harvest the elephants had already come and destroyed the field. We plant again and then just when it’s about time to harvest, it’s destroyed again’, he said. Deprived of full time veterinarian care, Raja died two weeks later at the end of his chain. He is not alone.

Available at: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/1984027/palm_oils_forgotten_victims_sumatran_elephants_suffer_in_rush_for_liquid_ivory.html

Yes, you know how this story ends. Raja died. It’s soul-crushing, and yet it happened despite laws on the books in Indonesia that prevent this very crime. Obviously, there’s no enforcement but the villagers involved should still be punished in some form as a deterrent to future action. (Watch the video at the below Daily Mail UK site. A villager hops on a captive Raja’s back.)

What I want to know is why didn’t someone just cut that flimsy little chain and kidnap the elephant and release him? Why didn’t anybody do that?! Why did this fall through the cracks?!

Here are some of the Indonesian laws that were specifically violated:

Act 23/1997 Basic Provision for the Management of Living Environment

Government Regulation No. 8/1999 for Utilization of Fauna and Flora

Act 41/1999 for Forestry Management, No. 7/1999 for Preservation of Fauna and Flora

(Thanks Sumatra Environmental Education Concern, https://sites.google.com/site/sumatraeec/)

MUST CREDIT** MAIL ON SUNDAY ONLY *** NO SYNDICATION***Elephant Family 4.jpg

 

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21 Responses to Raja – The Innocent Elephant Held Captive By Angry Palm Oil Growers — Dies

  1. This is so sad. I agree the villagers need to pay for the death of the elephant. sorry but if they left enough of nature alone the baby elephant would not have needed to go into the village looking for food. I’m sorry but those villagers were being idiots and to make a baby suffer—- I hope they believe in Karma…

  2. lindabadham says:

    UNBELIEVABLE !! THERES NEVER ANY JUSTIFICATION FOR CAPTURING THE LARGEST LIVING ANIMAL ON THE PLANET, IT’S AS MUCH THEIR WORLD AS IT IS OURS. ! VERY VERY SAD AND VERY VERY WRONG THAT NOT ONE SINGLE HUMAN TRIED TO RESCUE THIS BEAUTIFUL INNOCENT BABY . TO THOSE WHO JUST LEFT HIM IN CHAINS UNABLE TO MOVE FREELY “BE IT ON YOUR HEADS” FOR YOU WILL SURELY REAP WHAT YOU HAVE SOWN HERE . AGAIN I AM SICKENED OF THE HUMAN RACE WHO THINK THEY CAN CLAIM ANY ANIMAL AND DO WHAT THEY WANT WITH THEM . NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS WILL I UNDERSTAND THE MENTALITY OF THESE SELFISH HEARTLESS BEINGS . I JUST PRAY FOR THE ANIMALS WHO ARE AT THE MERCY OF THE HUMAN RACE. MAY GOD FORGIVE THEM FOR I NEVER EVER CAN !!

  3. kathryn grey says:

    stupid ignorant fools. let them all be tethered, refused treatment and die. they are a waste of space as are all others like them on this planet. let them die, let the elephants LIVE!

  4. Pingback: The terrible fate of Raja the baby elephant chained and held hostage and held by an angry mog: An image that will haunt you and a story that will enrage you! | spiritandanimal.wordpress.com

  5. Reblogged this on Sherlockian's Blog and commented:
    Please help save lives of other innocent elephants. Lets work to make sure that Raja’s sacrifice does not go in vain.

  6. Homo sapiens animal species still are not humans, but just an aggressive species .

  7. Reblogged this on Carinas space and commented:
    So sad and so completely unnecessary for the baby calf to have to die.

  8. Amit Chaudhery says:

    This is pathetic, maddeningly sad and tears at one’s soul.It shows the horrible state of affairs in not only Indonesia, but all over the world, especially outside of the West. Clearly the Government is in active connivance.How on Earth can village louts and plantation crooks cock a snook at not one but several laws ? And no local NGO had the guts or gumption rescue the baby. The suffering and eventual death of Raja, the criminal villagers, the impotent laws, the crooked authorities of that wretched country, the hundreds of cases much like Raja’s and the callousness of everyone, the growing decimation of forests and all life, is frightening, soul destroying. Let us not sit and watch impotently.

  9. Pingback: Justice for Elephant calf Raja killed by Sumatran Villagers | Sunset Daily

  10. Pingback: Elephants | Sunset Daily

  11. Pingback: Five More Sumatran Elephants Murdered in Sumatra Since June | gettingonmysoapbox

  12. mandy says:

    Murdered baby csnt say what i would like to, inhuman arseholes. Its a baby twats

  13. mandy says:

    Wait til, your baby needs help, how can you and for what pslm oil, who gives a shit, i dont buy it, murderers

  14. Kim Scott says:

    Unbelivable another Elephant (Baby) dies at the hands of evil Humans who are destroying our planet & the Elephants land where they has lived longer than humans how dare humans treat animals like this Dont take away there area’s & they wont need to take yours!!!!

  15. Anna Rollon says:

    This must stop!

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