In Honor of Tipu Uttarakhand's Greatest Elephant
Dear Friends of CIFAE:
Linked below are two articles from 2011 about one of Uttarakhand’s grandest elephants: Tipu. I am sharing these articles with you for several reasons, but especially because Tipu was a giant tusker, whose range was close to China, and yet he lived a full life. He was over 65 years of age when he died from complications of tusk wounds inflicted by another bull; they were competing for a mate. Tipu fathered countless calves across two vast landscapes divided by the great Ganges River, and in concert with two other bulls, was responsible for maintaining both populations as [genetically] one.
In 1999 when “Christy” Williams and I were sketching plans to form CIFAE. Christy, who had studied Tipu and the elephants of Rajaji National Park (Tipu’s “kingdom”) and surrounding lands, suggested Tipu as CIFAE’s icon. This choice has become ever-more salient in these times of atrocities being committed against the elephant and all those human and nonhuman alike that share habitat. Tipu’s long life as a giant tusker can be embraced as a vision of what can be again for elephants everywhere on Earth if we act collectively on their behalf.
These articles—one written from Tipu’s perspective—illustrate the terrifying changes elephants everywhere have witnessed in a relatively short time. Please take a few minutes to read these, think about the needs of elephants, and determine how you will help them. Please share your thoughts.
Thanks to all!