Food for Thought

In a world where human population is growing and elephant habitat is shrinking, raising families (both elephant and human) is an uneasy dance between conflict and coexistence, especially when both sorts of families have been living in the same area for many years.  Pressure is building from all directions, and there are no easy answers!  Yet the rural, impoverished farmers we spend time with are doing all they can to keep the peace with these majestic wild, endangered elephants. It’s humbling to see how much effort goes into feeding any family, and the true cost of keep both humans and elephants safe.

Whether you say a prayer of thanksgiving before you eat or not, somehow to “just eat” without some sort of acknowledgment to the incredible amount of labor that went into your food ignores the reality of what it takes to feed anyone, anywhere. For those living in areas of conflict (here, specifically elephants and drought), growing or foraging for enough food is a daily act of courage.  

She may look solemn, but off-camera her gentle smiles led me throughout her farm. Before I got back in the tuk tuk, she asked for a photo in front of her sesame seeds. ONE SEED, so much work. The whole world in one seed…

A “HOT” check-up!

We’re currently checking up on the families (of farmers and elephants) that live a little too close for comfort in central Sri Lanka, visiting each of the farms that were recipients of our 500 elephant-deterring/income-elevating citrus trees we planted last year as well as the Honey Bee boxes we installed.

Amma and Maama are two of our very favorite farmers—their trees were in fantastic condition (no easy feat when you have to haul by hand bucket after bucket of water), and as usual, they welcomed us into their humble home after walking the blazing hot fields together, and filled our bellies with bananas, papayas, and sweet hot tea, even when they have so littleAlthough Human-Elephant Conflict is a very real problem in a small, crowded country, and there are no easy answers in how to keep families (both human and elephant) safe, farmers like Amma and Maama are working extra hard with almost no comforts to turn a history of conflict into a future of coexistence.

Preparing for Ganga’s Day in Court

These are the conditions Ganga is currently forced to endure: chained up all alone in the back of an empty lot off a busy street, living on broken cement surrounded by rubbish.

The government of Sri Lanka is deliberately delaying justice for Ganga, refusing to take her into the protective custody of the DWC (Department of Wildlife Conservation). The order was given for her to be taken into Protected Custody in February of 2016, yet corrupted parties continue to delay her court case and thus her rehabilitation.

Her next court date is now set for July 12th, and we’ll be there.

YOU CAN TAKE ACTION, as requested by Ganga’s Legal Counsel:

1. Email the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry, pressuring them to ask the government of Sri Lanka to adhere to law and order, and ensure the rights of Ganga as ordered by the Court in 2016. http://www.mfa.gov.lk/contact/

2. Submit a grievance to the President of Sri Lanka, asking that Ganga be taken immediately into Protective Custody:

https://tell.president.gov.lk/grievance/showAddGrievance.mvc
Within the form, click:
Organization Type: Top Government
Organization: Presidential Secretariet
District: Colombo

Even if you have already, please continue to submit your grievances to the President and email the Foreign Ministry, so that Ganga may one day live in peace among others of her own kind, to heal her past, and to have a future without pain, fear, and loneliness.