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There was a time when speaking long distance evoked an excitement, a feeling of connection, of anticipation – almost as if we were being transported to another world just by virtue of the mechanism involved in long distance telephone calls.
Today, we pick up a telephone or use an app and are able to connect with somebody on the other side of the world all on our own – no telephone operator, exchange or assistance needed. It’s all in our hands, it really is!
Long before man was able to communicate over long distances, elephants and other animals were communicating via soundwaves and other means not known to man. This was at a time when I would daresay, that mankind cohabited with nature without the wanton destruction of natural resources that we see today.
In the last century and perhaps even earlier, the need to communicate between species for reasons that I call unnatural – that is not for purposes of everyday life but for purposes of survival – became ever more necessary. As man began his ruthless pursuit of animals for products such as ivory, rhino horn etc., so grew the need for animals to communicate their fear and message to flee from this new enemy – the technologically ‘advanced’ man! Man has never found answers to this silent communication through which animals such as elephants or even dolphins can convey, over great distance, imminent danger.
That the elephant’s trunk call has become an impassioned call for survival and escape from people – I won’t call them humans – bent on exploiting a resource even to extinction surely reflects on our own short-sighted thinking? The days of ‘trunk calls’ were days of slower pace, when perhaps we had more time to contemplate our next step, whereas today, man seeks immediate gratification. I yearn for a time when we will take the time to stop, to think and to ‘hold the line’ until we have a better connection both among ourselves and with the natural kingdom with whom we share this planet.
WRITTEN BY ROBERT SCHNEIDER