Let us say no to Ivory!


IVORY TUSKS

– A BLESSING OR CURSE?

Blessing because they give elephants a true majesty that raises them above other animals and being of use for various tasks. A curse because man’s avarice for ivory has led to the senseless slaughter of many of these magnificent animals.

Sometimes I wonder the kind of mind the man has got. I was sad to see some ivory dolls of Buddha in a shop. Buddha and Ivory – What a contradiction! Animals have always been regarded in Buddhist doctrine as sentient beings, different in their intellectual ability than humans but no less capable of feeling & suffering. Buddha taught us respects and non-violence to fellow creatures. But we respect him by creating his structure out of an animal sacrifice. Crazy –isn’t it!

Ivory what we call the elephant tusk is nothing but a tooth of elephant. Elephant dentition is unique. In most animals including humans, teeth are produced from the top and bottom of the mouth. In elephants, their teeth work by moving in a forwards and backwards motion, grinding down plant material like a conveyor belt.
Tusk is the second incisor tooth,  made of dentine, calcium and salt. Usually in mammals tusks are enlarged canine teeth but in elephants they are actually elongated incisors.
Elephants use their tusks for a variety of tasks. Principally they are formidable weapons against potential predators like the tiger (although tigers will only ever attack young or juvenile elephants) or in battle against other elephants. They are also used to aid foraging, digging, stripping bark , lifting and moving things out of the way. Elephants normally prefer one tusk over the other, similar to being left or right handed in human and they attract the interest of females.
Elephant’s dental problems are one of the greatest challenges in a vet’s life. Imagine anaesthetizing such a huge creature, opening the mouth with a gauge, extracting the decayed tooth with heavy tools with full of energy and injecting gallons(!) of antibiotics during post-operative care. It is common in tamed elephants as they are fed with unbalanced food and as well as their death due to gastric erosion.
I would like to share one interesting treatment, first of its kind in India, treatment for Tusk-Ache. Devidisan, a 27 year old bull elephant, had been suffering from tusk ache for five years. His tusk was cracked and this was contributing to chronic pain. Dentists performed the first operation if its kind and used forty seven tubes of resin to fill the crack in the tusk. The procedure took two and a half hours and the elephant remained conscious throughout. HERE: WATCH THE VIDEO  HERE: READ MORE

Finally a word of request, as poaching of these pachyderms are banned , people have started substituting camel bone which finish resembles ivory. Whether it is an elephant or a camel, let us say no to ivory.

See you!

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Blogger Liara Covert said...

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