Dr. Kushal Konwar Sarma the Elephant Doctor | Wildlife Researcher and Veterinarian

On March 2nd, a world-renowned wildlife researcher and veterinarian, Dr. Kushal Konwar Sarma, gave a speech about his work at the Santa Fe public library, hosted by the local chapter of the Outreach of the Defenders of Wildlife. He is working presently in the department of Surgery and Radiology at the Veterinary College in Guwahati, in Assam India.

Assam is a state in northeastern India known for its wildlife, archeological sites and tea plantations.

He was flown to the United States to give this presentation, sponsored by local patrons. Dr. Sarma conducted a warm and informative speech. He has worked for over 30 years as a veterinarian in the wild.

Dr. Kushal Konwar Sarma The, Elephant Doctor of Assam

Dr. Kushal Konwar Sarma The Elephant Doctor of Assam

At that time, the audience, which was full capacity, were urged by the hosts, the Santa Fe chapter of the Defenders of Wildlife, to contact our New Mexico State senators within the following days regarding (SB 81) the Game Commission Reform Bill, about to arrive for a vote to protect wildlife.

Michael Dax, a New Mexico Outreach Representative of the Defenders of Wildlife organized the event. Another organizer of Dr. Sarma’s visit was Janie Chodosh, who earned her master’s degree in environmental science a the University of Montana, and has worked as a naturalist at Yosemite National Park as a wilderness guide for the Colorado Outward Bound School. As a conservationist and writer, Ms. Chodosh conducted an in depth interview of over 47 hours in Assam, India of Dr. Kushal Konwar Sarma, regarding his tremendous work as a veterinarian and wildlife researcher who has worked with elephants in the wild for decades.

The state of Assam, India has the largest population of Elephants. Dr. K. K. Sarma began his talk saying that he’s a servant of animals. He talked of how charismatic elephants are. Regarding the fact that rogue male elephant ‘Bulls’ have a tendency to become quite boisterous and roudy, and can endanger people’s lives or property when they are in this high testosterone animated state. Basically these rogue bulls play an evolutionary role in that the healthiest and hardiest young bull will overtake the older male, and produce a herum of its own due to its success in competing with the older males.

Stories in the Field, Janie Chodosh, Elephant Doctor, Dr. K K Sarma

Stories in the Field Janie Chodosh interviews the Elephant Doctor Dr. K K Sarma

Dr. Sarma has devised a method of subduing rogue bulls by physically entering the elephant’s space to give them a sedative, risking injury or death to himself, in order to circumvent the potential death of the elephant by people who fear having their property or themselves injured during this short period of the elephant’s roudyness. Dr. Sarma has subdued 138 rogue bulls in 37 range countries over the last decades. He created an Elephant Emergency Response team.

Dr. Sarma states that Asian elephants are seriously endangered. I assumed that this was due to poaching and the black market for ivory. In fact, Asian elephants do not have tusks. Dr. Sarma stated that the greatest threat to Asian elephants is human over-population. Humans have allowed themselves to breed ferociously. The population is growing exponentially. He mentioned that Bangladesh is a breeding ground of humanity.

Bangladeshi population 161 million)

Bangladeshi population (currently 161 million) doubles every 30-40 years

population explosion Bangladesh

population explosion in Bangladesh

Basically, overpopulation encroaches on wildlife habitat, and leads to habitat loss. Subsequently, the territory of elephants is shrinking and the connectivity of their migratory corridors are not just being severed, they are gone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I later discerned that Muslims do not support the education or implementation of birth control, because it is contrary to their religion. A traveler reminded me that the meaning of the word Muslim according to the Koran, is ‘to serve’. And to serve one’s god/Allah, is to multiply.

Elephants need a large area to roam through. They are highly social, and matriarchal. Dr. Sarma mentions that Assam, India is a biodiversity hotspot. It is a state located in the eastern most part of India near the borders/bordering of Myamar/Burma and Thailand. Kaziranga National Park has the highest Rhino population. As he works with many species, he pointed out that Gorillas live only in the trees, so that when forests are cut down, they have no where to go. He mentioned that in 200 sq.km. of forest, there is not a single tree. And that the lumber industry creates soil erosion, so that there have been devastating floods. Therefore one finds elephants of all places, in British Tea gardens, one of the only green places to find refuge. Dr. Sarma mentioned in addition, that Tiger and Rhino poaching is prevalent in China and Vietnam.

Assam's tea gardens, home to wild animals

Assam’s tea gardens become second home to wild animals

He mentioned that various religions of India recognize elephants as special creatures. In general, Buddhists respect life and wish no harm to wildlife. Hindus have a popular god, Ganesha – with an elephant’s head and trunk. Naturally, they wish to honor and protect elephants. The dissemination of elephant territory began when India was annexed by Great Britain. The British colonialists, began the path of destruction of land with their industrial demands of the resources India provided of timber, coal and petroleum. They began to also use elephants physical to transport timber and other resources they were extracting from their new playground India. In 1947 India became independent.

Reasons to support elephant conservation

In efforts to educate us, the public, about the practical reasons for humans to support elephant conservation, is mentions that elephants are a ‘Flagship species’.

“Wherever elephants are present, forests survive.”

In the network of interdependent species in an ecosystem, elephants demonstrate that the forest is healthy. They create a canopy for other animals to coexist.

Elephants are good teachers. One can learn from them by observing the many resources elephants utilize with their extensive knowledge of plants, on how to heal themselves, prevent illness and use various remedies and techniques with plants and nature as tools. For example, practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine in India follow and observe elephants to adapt their own medicinal practices. They observe what species of plants elephants gravitate to, to use for their own purposes of preventive medicine. For example, elephants eat bark from a certain tree to deworm themselves. Elephants never get cancer. They eat a plant that Azim B53.

Tea estates Assam India corridors for elephants to pass

Tea estates in Assam create natural corridors for elephants to pass through

painted elephants Lunar Elephants Laden

> Elephants are very intelligent. Elephants dispense seeds. They can hear from long distances, but are poor sportsmen. He mentioned.

How to protect elephants

• Mahatma Ghandhi during his rule, designated October 2nd as “Elephant Day”
• elephant awareness
• Lunar Elephants Laden
• elephant healthcare
• preservation of habitat
• reconnect elephant corridors > relocate people and buildings from elephant corridors
• fencing:
§ bio-fencing
§ solar electric fences
§ citrus fences have thorns which thwart the animals from crossing them
• mixing and burning chili powder from Assam with cow dung repels elephants
• night guard lights : for $2.50, these lights emulate the eyes of a tiger, to discourage elephants from moving towards them (sort of like the scarecrow tactic)
• fencing villages instead of fencing elephants
• develop water areas with vegetation to attract elephants
• one tea garden created a “Community Elephant Refuge”
• using people and specialists to define elephant corridors and to place people to MOUNT/DIRECT/PROTECT/DIVERT elephant herds
• eco-development committee
• ecotourism
• governors 80 mitigation

He concluded his speech reminding the audience that we must leave pure air, soil and water for the next generation. It is our duty not to exploit and ruin the earth. I was very inspired and appreciative that I had the opportunity to listen to and meet this man.

Hindu, Muslim. NGM, National Geographic Magazine

The royalty of India—Hindu and Muslim—understood long ago that power was best wielded from the back of an elephant. National Geographic Magazine

Carol Keiter the blogger

Carol Keiter the blogger

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Rainforest Destruction – Loss to Palm Oil Plantations linked to PepsiCo | Here’s what you can do.

Before even viewing the video, I was very informed just reading the information from the organizations (Sum of Us & Rainforest Action Network) who investigate, research, compile information and educate us. They use their time and expertise to investigate these habitats and their destruction, and help us all, as we are many, many people, to take action and make the difference. Each of us have the chance to learn and communicate information.

Sign the Petition, Protect Critical Rainforests Now

Sign the Petition Protect Critical Rainforests Now

Funny, that the people for the most part who eat products made from this stuff (palm oil products),
have poorer diets, get less nutrition from the ‘addictive’ and ‘dead’ junk food filled with non-descript ingredients, and typically have less education about how to eat properly. Other than standing on a street corner with a sign that states what eating this product is doing to the most precious habitats giving life to precious creatures who are losing their land at an enormously fast rate, what we can do is educate one another. This is the only earth with its abundance of phenomenal life, that we have. We can change our habits, our eating and buying habits. We can take the time to learn more about what the most effective ways are to keep these places alive and thriving. Most of our actions can be felt through what we buy. We can take these actions independently, and certainly we can’t go up against these huge organizations and manufacturing firms alone, if we are not informed about them. It is these huge industries like Nestlé who rob people of their own water – dipping into water tables – and then sell it back to them for profit and huge corporate giants like PepsiCo who only have profits in their sphere. It is our addiction to oil, thinking that we need these oversized vehicles; that the lack of health and fitness of many people who choose to drive and feel esteem and protection for their vehicles, when there is so, so much more to what life is all about. Let’s continue to do something, to do more.

It is these Big Three buyers who are causing this destruction, rather ominous abstract sounding companies that we wouldn’t have a clue about, if it weren’t for the environmental organizations who do the research to inform us. The Big Three Buyers’ of palm oil from the Leuser Ecosystem region—Wilmar International, Musim Mas Group and Golden Agri-Resources Ltd

Let me grab just this one line to r e i t e r a t e what we are dealing with.

“The only place on earth where elephants, tigers, orangutans and rhinos live in the same forest, Leuser is considered one of the world’s top priority conservation areas.”

Big Three Buyers’ of palm oil from the Leuser Ecosystem region—Wilmar International, Musim Mas Group, Golden Agri-Resources Ltd, The Leuser Ecosystem, Big Three Buyers suppliers, Palm Oil Plantations

The Leuser Ecosystem The Big Three Buyers supplying Palm Oil Plantations – Big Three Buyers’ of palm oil from the Leuser Ecosystem region—Wilmar International, Musim Mas Group and Golden Agri-Resources Ltd

WWF World Wildlife Fund Which everyday products containing palm oil, Peel Back Label

WWF World Wildlife Fund Which everyday products contain palm oil Time to Peel Back Label

rainforest destruction linked to pepsi, pepsico, clearcutting, palm oil plantations

shocking rainforest destruction linked to pepsi and clearcutting to create palm oil plantations

“A new report is shining a spotlight on some of the most ruthless destruction of elephant habitat we’ve ever seen. And the massive forest clearance is linked to the suppliers of snack foods sold by companies like PepsiCo across the world.

A field investigation by our partners at Rainforest Action Network uncovered the devastating clearance of already endangered forests in the Leuser Ecosystem. The only place on earth where elephants, tigers, orangutans and rhinos live in the same forest, the Leuser Ecosystem is considered one of the world’s top priority conservation areas. It’s also the source of drinking water and livelihoods for millions of people in the Indonesian province of Aceh.

But Leuser’s critical importance is apparently of no concern to rogue palm oil producer PT. ABN. The company has been illegally — and rapidly — turning lowland forests into palm oil plantations despite being ordered out by the Indonesian government. So who has been buying PT. ABN’s conflict palm oil? Wilmar palm oil refineries, supplier of brands like PepsiCo, McDonald’s, and Nestlé.”

The Leuser Ecosystem, Wildlife and Biodiversity, Rainforest Action Network

The Leuser Ecosystem Wildlife and Biodiversity Rainforest Action Network

The Leuser Ecosystem, Rainforest Action Network

The Leuser Ecosystem Rainforest Action Network

message-about-embracing-life-and-love

Carol the blogger's contact card while residing here in the southwest for the time being.

Carol the blogger’s contact card while residing here in the southwest for the time being.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carol Keiter, aka nomadbeatz, welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition
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Animal Bridges >< Wildlife Crossings | Witnessed way too many dead Deer en route to New York city through Pennsylvania and New Jersey

En route to New York through Pennsylvania and New Jersey my heart was sickened each time I saw the body of a dead deer along the highway, which I witnessed way too many times. The moon was full moon a week ago, which may have had something to do with it. One driver said he had seen quite a large number of dead deer coming from New Jersey on the other side of the highway.

Animal Bridges, Wildlife Crossing

Animal Bridges / Wildlife Crossing


I wish to investigate and contact biologists, zoologists, someone, to find out whether there’s a chance of organizing scientists to research the more likely places that deer will cross highways in these wooded areas of the Northeastern United States, where they are more likely to cross due to less construction, and find a way to emulate what California has already begun – building animal bridges / wildlife crossings.

Their habitat can be stretched across these so that they have more of a chance of survival. Why do I care? Because I care about all creatures. There are indeed segments of the human race who do recognize how awesome and beautiful all of the different creatures are who inhabit this planet with us.

Here’s a great article regarding wildlife over-passes – green bridges describing animal wildlife over-passes already in place in various parts of Europe, and the West of the U.S., which can be adopted everywhere. The following pictures each link to articles about the subject.

“Wildlife overpasses, green bridges, under-passes and ecoducts all refer to structures that have been built over or under roads to allow wildlife to cross safely to the other side of the road.”

Ecoduct, Wildlife Bridge , the Netherlands, alizul2

Ecoduct – Wildlife Bridge – the Netherlands alizul2 blog


wildlife bridge, Keechelus Lake, Washington state, USA, twistedsifter

wildlife bridge near Keechelus Lake, Washington state USA twistedsifter

Elephant underpass, Kenya, amusingplanet

Elephant underpass Kenya amusingplanet


Wildlife Crossing, Banff National Park photo, Joel Sartore, amusingplanet

Wildlife Crossing Banff National Park photo Joel Sartore amusingplanet

Thank Yougourthen Ayouni for the pic of he and Carol at the G bar Manhattan halloween.

Thank Yougourthen Ayouni for the pic of he and Carol at the G bar Manhattan halloween.


It was my trip to NYC for Halloween where I encountered perhaps a dozen dead deer, on my way there and back – very upsetting!

the importance of laughter joy & love | adopted orphaned squirrel

Yesterday, i had the pleasure of finally getting a great workout with the local (central Pennsylvania) ultimate frisbee players. It was the first true ‘heavy breathing’ in fact, at times (gasping for air ‘-) aerobic workout that I’ve had in a while. That particularly happens when it’s just 5-on-5 or 3-on-3 players (as opposed to the standard 7 on 7) because then EVERYone has to run, no choice!

The best thing, is the fact that all these people not only put focused effort and great athletic skill towards their play, but there are smiles, laughter and constant humorous commentary the entire time. That to me is the best kind of socializing!

Here are some pictures demonstrating the adaptation of the adopted orphaned squirrel I named ‘Kiki’, along with more pics of wild life in the Keiter back yard. In this picture below, Kiki is soaking up sun on his private roof while a local adult squirrel is doing his thing, hanging out upside-down at the bird feeder. ‘-)) v_may_23_kiki_roof_thru_family_room

Here are the initial pics of the orphaned squirrel’s habitat. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bu29s243dzdual4/hvsLf__12s
v_may_24_kiki_sunning_on_roof

I had been given instructions by a local veterinarian regarding how to feed and care for this little furry animal when it had been separated too soon from its mother.

I have a progression of photos from when it was really small and I had created a little nest of towels. baby_squirrel_fed_formula

To when I introduced his box to the outside near to the bird feeder where adult squirrels hang out, literally, to eat.
s_outdoor_1st_location

The really cool thing, is that he spontaneously discovered on his own this little high rise bird house, which still had remnants of twigs and a nest, very similar to those of squirrels.

s_outdoor_1st_location_2

Here are later pics, after the squirrel moved in on his own, to his new residence. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/u7aqpbh5bzdaubq/oixSRCJvMf#/

Kiki has been living there ever since. In fact, whereas the other local squirrels live in nests and tents, this little guy has his own private high-rise condominium; protecting him from the hail and thunder storms ‘-))

baby_squirrel_new_home_4

baby_squirrel_new_home

I’ve proceeded to still feed him, yet deliberately with less frequency, to let him learn how to forage.

May_6_feedingMay6_the_inevitable_lunge

u_May17_kiki_eyedropper_feed_bush

I’ve had to adapt to where he feels comfortable feeding, which sometimes becomes my hand.
u_May17_kikiban_eating_hand
Clearly, he has a perfect vantage point from his roof to see what the locals do; when not foraging for seeds on the ground under the bird feeder, they climb and hang upside-down to extract their favorites, sunflower seeds.
v_may_23_kiki_adult_squirrel_feeding

I also had the extreme pleasure of hanging out with 3 kittens yesterday; Ash, Smokey and Molly. Siblings, but each with very distinct looks and personalities. Watching them attentively for a few hours just had me beaming with smiles and my heart extending out to them. They are more entertaining than any ‘home entertainment system’. These kittens amuse themselves with simply every inanimate object they encounter; a rug, broom, match box, pen. They are simply ‘taken over’ and immersed in the spirit of interacting with, and ‘animating’ whatever object that draws their attention.

We really can learn a lot about love by observing animals – playful dogs and cats in particular; about their spirit of joy and capacity to be ‘in the moment’ and simply play!

Oh, i might as well include a link of pictures of emerging spring that I’ve taken over a period of time, and labeled in a sequence, from earlier-to-later progression.
k_May17_path_azalias_7
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/aqazws4c6f88qbc/Fu2107mVGr