The sun, a fiery ball in the sky glares down on the parched valley. Shimmering heat waves ripple through the dry Jesse bush as small leaves whirl majestically glinting in the bright sunshine. The huge baobab, looking like it has been ripped from the harsh earth and planted upside down dwarfs the small herd of elephants idling away the hottest hours of the day. Their gentle rumbles resonate through the midday quiet, and their large ears gently fan the breeze keeping body temperatures down. Large wrinkled bodies imprint shadows on the sun baked earth and a small colony of ants stop their military parade to take refuge in the shade. The midday peace, scorched by the hot sun lulls the scene into lazy drowsiness, disturbed only by the low hum of mopani flies and midges desperately hovering, irritatingly persistent in their quest for moisture from the eyes.
The quiet of the early afternoon erupts as frenzied and tormented cries shreds the hot air. The earlier peace turns into a scene of chaos and discordant screams, as the small elephant has his trunk entangled within ‘the wires of death.’ (A snare)
How quickly this little elephants life will change. But he does survive. Read the poem on ‘Short Trunk’ and see a photograph of him.
Snaring is totally indiscriminate: it’s victims all suffering the same agonising death. Animals that encounter the ruthless genius of the wire slip knot find themselves in a painful and precarious position. In their panic and attempt to break free, the wire noose tightens: either cutting off their air supply (if it is around their neck) or it tightens around a limb or their body. The more the animal struggles, the tighter the noose becomes, cutting deeply into the flesh, often going down to the bone. Swelling and infection set in and with the restriction of circulation, gangrene will take hold. An excruciating death will follow.
For the lucky ones who are found by Rangers, (Angels of mercy) the snare is removed and they are pumped full of antibiotics (see more.….) Read the article and see the pictures of young bull elephant. He is saved from a painful death.