It always make me sick whenever I come across news of people angrily asking the proper authority 'to once and for all overcome' the problem of their oil palm plantation being damaged by elephants.
The owners of oil palm plantatation in Perlop, Sungai Siput (Utara) Perak for the umpteenth time came out on tv protesting of elephants damaging their trees. They requested PERHILITAN to put to end their problem. Were they implying that PERHILITAN destroys all the elephants just to safeguard their crops?
If that was their intention, it is a sad affair....Allah created man to be the caliph on Earth, to look after Earth's equilibrium, not just after their wallets!
Elephants were there first. They were the intruders - destroying the pristine jungle making way for their plantation. Where could the elephants go searching for food then?
I remember many many years ago, in 1984 if I was not mistaken, I was involved in translocating wild elephants from Jerangau in Terengganu to the National Parks Terengganu side.
For the exercise I had to camp in the forest for a week, braving the blood-thirsty leeches and mosquitoes.
There was this humongous elephant bull that we successfully darted and tranquilized, According to the rangers it was the biggest bull that they had ever confronted. So big and old was the bull that the 'denak' elephants refused to push it in our attempt to get it walking to the trailer. It was a case of a junior respecting a senior, or in animal science terms, pecking order.
Having seen what stress could do to a newly caught elephant (a few elephants died just because of extreme stress a few days before), I prayed to Allah to make it moved voluntarily. My prayers were answered - it gradually moved willingly to the awaiting trailer.
It was transported to a raft in Lake Kenyir. From there it was brought to the National Park. All along the three-hour rafting, I constantly sprinkled it with refreshing lake water fearing that it would be overheated.
The magnificient well-built bull happily walke down the raft onto the land, and believe it or not, it looked back at us and curled up its trunk and trumpeted as if saying thank you to us for saving its life! No words could describe how happy we felt at that moment.
So you see elephants too have feelings. They don't just go on rampage destroying your crops for nothing. They did it for a valid reason - they don't have other alternative. They have to have food to survive.
On the contrary, we human kill other human beings in wars, criminal acts just to have power, take revenge and other life trivia. For food (not to say that we will perish if we don't have them) we kill millions of animals like fish, poultry, cattle, goats, sheep, etc daily. Do the animals concerned act against us? No! They know that they are created to be finally the food of humans!