I was just passed a short-feature about the Sondelani elephants which exposes the dark side of the elephant-back safari business. There Were Nine Little Elephants may not be one of the easiest film to watch but it’s an important and moving film about nine elephants named Mary, Jack, Mancube, John, Jessica, Nomalanga, Emily, Emma, Baby Girl and little Dumasani, who were captured for elephant-back safaris in Zimbabwe, brutally trained, and then, through the incredible perseverance and compassion of many dedicated individuals, were released back to the wild in Hwange National Park.
ElephantVoices played a small but important role in the rescue and release of these elephants by offering advise on elephant behavior to Karen Trendler, the ZNSPCA, and Four Paws. You can read some more about what happened through these previous news pieces here on ElephantVoices.org:
- Wild elephants captured for elephant back safaris (3 Sept. 2009)
- Appeal for the Sondelani elephants (11 Sept. 2009)
Bullhooks and chaining, and the brutal training for circuses and elephant-back safaris that relies on restraint and negative reinforcement, are contentious issues in the elephant world. There Were Nine Little Elephants shows why we feel so strongly that these tools and the practice of capturing and brutally training elephants should be made a thing of the past.
Watch the movie below…
A lot of films that we watch are to escape, but sometimes it’s important to watch films that are more than that, films that are not there to make money but to make a difference.
Don’t worry — you can do it. It’s like going to the gym. You’ll find some of it fun, some of it difficult, but in the end it’ll make you a better person.