All critical flora and fauna fans have had, at one time or every other, the revel in of being charged down by means of an enraged wild elephant within the nationwide parks and whilst on a photograph commute safari. This can be a maximum scary revel in to have a four+-ton massive bearing down at you. Now and again it leads to calamity, despite the fact that maximum incessantly if treated smartly, the development will also be circumvented with out main issues.
Wild elephants will also be very bad. On the other hand, up to one is cautious and takes all imaginable precautions to keep away from confrontations with those giants within the wild, there may be all the time the likelihood that issues can flip nasty.
On the other hand, elephants, and flora and fauna generally, are most often cautious of people and can give us a large berth maximum incessantly. Within the flora and fauna parks, elephants have were given rather acquainted with jeeps and human presence, and as nearer interactions are imaginable at maximum instances.
Deterring a charging elephant
Below commonplace instances, just right trackers and different individuals who’ve revel in in interacting with wild elephants, can learn the tell-tale indicators of agitation prematurely. The typical indicators of early agitation are spreading its ears out and preventing the standard flapping, and different displacement habits comparable to breaking off within reach branches, scooping mud and throwing it over the again, or even a couple of mock threatening lunges, with lively shaking of the pinnacle back and forth.
Now there are a large number of tales ( many bordering on folklore) about positive strategies that can be utilized to discourage a charging elephant. There are senior trackers ( a quick demise out breed) who swear by means of particular charms and rituals that may prevent a charging elephant.
I in my view have no longer witnessed any of those strategies in sensible use, despite the fact that I’ve heard very dependable testimonies about such incidents the place offended elephants at complete fee, had been stopped useless of their tracks.
P.E.R Deraniayagala, Former Director of Nationwide Museums in Sri Lanka, who has completed intensive research within the mid 1900’s on elephants, has indexed a few of these chants (Gaja Angama) in research printed in 1955.
What I in my view imagine is that this can be a physiological struggle between the elephant and guy all through such confrontations. Deep down instinctively the elephant fears guy. So, what must be completed underneath such instances isn’t to turn concern, however to turn power, self assurance and quietness.
I’m a company believer in inside dialogues with elephants, attaining out to their ‘6th sense’. I’ve non-public stories the place an offended elephant has maximum incessantly reacted definitely to calmness, kindness and empathy. Elephants are remarkably clever animals and will perceive such feelings.
It’s as a result of this trust that I latterly re visited the tale of the Buddha and enraged elephant Nalagiri.
The Buddha and Nalagiri, the elephant
Extract from Pāli Vinaya, II, p. 194–196:
In Rājagṛhā at the moment there used to be the fierce elephant Nālāgiri, and a killer of fellows (manussaghātaka). Devadatta ( an estranged cousin of the Buddha ) went to seek out its mahouts and, profiting from his affect over king Ajātaśatru, ordered them to let free the animal in opposition to the Buddha when the latter entered Rājagṛha.
The next day to come, surrounded by means of many priests, the Buddha got here to town on the standard pindapatha. ( approach actually “putting of meals in a bowl” a customized the place Buddhist priests pass round receiving meals as alms). The elephant used to be unleashed and, with its trunk erect, ears and tail inflexible, rushed in opposition to the Buddha. The priests begged the Buddha to return, however the latter reassured them that no aggression coming from the outside may deprive him of his lifestyles.
Fearful, the inhabitants of Rājagṛha took shelter at the roof-tops and made wagers as to who would win, the Buddha or the elephant.
Then the Buddha penetrated Nālāgiri’s with a thoughts of loving-kindness (Nālāgiriṃmettena cittena phari) and, decreasing its trunk , the animal stopped in entrance of the Buddha who caressed its brow together with his proper hand (dakkhiṇena hatthena hatthissa kumbhaṃ parāmasanto), pronouncing:
“O elephant, this assault can be shameful. Flee from drunkenness and laziness; the lazy leave out the nice destinies. Act in one of these method as to score a just right future.”
At those phrases, Nālāgiri amassed the sand-grains overlaying the toes of the Buddha in his trunk and unfold them on best of its head; then, nonetheless kneeling, it sponsored away, all the time protecting the Buddha in sight.
It used to be in this instance that the folk chanted the next stanza:
“Some tame them with blows of the stick, with pitchforks or with whips;
With neither stick nor weapon used to be the elephant tamed by means of the Nice Sage.”
It’s attention-grabbing to notice right here that the Buddha used empathy and quietness first and reached out with loving kindness to the enraged animal. Indisputably the that the animal sensed those power forces being emanated by means of this serene and holy guy.
That is precisely what I used to be eluding to previous. In case you are natural of thoughts, and search to benefit from the wonders of nature and its wildlife, no longer for leisure, however to have a good time within the wonders of the herbal setting, I actually imagine that little or no hurt can befall you.
On many events when faced with tough eventualities in wild lifestyles parks with elephants, my circle of relatives and I’ve all the time used inside dialogues comparable to, “We’re right here to not hurt you, however to observe you and perceive your good looks and majesty.” Maximum incessantly they have got labored.
In Sri Lanka, stated to be crucible of Buddhism, these days, those magnificent animals are being decimated by the hands of folks. ( greater than 400 killed remaining 12 months). Their house levels are destroyed within the title of building, with political patronage.
With shrinking habitat, and no more get entry to to meals, the rest wild elephants of Sri Lanka are pressured to confront people. As an alternative of being met with “loving kindness” they’re met with cruelty, brutality and savagery, additional traumatic the war of words, a a long way cry from what Siddhartha Gautama demonstrated many hundreds of years in the past.