Wildlife Action Group Blog
HYAENA -THE TERRIBLE SUFFERING OF A SPECIES
If we think of Wildlife, we always think of Elephants, Lion, Tigers and other favored animals. But did you know that every year, thousands and thousand of Hyenas are shot and injured just for fun, and uncountable more are dying in snare traps and die under unbelievable pain?
Hyenas, if you know them, they are highly intelligent, caring for their families and helping other species to survive because they clean up carcasses and therefore avoid spreading of disease amongst other wildlife.
If you search for Hyena on the Internet you will find very little information about this impressive animal. It seems not many care of how many are there, if their numbers decrease or they are also at the brink of extinction. A lot of focus is put on Brown Hyena (Hyena brunnea) which is on IUCN Red List as well as Striped Hyena (Hyaena hyena) , and Aardwolf (Proteles cristata) while the Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta) seems to be neglected.
Lots of research has been done on behaviour of Hyena species, but population counts and monitoring has been neglected. Therefore we fear, that population disappear without anyone noticing!
We request, no, demand that Organisations like IUCN, WWF as well as researchers which have the funds and means, to assure the survival of all Hyena species!
G. Kloeble, Wildlife Action Group International e.V.
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Basically in Suarah there are a lot of package tours into the national park including; jungle walk, jungle jeep safari, elephant rides, elephant baths, bird watching etc. Tourism is big business in the town and the national park is stunning, however elephants are 100% exploited.
The breeding centre itself is government run and often sold as part of package tours in & around the national park. There is a museum there which explains the training methods in detail describing them as ‘fascinating’: Unfortunately I do not have a photo but the description at the museum had a photo of a baby elephant (about 2 years old) tied to a wooden post during ‘training’. The elephants legs were bound together and its trunk was also tied tightly to the post. The training goes on for 1 – 2 months and involves passing flames to the calves skin, restricting food and water and keeping it separated from its mother. There was another poster which showed all of the ‘equipment’ used for handling and training. This included metal hook, stick, chains, special chain for ankle which has nails that dig into the elephants leg.
Next we went outside to see the elephants.
The very young elephants were not tied to wooden posts but some calves which were still quite young were tied up and all of the adults were tied to wooden posts with chains. We were told they are free to go into the jungle during the day, but during this time they have to help collect and carry food back at the breeding centre to eat in the evening and morning. (So it doesn’t sound like they are completely free). Most of the adult elephants were rocking back and forth, the most common movement was to lift the back right leg off the ground whilst swaying back and forth and rocking trunk. We asked why they were doing this and were told ‘it helps with digesting food’ – I’m no elephant expert but I know this is a lie. It looked like they were doing this out of complete boredom and because the chain was so short they were unable to roam anywhere. It was particularly tough seeing the mother elephants chained whilst the youngest calves roamed free. The tourists were running over to pet the calf and the mother could do nothing to protect it as she was unable to move.