Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Saturday, December 03, 2005


I love the animals. Somehow when I was being formed in the womb the synapsis that needs to occur for a fetus to form maternal instincts just didn’t happen. However there was a lightening bolt when the animal appreciation part of my brain was formed. I can look at a cute baby and know that it is sweet and all but show me a kitten or a puppy and my heart literally scrunches. Tears spring to my eyes and I can hardly breathe. I just love them so. If I lived in a big house I would have so many pets it would ensure my single status forever as a crazy pet lady. If I weren’t so squeamish I would have been a vet.

I totally know better than to watch an animal type film in the theatre as I will weep copiously though it. I saw an advertisement for that penguin movie on DVD the other day and I know I will have to watch this thing at home because I will cry like a beauty pageant winner. I have such empathy for animals. I feel what they feel. Their triumphs are my triumphs. Their hairballs are my hairballs.

While I love all animals, even the ugly ones, I have a particular affinity for elephants. I don’t know why for sure but I suspect there was some sort of past life experience involved. It literally breaks my heart to see elephants performing in circuses. I hate that they use any animal in circuses but when they use that hook thingy to make elephants to do unnatural behaviours it is all I can do not to take that hook thingy an employ it on that trainer’s ass in a vigorous and imaginative way.

A few years ago I saw a documentary called “The Urban Elephant” which was not only moving but also very educational. On this show they featured an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee that offers a home to sick, needy and abused elephants. They actively rescue elephants as well as accept the requests of circuses and zoos that can no longer care for their elephants. They do very good work and have created miraculous recoveries with elephants who are both physically and emotionally unwell.

It is called aptly The Elephant Sanctuary and Carol Buckley and Scott Blais who have literally dedicated their lives to saving elephants run it. I have a link on my blog to their site and maybe some of you have gone there for a visit. Their elephants roam free on thousands of acres of land and no longer have to perform. They don’t even allow people to come and view the elephants. However, you can do this via the ELEcam, which they have set up so that you can see what the elephants are doing all over the property. They have a nice warm barn that the elephants have free access to if they want the shelter. Most prefer to stay out all night on the property. The staff uses ATVs to bring out food to the beasties so they don’t have to leave their resting places to eat. They call these forays Grocery Runs. They even go to the elephants to give them their naturopathic foot soaks as most of their residents have horrible foot problems due to standing on cement for most of their lives. Teva even made shoes for the elephants who needed them for comfort. How freaking cool is that?

These elephants have created strong family bonds with each other. They are all female and no breeding is done there. And you can read all about then on the ELEdiary complete with written entries and photos of The Girls. I LOVE this site!

Recently the USDA faulted a guy who rents elephants to circuses for profit who abused his animals and exposed his whole herd to TB. This a very dangerous disease for elephants and by this guy’s negligence loads of circus going people have been exposed to it as via these poor elephants when they watch them perform. Not cool. Finally after months of negotiating The Elephant Sanctuary has been awarded custody of nine of these sick elephants and they will be transferred to the brand new barn where they will have to be isolated for a year while they undergo treatment for their TB.

I highly recommend you guys check out this site. View the ELEcam and see The Girls having fun in the pond or the dust bowl. I am pretty smug over the fact that I can almost identify each of The Girls by their body shape. Hey! I have had a lot of spare time lately.

I don’t like to ask for your guys’ help but these cool people need some funds to move the new elephants to their new home (and let me tell you watching them arrive and discover their new homes via the ELEcam is seriously moving) and could use a hand. Check out their store and see if any of their products would make good Christmas gifts. I sent out their Christmas cards last year and they were a hit. Or if you have a spare couple of bucks after all your shopping (I know I am asking a lot) and are looking for a place that needs it please consider them.

Or just check out the ELEdiary and read about these very amazing animals. Their names are Tarra, Sissy, Winkie, Delhi, Bunny (AKA: The Elusive Bunny), Jenny, Shirley, Misty, Tange, Zula and Flora. The new additions are Lottie, Minnie, Sue, Liz, Ronnie, Frieda, Billie, Debbie and Queenie.


Susie said...

Hey, sweetie. I have been wandering aimlessly without my bookmarks, having lost them into the ether once again (I don't know how that keeps happening.) I'm recreating them, though, and realized I haven't been here in DAYS. I've missed birthdays, anniversaries, friends' surgeries, GEEZ! Happy everything to everyone! And your mom is gorgeous!
I went to the elephant site a while ago, and a friend of mine who doesn't blog but follows some of my blogger friends went there via your site, too. She is quite smitten with the funts, and I believe I shall do just as you suggest here, in her honor. You are good people, kranki, to be so good to the nonpeople.

happyandblue2 said...

I'll go visit the site. Because you told such a sweet story.
And after reading this sorry for my previous comment for a squish your elephants head Friday.
Please change that to squish your beluga whales head Friday..

happyandblue2 said...

Ok, I'm back from my visit. I couldn't see anything. It looked like curtains or something so maybe they were in the shower. I just don't know..

mrtl said...

I'll have to share this site with my cousin. He's about 13 now, and has loved elephants since he was tiny.

Dima said...

I love you and love your love for animals and love your lovely love for elephants even more. I'll go visit the site, and I'll donate some, just for you!

Sharkey said...

I've been to the site before, but I'd forgotten their tagline: "So they loaded up their trunks and they moved to Tennessee." Heh heh, my dad loves the Beverly Hillbillies.

I can tell you really love the elephants--anyone who puts that many links in one post has to be passionate about it. :)

Thanks for this excellent post and for making us all aware.

eclectic said...

You just get cooler and cooler, Miss Krankipantz. I love me some heffalumps! Thanks for the great post.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this site! I will definitely be getting some gifts for my friends from here this year.

Squirl said...

Bucky and I totally understand your feelings for animals over kids. Granted, I love kids and would've had them if I could've. When people bring kids into work, I look. But when cats and dogs are brought in I just go nuts.

Couldn't see anything happening on the elephant cam, but I'll check back.

Anonymous said...

Aw Kranki, you are such a good person.:) I promise to visit this site. And your mom looks terrific!


Von Krankipantzen said...

susie-so good to see you back. What is up with the ether? I am smitten with the funts too and love to spread the funt joy.

happyandblue2-please try them again. They were probably out at the bar. It was Saturday night, after all.

mrtl-the ELEcam can become quite addictive. Beware!

dima-I love that you love that I love the elephants. Thanks. And I love that you are planning on checking out and possibly donating at the site. You rock!

sharkey-thank you! I wanted to do a lot of the linking work for y'all so that you could see the great place it really is.

eclectic-gee, thanks! I think elephants are just magical.

anon-I hope you find some great stuff. I have a few things from them that I love.

squirl-you are definitely a fellow animal lover. You are Squirl after all. Do check back at the ELEcam as at some point you will absolutely see the babies.

circe-thanks so much. I hope you enjoy the site. All the stories and photos are great.

kalki said...

Your first paragraph? THAT IS ME.

Thanks for sharing this with all of us...

Nessa said...

I LOVE ELEPHANTS TOO!!! They have always been my favorite animal! I think it has something to do with my early childhood, when my favorite thing to do was dance around an elephant statue my grandparents brought back from Thailand - I just want to hug and kiss them and love them to bits & pieces! Thank you for posting this!!

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