Thursday, July 2, 2020

When elephants fall

Stories and News No. 1207
 
More than 350 elephants died in northern Botswana in a mysterious mass death defined by scientists as a "conservation disaster". Something similar had already happened in the African state in May, where 169 animals died, just near some pools of water.
The local government has not yet tested carcass samples, so there is no precise information on what is causing the deaths or if they could be a risk to human health. The two main possibilities are poisoning or an unknown pathogen. However, according to experts there is no precedent which proves that it is a natural phenomenon, but without adequate controls, it will not be possible to discover the truth.
On the other hand, the search for the latter, especially when it forces us to get on the dock, is definitely not our best.
So, as the generalist press often prefers, let's focus on the deceased, rather than investigating the causes, currently mysterious, but precisely for this reason worthy of being identified.

Indulge me for the time of a half page or a little more, and instead of thinking about the origins of a collective death, a both alarming and disarming one, let's try to observe the consequences of this tragic loss for the animal kingdom in the form of a metaphor which to draw something significant from.
So, when elephants fall.
When elephants fall, and it is not only an episodic accident, but the thundering and inexorable collapse of many, you cannot ignore the sound of the thud on the innocent surface of the planet.
Because when elephants fall, it is the largest and most underrated creatures on earth that plummet from the top of their complex lives.
If what is far more imposing and ancient than you definitively gives up to its enemy, natural or artificial it might be, you cannot remain indifferent, especially if the latter adjective concerns you personally. In the most absolute way, when the distinction between the two becomes more blurred every day, to the point that there is no earthly tragedy that is not attributable to clapping human hands.
So, if have managed to reawaken your interest, I hope that you cannot consider it irrelevant that we are talking about typically slow animals, thanks to their innate awareness that the speed has meaning only for a valid reason. And this reason, like the one that pushes them to cross kilometers of suffocating heat and hostile land, has to do with a good that you have guilty taken for granted, or even persecuted: survival, but you may also read it as the pot filled with clean water and a loaf of bread at the end of the rainbow called the Mediterranean sea.
Because you see, dear friend, that you observe from afar the evocative photos of the mysterious departure of our colossal planet brothers, when an elephant falls, it is as if the memory itself crashed, proverbial in their case.
So, where we dwell on this latter allegorical digression, think about the noise could the indelible memories of all falling creatures could make, that we have also filed as a conservation disaster. In this case, despite being aware this is not what the above scientists mean, I have the impression that the only conservation that these disasters guarantee is for those who never fall...
Nonetheless, if you know what interrupting suddenly the path, never reaching the desired goal, means, maybe you will also feel a little compassion for those good giants of the world, who do not need to eat meat, go to the gym and scream with arrogance to dominate us all.
Because the humble and respect they had living their life is the same when they go away forever.



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