Problem Elephant or Elephantine Problem

Vijayakrishnan, Sreedhar (2020) Problem Elephant or Elephantine Problem. Round Glass Sustain, 12 March 2020.

Vijayakrishnan 2020_Problem Elephant or Elephantine Problem_RG Sustain.pdf - Published Version

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Abstract: In mid-November 2019, environmental news sections in many leading newspapers in India reported, the capture of an alleged “rogue” elephant named Bin Laden in the northeastern state of Assam, and its subsequent death in captivity. This was not the first incident of its kind, where an animal that was seen or assumed as problematic, was named after a dreaded terrorist. In two earlier cases in December 2006 and May 2008, elephants had allegedly killed numerous people, which prompted pressure from the public on the local forest authorities to kill them. Debate ensued about the authenticity of the allegations against the elephants, while others have pondered on whether the right animal was caught or not. What I question, instead, is the assignment of the title “problem animal” to a creature of a species known for its gentleness. This labelling of animals as “rogues” and “marauders,” sometimes even by members of the scientific fraternity, has done them a great disservice. It has contributed to a gradual decline in the cultural respect and tolerance the species once enjoyed. Increasingly, the overarching argument is that animals must remain within protected areas, and their existence in human-use landscapes is problematic. It is this difference, between where people perceive an animal should be, and where it actually is, that explains the context and relevance of human-elephant conflict and coexistence.
Item Type: In the Media
Subjects: Programmes > Animal Behaviour and Cognition
School of Natural and Engineering Sciences > Animal Behaviour
School of Natural and Engineering Sciences > Animal Studies
Doctoral Programme > PhD Scholar Publications
Divisions: Schools > Natural Sciences and Engineering
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2020 07:15
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2021 09:12
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