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Interview With Tiki The Murderous Elephant

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posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 08:28 AM
As I made my way to the elephant cage, the acrid stench of feces fills my nostrils. In Pakistan I am known as 'one who talks to elephants.' You Americans, call me an 'elephant whisperer.' I have had a great fondness for elephants since I was a small child.

My occupation isn't really so hard. You just have to want to hear the elephant. It has been my life's goal to hear them. I am in pursuit of their survival. Due to their enormous size and strength, they are often misunderstood.

Often times when they attack humans, the elephant is put to death instantly, without trying to determine the cause of the attack. I am here in America to interview Tiki. She has attacked and killed her trainer.
Tiki is an entertainer and draws large crowds for the circus that owns her.

Tiki is somewhat more fortunate than most elephants that are kept in captivity. Her owners seem truly interested in trying to help her. I notice immediately that her cage is moderately clean and that there is fresh hay in her rack.

Tiki's owner's will not allow me to enter the cage to speak with her, so we must converse through the bars. Usually I insist on physical contact, but my request was denied. They do not want to risk it inspite of my assurances.

I notice that Tiki's eyes are closed, which might mean she is sleeping. So, I speak to her, softly, so as not to startle her. "Tiki"

Tiki opens her eyes and gives me a menacing look. "Go away, Human, or I will rip these bars apart and trample you!" she warned.

"Tiki, my name is Rajah, I am here to speak with you and see if there is something I can do to make your life more comfortable."
"Harrumph!" Tiki snorts. "Speak to me, he says?"

"Yes Tiki," I assure her, "I talk to elephants and listen. Would you like to talk to me?"

"You mean that you really, really heard me?" she asks unbelievably.

"Yes Tiki, and I am here to listen to you. I can't make you any promises, but I will do my best to help you. But you need to tell me why you attacked your trainer. You also need to tell me if you understood that it was wrong."

Tiki drops her massive head as if in deep thought. Then Rajah sees an enormous tear beginning to course it's way down from her tightly closed eyes. Then she spoke again, "Of course I knew it was wrong. If I didn't, it would have happened a lot sooner. I don't know what came over me. I tried to tell him that I did not like to go out there and do all those silly things in front of all those people. But he wouldn't listen. He couldn't hear me the way that you hear me. Everytime I went out in front of all those people, my heart would feel like it was going to pound out of my chest. I thought I was going to die. He didn't understand, he made me do it anyway! I didn't want to hurt him. He was nice to me."

"Tiki, I think that I may have some answers for you, but I need you to tell me more about yourself. I am going to ask you a series of questions and I need you to answer them, to the very best of your ability, alright?"

"I'll do my part, Rajah, if you think it will help." she said almost shyly. She looked for all the world, like a little girl, standing alone in her cage, toeing aimlessly at some stray hay that had fallen from the rack. The soft moonlight that fell upon her leathery skin, almost made it appear to be made of velvet. Yes, Tiki was winding her way into my heart.

"Tiki, your owners' tell me that you were not born here. That they actually brought you in from Africa when you were still a baby. Do you remember that?" I notice more tears escaping as Tiki nods her head. "Will you tell me about it?"

Several minutes pass as Tiki struggles with what seems to be very painful memories. Then she begins to tell me her story.....

[edit on 23-3-2008 by sizzle]

posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 08:32 AM
"When I was a little girl, I lived very far away from here. Everything was different. There was lot's of open spaces to run and play. I had playmates, like myself. We played for hours and hours with no worries. Sometimes, scary animals would try to attack us, and our parents and the other grownups would herd all of us little ones into the center and frighten the beasts off. We never worried about anything hurting us! There were times that there wasn't as much to eat as other times, but we knew that we were loved and protected. I loved my life!
Then one day, these huge machines, flew across the skies. Loud bangs were coming from them. I saw that the largest of the herd were falling to the ground with red fluid running out of them. Then they just stopped moving. I cried as loud as I could and ran looking for my parents. I found them. But they were on the ground, not moving. I kept yelling for them to get up and help me. But they would not answer me. They just wouldn't get up and help me!

Then those machines landed on the ground. Surely now the adults would get up and circle around us. Didn't they care that we were scared? They just lay there sleeping without a care in the world. They still didn't get up when those humans surrounded us kids and began shoving us into crates. I felt so betrayed. How could they let this happen to us?"

Then the most awesome thing that I had ever beheld, transpired. Tiki's tremendous body began to quake and tremble, as she sobbed uncontrollably. Then she began to emit ear-splitting trumpet noises, that could be heard for miles.

I felt tears slipping down my own cheeks as I held my ears for protection. In all my years of experience, I had never witnessed such a heartbreaking event. Oh why did they not allow me to be next to her. She desperately needed comfort. Instead, all that I could do for her, was make soft cooing noises and offer soft words of encouragement.

Suddenly lights began popping on all around the circus complex. Tiki's heartbreaking trumpet calls had brought the owners on the run. Mr. Jarvis was the first to arrive. "What in G-d's name is going on here?" he demanded. "I could hear this bedlam all the way over at my motel room!" Sweat was running profusely down his face and the front of his shirt. Mopping at it, was useless.

I understood his concern. His trainer had just been killed by this elephant. I rushed to explain, "I am so sorry, Mr. Jarvis. Tiki is having a breakthrough."

"Could she breakthrough a little quieter? I'll be cited for disturbing the peace! It's time to close this down for the night any how." he growled.

"Mr. Jarvis," I pleaded, "Would you please let me stay with her tonight? I believe she is suffering from post-traumatic-stress-disorder. She witnessed the murder of her parents when she was a baby. She has suffered abandonment and anxiety issues for years because of it. She didn't mean your trainer any harm. She was having a panic attack and he was pushing her beyond her capabilities."

"Of all the silly horse-malarkey that I have ever heard. Nobody murdered her parents. What do you mean murder? It is standard procedure in Africa to cull the herd once a year to prevent over-population. If they didn't do that, the rest of the herd would starve. It's the humane thing to do. Then, kind-hearted people like myself, bring some of the babies over here and give them a good home. She's had a good life with me. She gets fed good and nobody beats her."

"Mr. Jarvis, a lot of people don't realize that elephants mourn the loss of their loved ones much like humans do. That is why I believe that she is suffering emotional trauma. Please let me stay with her tonight. She trusts me and I trust her. She needs me"

"Well I don't trust her!" Jarvis barked. "She killed my trainer! And even if what you say is true, she couldn't possibly remember that. It was nearly twenty years ago. She was just a baby. But she's not a baby any more. She's a rogue. And no body is staying near this elephant. So get your things. I have a room rented for you."

I could see that arguing would be pointless. It was hurting me to leave Tiki in such distress. She never understood the death of her parents. I would rush back first thing in the morning. I would try to explain death to her. Then hopefully with the beginning of understanding, would come forgiveness and then...healing.

I had to admit that I was very exhausted. Mentally and physically. It had been a very long flight from Pakistan to Los Angeles. I had been so anxious to meet Tiki that I rushed straight to the Circus compound. My heart was heavy with concern for Tiki. There were limited answers for an elephant in Tiki's circumstances. Weariness carried me into a very deep and sound sleep.

[edit on 23-3-2008 by sizzle]

posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 08:34 AM
In the deep catacoombs of my rest, I could hear loud pounding. Someone was calling my name. Much as I prayed to Allah, it would not stop. It was real, not a dream. I reluctantly eased my weary body from my cozy bed to see who was so rudely trying to rouse me. I cracked the door and peeked out. It was Mr. Jarvis.

"Rajah! Hurry, Tiki has escaped. She has already made her way to downtown L.A.! Get a move on. Maybe if you can get there and talk to her and calm her, we can get her back to the compound. If not the cops are going to shoot her. They said they would hold back as long as possible, but if it comes to life or property, they have no choice."

Those awful words managed to permeate the fog. My heart was pounding. We had to get to her. She needed me. Her name and words of prayer, spilled from me as tears washed unashamedly down my face. I knew that this was a very bad situation. I barely remember entering Mr. Jarvis' limo as we sped off towards the downtown area.

It was easy to spot Tiki's voluminous hulk as she tripped gaily down the streets of L.A. The law enforcement had cleared the streets of their traffic, but people were lined along both sides to view this rare sight. Idiot parents even had their children out to watch the events. Didn't they realize the danger? I didn't believe for a moment that Tiki would harm them, but there might be gun-fire if a cop got trigger happy.

I yelled for the driver to stop the car as soon as we got close enough for me to catch up to Tiki on foot. I didn't want to startle her with the car's engine. I was literally having to run to catch her stride. I swear that I could hear her singing out, "Wheee!" She was enjoying this!

The crowd misunderstood what I was doing, so they joined in the chase. I tried yelling over my shoulder for them to stay back. But they either would not or could not, hear me. My next plan proved to be disastrous. I decided to call out to Tiki to get her to stop.
When she heard my voice, she immediately spun around and stopped in her tracks. There was pure elation on her face. "Raji! I was looking for you. I'm having so much fun!"

Just then, a teen from the crowd, attempting to prove his bravado; ran up and tossed a broken glass bottle straight into Tiki's eye. Tiki screamed in pain, then grabbed the youth up with her trunk and smashed him to the pavement.

The barrage of gun-fire nearly deafened me as I crawled my way to Tiki's bleeding body. I could hear deep rattles emitting from her as she tried to say her good-byes. "Raji, I see Mommy and Daddy." Tiki didn't move any more.

posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 08:34 AM
There have been recent reports in Africa of abnormal behavior of these giant creatures. They have begun spontaneous attacks on human-beings. The villagers are greatly concerned. What has caused this bizarre change of events? I have researched this subject and would like to discuss it. Thank you for reading my story about Tiki.

posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 10:41 AM
One day I had a layover in a small town in Iowa so I spent the day at an amusement park across the street from the truck stop. There was a little circus operating within the park and an elephant was part of the show. Afterwards people gathered around so the kiddies could have a ride on her. I stood right next to the elephant, patting her hide and talking softly. I had never been so close to one before, and was just kind of contemplating quietly how magnificent she was amidst all the commotion of excited kids and families. All of a sudden she whirled around her head and planted a huge kiss directly on my lips with the tip of her trunk! I gave out a shriek in surprise and jumped back, but then immediately felt guilty -- hers was such an unexpected but nice gesture and my response might have been rude.
I remember looking into her eyes before this happened and was moved deeply by her. I am a total believer in your story. Please do give us your views on what's happening with the elephants in Africa._javascript:icon('

posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 10:48 AM
reply to post by wayno

I am going to go very indepth on that issue. it is what prompted me to write the story. I was watching something on discovery channel last night that encouraged me to do this on behalf of the plight of the elephants.
I liked your story too. It could have been Tiki.

Edit: My research notes results will be posted later, I will have to run out in a bit and do some errands. spelling corrections. (gee, I must be getting sleepy) I stayed up all night, writing this.

[edit on 23-3-2008 by sizzle]

[edit on 23-3-2008 by sizzle]

posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 10:54 AM
I was not sure what to expect when I clicked on your story.
You brought tears to my eyes and a pain in my heart, not just for elephants but all mistreated animals.

Bravo to you for writing this.

posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 11:01 AM
reply to post by AccessDenied

I am so glad that you folks liked the story. Not for ego reasons. I was moved at what I saw on DSC last night and what mankind has done to them. It was my hope to do something to draw attention to their plight. Thank you.

[edit on 23-3-2008 by sizzle]

posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 11:43 AM
reply to post by sizzle

I have never understood how it is that so many people believe only in the sanctity of human life, or that only humans are sentient, thinking, feeling beings. It is so contrary to real experience.
I guess what struck me so much with the circus elephant was not just how much she was aware of me and heard my murmurings in the midst of all the noise, but that she responded -- gave me feedback -- a big smacking "thank you" kiss. Quite impressive how she picked me out from the crowd, as well. Everyone around was amazed. I felt privileged to have been so honoured.
Looking into her eyes I saw not a "dumb animal" but a magnificent soul. We, as humans, are but one form of life that is precious. We need to humble ourselves to the other magnificent forms of life we share this earth with and do our best to protect them.

posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 11:57 AM
Sizzle..I remember watching this story on TV last year. It truly was amazing.
A link to the article about the elephants named Shirley and Jenny..who after being separated for 22 years in different circus's...reconnected and became very close after retiring to a sanctuary. It was a very heartwarming story.

posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 12:02 PM
reply to post by wayno

Before I leave, I will give you a little glimpse into what I was going to post later. Since you brought up the humanness of elephants.
It was mentioned on DSC last night that elephants have massive sized brains and are capable of tremendous intelligence They are capable of emotions such as ours and yes, they do mourn their dead. They can be very gentle.
I'll get back to you folks as soon as I can, but don't let that stop you from posting any ideas or questions. I will get to them after my errands and nap.

posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 12:05 PM
reply to post by AccessDenied

Thanks AD, That sounds like something I definitely want to see. I'll view it as soon as I can. Catch y'all later this afternoon.

posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 08:44 PM
Wow, sizzle.
Although I'm not a GREAT animal lover, That was very moving.
You have a way with words!

posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 08:58 PM
reply to post by Clearskies

Thank you for reading Clearskies,
Elephants and all of our animals are very important to our planet. I am by no means an activist. But things like this could make me one. Although the story of Tiki is purely fictional, the facts that led to the story are not. Thank you for reading.

posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 09:04 PM
Hi everyone,
I know that I promised you some more facts about the plight of the elephants in Africa. This will be forthcoming. I have slept the day away and awoke with a headache, so please be patient with me.
I just wanted to thank all of you again for appreciating the story of Tiki. I have a confession to make. I cried when I wrote it. Does that mean that it is inspired?

posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 10:00 PM
Sizzle, you just continue to baffle me with all your talents. I am a huge animal lover and have long known of the plight of the elephants. Not only are these animals one of the smartest, they travel in families and I believe they mate for life. Great story. I hope we can find a way to do more to save all God's creation.

posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 10:10 PM

Originally posted by idle_rocker

Sizzle, you just continue to baffle me with all your talents. I am a huge animal lover and have long known of the plight of the elephants. Not only are these animals one of the smartest, they travel in families and I believe they mate for life. Great story. I hope we can find a way to do more to save all God's creation.

Thank you for your kind words IR.
If this is indeed a talent, I hope that I can use it to do some good.
If you know of some facts that you can submit here to evoke awareness, please do so. This thread belongs to all of us.

posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 04:01 AM
I seem to have misplaced my DSC notes, so I did some internet research and still found some synonymous information. It typifies what Tiki was suffering for years, in this story. Traumatized by her parent's death and mourning for them for many years.

In a coming book on this phenomenon, Gay Bradshaw, a psychologist at the environmental-sciences program at Oregon State University, notes that in India, where the elephant has long been regarded as a deity, a recent headline in a leading newspaper warned, ‘‘To Avoid Confrontation, Don’t Worship Elephants.’’ ‘‘Everybody pretty much agrees that the relationship between elephants and people has dramatically changed,’’ Bradshaw told me recently. ‘‘What we are seeing today is extraordinary. Where for centuries humans and elephants lived in relatively peaceful coexistence, there is now hostility and violence. Now, I use the term ‘violence’ because of the intentionality associated with it, both in the aggression of humans and, at times, the recently observed behavior of elephants.’’
For a number of biologists and ethologists who have spent their careers studying elephant behavior, the attacks have become so abnormal in both number and kind that they can no longer be attributed entirely to the customary factors. Typically, elephant researchers have cited, as a cause of aggression, the high levels of testosterone in newly matured male elephants or the competition for land and resources between elephants and humans. But in ‘‘Elephant Breakdown,’’ a 2005 essay in the journal Nature, Bradshaw and several colleagues argued that today’s elephant populations are suffering from a form of chronic stress, a kind of species-wide trauma. Decades of poaching and culling and habitat loss, they claim, have so disrupted the intricate web of familial and societal relations by which young elephants have traditionally been raised in the wild, and by which established elephant herds are governed, that what we are now witnessing is nothing less than a precipitous collapse of elephant culture.

It has long been apparent that every large, land-based animal on this planet is ultimately fighting a losing battle with humankind. And yet entirely befitting of an animal with such a highly developed sensibility, a deep-rooted sense of family and, yes, such a good long-term memory, the elephant is not going out quietly. It is not leaving without making some kind of statement, one to which scientists from a variety of disciplines, including human psychology, are now beginning to pay close attention.

Park officials from the Uganda Wildlife Authority with whom I tried to discuss the incident were reluctant to talk about it or any of the recent killings by elephants in the area. Eco-tourism is one of Uganda’s major sources of income, and the elephant and other wildlife stocks of Queen Elizabeth National Park are only just now beginning to recover from years of virtually unchecked poaching and habitat destruction. Tom Okello, the chief game warden at the park (and no relation to my driver), and Margaret Driciru, Queen Elizabeth’s chief veterinarian, each told me that they weren’t aware of the attack in Kyambura. When I mentioned it to the executive director of the wildlife authority, Moses Mapesa, upon my initial arrival in the capital city, Kampala, he eventually admitted that it did happen, but he claimed that it was not nearly as recent as reported. ‘‘That was 14 years ago,’’ he said. ‘‘We have seen aggressive behavior from elephants, but that’s a story of the past.’’

[edit on 24-3-2008 by sizzle]

[edit on 24-3-2008 by sizzle]

posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 04:13 AM
Oh gee, it looks like I got a little ahead of myself. This article more clearlt demonstrates the human-ness of elephants and how their emotions affaect them.

Elephants, when left to their own devices, are profoundly social creatures. A herd of them is, in essence, one incomprehensibly massive elephant: a somewhat loosely bound and yet intricately interconnected, tensile organism. Young elephants are raised within an extended, multitiered network of doting female caregivers that includes the birth mother, grandmothers, aunts and friends. These relations are maintained over a life span as long as 70 years. Studies of established herds have shown that young elephants stay within 15 feet of their mothers for nearly all of their first eight years of life, after which young females are socialized into the matriarchal network, while young males go off for a time into an all-male social group before coming back into the fold as mature adults.

When an elephant dies, its family members engage in intense mourning and burial rituals, conducting weeklong vigils over the body, carefully covering it with earth and brush, revisiting the bones for years afterward, caressing the bones with their trunks, often taking turns rubbing their trunks along the teeth of a skull’s lower jaw, the way living elephants do in greeting. If harm comes to a member of an elephant group, all the other elephants are aware of it. This sense of cohesion is further enforced by the elaborate communication system that elephants use. In close proximity they employ a range of vocalizations, from low-frequency rumbles to higher-pitched screams and trumpets, along with a variety of visual signals, from the waving of their trunks to subtle anglings of the head, body, feet and tail. When communicating over long distances — in order to pass along, for example, news about imminent threats, a sudden change of plans or, of the utmost importance to elephants, the death of a community member — they use patterns of subsonic vibrations that are felt as far as several miles away by exquisitely tuned sensors in the padding of their feet.

posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 06:51 PM
An elephant never forgets.....what a moving story. Also well written, except for one line

Then Rajah sees an enormous tear beginning to course it's way down from her tightly closed eyes.

You went from first person to third person in this line and it is the only line that doesn't fit well. Change "rajah" to "I" and imo it's perfect.

Now regarding elephants. I have admit, I'm partial to elephants. One of my favorite childhood Bollywood movies was "Haathi mere Saathi" which means "Elephants My Friends". It's a story about elephants who saves a boy from a jaguar and from then on they are unseparable, performing shows together and eventually becoming rich. Then the boy marries and has a child and his wife fears that the elephants will harm the child so she gives her husband an ultimatum, the elephants or his human family... I cried during that part..

anyway it ends all good, but if you can bear subtitles, i highly recommend that you watch this movie, it gives a very unique perspective on elephant emotions and their interactions with humans. Youtube has videos on it.
here's the link to the full movie on google video, no subtitles, but honestly you don't need subtitles to understand Bollywood movies, you'll get the jist of it.
Linky< br />
I have several elephants in my house, Hindu/Indian culture has always held the elephant in high regards and they symbolize prosperity, wisdom, strength, and many other virtues that we all strive to attain. Even one of our "gods" Ganesha has the head of an elephant on a human body.

thank you for sharing

[edit on 3-25-2008 by worldwatcher]

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