Tuberculosis And Elephants! TB is real and it's estimated that it's carried by 20% of Kerala's Temple Elephants. However, we don't know the true extent of this pandemic, because the owners fear testing their elephants. TB treatment can cost upwards of $2,000 for humans, and $50,000 for elephants. TB is so contagious that at the Los Angeles zoo, 55 animal handlers were recently found to have TB.
From the attached article: "The bacteria [TB] can be transmitted by close contact or by droplets containing bacteria that float through the air after a sneeze or cough. Current animal practices are driving the present epidemic. Tuberculosis is thought to have killed more people than any other disease—more than the plague, leprosy, cancer, or HIV. It’s estimated that one-third of the world’s population is infected with the bacteria. The disease kills 1.5 million people every year."
What to Do? Quarantine all captive elephants, worldwide, until they are proven to be TB free. All elephant handlers must also be tested. Annual testing should then be required of both the elephants and their handlers.
Remember: this is humanity's biggest historical killer....it's not child's play. Ironically, however, parading elephants is like child's play! It's time to act like grownups people! People in these rural communities are continuing to die every day from TB. Where did it come from? With a 20 percent rate of incidence - captive elephants are a hotspot of pandemic breeding proportions! 50 elephant handlers at one zoo in the West proves that!
One Temple that stopped the abuse: More fantastic news regarding Temple Elephants! Another Temple near Trivandrum is stopping their use in ceremonies, as explained by a temples spokesman: “We have been pondering over this for a long while. The Tantri (chief priest) has been an ardent advocate of preventing cruelty to elephants. He was of the view that elephants were not linked to temple rituals in any manner. There was consensus that it was inhumane to subject elephants to such merciless torture to add to the grandeur of the festival,” said V. Vijayakumar, general convener of the temple committee.
Being only one of many Sri Lanka temples to host "Temple Elephants," Kande Vihara Buddhist Temple offers a look into the modern business of possessing elephants in the name of Buddhism. These Temples offer legal refuge for the elephants, while the elephants are actually owned by businessmen who profit by renting the elephants for parades and tourism. This is a corruption of the Temple's age-old tradition of honoring, while possessing, sacred elephants - which itself is unconscionable to any compassionate human! Would Buddha himself accept the chaining of elephants? The Temple's that honor Buddha are doing just that!
Temple Elephant Irony
Temple Elephants: Guruvayur may be the most exploitive/abusive event in the world for Asian Elephants. It is really unfathomable the extent of animal abuse that goes on in the name of religion! Unfathomable! Sixty elephants are chained in one place for 20 years to be available for this event. Btw: the Temple administrators don't allow any cameras on these grounds - even tourists can't snap pictures here. This is proof that even the administrators know how immoral their actions are! We had to sneak our video cameras in.
Great News! India Has Banned Elephant Acts at Circuses! The worldwide movement to stop animal abuse continues!
Temple Elephants in India and Sri Lanka are Next! They are also abused for entertainment purposes. Only a few "poorams" have historical lineage. The vast majority are recent creations by temples who seem ego-driven to outdo other communities' temples. It's now taken on a game-like atmosphere, with popular elephants having fan clubs and their greedy owners demanding huge money for their attendance. It's become a perversion of the honorable intent of the earliest Poorams of India. And it is Growing! The most noble poorams can substitute ornamental "carriages' or carts in place of live elephants. Having these sacred carriages carrying the deities was actually a standard practice until relatively recently.