Thank you to all who responded to the appeal to raise funds to save Ngani, a dominant elephant bull from being hunted. For those of you who have not read the details you can do so here: https://www.naturecalls.co.za/blog/ Some of you responded financially and others with heartfelt support. We are continuing to make attempts to avert his death both financially and legally. At present I am in Italy trying to enjoy our annual holiday knowing that the attempts to handle Ngani’s situation is in the hands of competent and compassionate people while I am away. As details unfold I will communicate again.
Many of you have never experienced animal inter-species communication. It happens at a level most people want to ‘pooh-pooh’ because it is unfamiliar, but is it? Even in our dire, visually dominated world with computers, facebook and iPods, we believe in love, but we can’t see it; sometimes we even pray and believe God will hear and influence our circumstances. The bushman had a deep connection with the animals they hunted and when one surrendered their soul for the life of a bushman clan, the hunter expressed deep gratitude. I would not have known of Ngani’s plight if it had not been for animal interspecies communication.
I was at a workshop being facilitated by Wynter Worsthorne an international tutor and facilitator of animal interspecies communication together with Linda Tucker, the author of the ‘The Mystery of the White Lions, Children of the Sun God’. The workshop was at Tau, the site of the White Lion Reintroduction program. I had spent time with the regal white lion, Regeus, in the morning; he had encouraged me to write more for others and less for my own indulgence, and to trust my inner knowing. We were thoughtfully seated in comfy chairs circling the spacious lounge of the White Lion center. The eyes of Mandla, the father of Regeus, were boring into my being from his lifelike picture across the room, so when Wynter encouraged us to listen in to any animals who wanted to communicate with us I expected him to say something into the receptive silence of my soul. I was shocked when instead Beuga came through and told me her life was at risk. Beuga is the Matriarch of the herd of elephants who live in the small reserve where Ngani also lives.
Despite Regeus telling me just that morning to trust my inner knowing, I wandered whether I was going crazy. ‘Is this for real, or do I have some kind of macabre imagination’ I was asking myself. Disturbed, I asked Phillipa who has more experience at animal interspecies communication whether she would listen in. All I told Philippa was Beuga’s name, where she lived and that she was an elephant matriarch. Phillipa listened in and came back relaying the following extended message from Beuga:
‘She has been waiting for a messenger to whom she can tell her message. She is incredibly worried about her homeland and environment. The watering holes seem to be an issue. There are vibrations in the Earth and the feeling that her home is being taken over or away. (Possibly manmade developments like drilling or building are making her family uneasy). A younger ellie is pregnant and Beuga is worried about the future of the new calf in terms of food sources, etc. The younger males are acting up and She is feeling exhausted with keeping them in check, they are very worried. Food sources are low and they have to go far and wide in order to locate enough food for their needs. She’s relying on Mandy to help them. She is feeling worried, doubtful, hopeless and exhausted BUT will keep faith and hope if Mandy intervenes.’
I felt overwhelmed by this communication, what could I do? However, Beuga was right, I have subsequently found out I can do a lot of linking and through Divine Intervention I have been connected with the right people who have both passion and knowledge about elephant management. A phone call to the researcher within the small reserve where Beuga and Ngani live, and to the land owner who originally brought many of the elephants to this reserve, confirmed the accuracy of these inter-species communications:
- ‘Beuga had charged a vehicle and a destruction permit was being issued for her life to be taken;
- Ngani had been contracted to be shot by a hunter;
- the lives of the younger bulls in the reserve are being considered for hunting to attain financial gain;
- Beuga’s granddaughter had given birth to a new calf;
- the land is dry and food and water resources away from the lake are scarce;
- There has been much more hunting in the area and some road construction work that is ‘shaking the land’’.
From 2002 until 2005 I had studied the difference in mothering behavior between the elephants in this reserve who had experienced good parenting and normal family life and those who had experienced the trauma of their mothers, aunts and siblings being culled and then left bereft they were moved away from their home to a nearby reserve before choosing to live in the same reserve as Beuga and Ngani. During the years of these studies Beuga turned me over in a game vehicle. I was not with guests, but with two game guides and another researcher. On this occasion I could see she was unsure. She was moving her front left leg backwards and forwards just above the grass where she was standing. ‘She is going to charge’, I announced. ‘No, she is cool’ the retorts came back. ‘I really think she is going to charge’, I asserted. ‘Don’t worry she is cool’, Bradley, the game guide said. ‘Sorry guys, I really think she is feeling unsafe with us being so close’, I emphasized. This time I was ignored.
She ambushed us. She did not charge head long towards the front of the vehicle, but moved to the side, past two high bushes and then came from that direction. It was like a cartoon filmstrip, as she skidded to a halt alongside the vehicle. ‘Whoa girl’ Graham the other researcher said, ’you are spraying me with spit’. He was sitting closest to her arrival but did not think she would proceed. ‘Beuga’! Bradley shouted as she put her tusk through the front right bumper and lifted the vehicle. We tilted into the air and then dropped down. She did not have a good enough grip, so her next move was to shoot her tusk through the bonnet and flip the three-tiered game vehicle onto its side. Bradley opened the door and ran before the vehicle repositioned, and Graham and the other guide flew over my head from the momentum. They managed to escape as the tarpaulin roof crashed to the ground inches from my head trapping me inside. I crawled to the front of the vehicle, sat on one door with the other above me, and the steering wheel at my side. I prayed and wandered what she would do next. In the silence I imagined her swinging her leg again, undecided. I waited.
Eventually I heard Bradley call, ‘Mandy are you alright’? There was panic in his voice. I knew then Beuga had moved off. She could have killed me, she could have continued to roll the vehicle, but she had not. I was very proud that she had been such a good mother in trying to protect her herd from what felt threatening. Beuga is appropriately protective of her herd because of past experiences when she felt so vulnerable. To her understanding she was chased, together with her family, by a huge, noisy, metallic bird that shot something into her motoring rear end. She was living in Kruger National Park at the time. When the darts did their anaesthetizing work she, and her family, experienced a deep haziness and woke up in the confines of a truck travelling towards their new home – the reserve where they now live. She must have thought, ‘I was responsible for their safety how could I let this happen to my herd?’ She may have had the same feeling of shame, disempowerment and rage months before the translocation when a land rover that looked like a game vehicle sauntered past her family, hovered too long and then shot her daughter’s two year old. ‘Why did I not stop this senseless death either?, she might have asked herself as the memory pierces through her clouded, confused thoughts, and then decided, ‘I have to be more vigilant’.
Ecologists, Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson, authors of Walking Thunder, write on the 27th July, 2011:
‘In the 1980s, over 600,000 elephants – more than half the total African pachyderm population – were destroyed for the hanko stamps so sought after by the Japanese. At the height of the slaughter, 70,000 a year were being killed. Kenya burned tons of confiscated ivory in 1989 in a gesture of defiance to the rest of the world. The message? The slaughter of the innocents and the ivory trade has to stop. The killing of whales and elephants constitute the twin arms of the crucifix of the greatest non- human genocide of our time. Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, even remarked that to save the elephant ‘is an urgent moral imperative’ and that this might well be our last chance to save them – and ourselves – from oblivion. If we lose the elephant, many other species will unravel, including ours.’
I believe that today the whole of creation groans, waits patiently, until we become the humans we were created to be. Healing ourselves and living out our God-ordained responsibility towards the care of the Earth are intertwined. Elephants are messengers of linking: in order for them to walk their ancient pathways again land needs to be linked, but this can only happen if there is a change in the attitude of humans away from possessing land towards cooperating together to share land.
In Indian culture the elephant God is the cornerstone of breakthrough, a pillar of the Hindu civilization; in the Zulu cultures the elephant is an icon; the Samburu tell how a crippled man was protected from lions by several bull elephants and the Maasai tell of how a women gave birth to a son with the protection of elephants who built a protective hedge of acacia thorn around her to keep the hyenas away during her hours of labour. In Kenya during times of drought elephants helped tribal people find water and they in turn provided honey for the elephants. We used to live comfortably side by side until the human population exploded, we lost our souls and we increasingly encroached on their habitat, putting up fences and forgetting that they too have a soul.
Recently Gay Bradshaw, Ecologist and Psychologist, released her book, ‘Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach us about Humanity’. There is scientific proof that elephants pass ‘the mirror test’ they are proven to have a sense of self – they know uniquely who they are, they are capable of knowing where their elephant skin stops and another ‘skin’ starts; they are capable of complicated social relationships and of continuity and a sense of history. As understandings of trans-species psychiatry advance it is the elephants who give us guidance towards recovery from trauma, it is they who are able to forgive and reach towards reconciliation, across species, in order to halt ongoing human genocidal actions.
It is for this reason the story of Ngani, Beuga, the Orphans and their families need to be told. We continue to appeal for funds that can be sent to either bank account detailed below so that we can save Ngani and Beuga and make a documentary that will express their message and that of specialists – animal interspecies communicators, ecopsychologists, Ttouch masseurs – researchers, ecologists and organizations like Space for Elephants so that humans can begin to be the best they were created to be and nature can celebrate and breathe a sigh of relief.
Save SGR Elephants (SGR = Small Game Reserve)
Account no. 62326189364
Branch code: 250655
International Swift Code: FIRNZAJJ(XXX)
Space for Elephants Foundation
ABSA bank Pongola
Branch Code: 334-724
Account No: 4055718662
Whichever option you choose please will send an indication of your payment to Mandy Young at firstname.lastname@example.org, who you are and your reasons for contribution so that I can respond to your generosity.