April 19, 2013
HBO's Earth Day Documentary
Few animals hold more fascination for humans than elephants. For centuries they've been adored, inspired great works of art, and even been revered as gods, yet they have also been treated with cruelty. "An Apology to Elephants" explores the abuse of these ancient and intelligent animals and shows how some people are reversing the trend.
As a keystone species, elephants promote biodiversity, helping trees, plants and animals flourish; as highly intelligent, empathetic and social animals, they are unique and remarkable creatures. But humans have poached elephants, chained and trained them in captivity, and destroyed their natural habitats. "The first thing we need to know is that the elephants need our help," says Lily Tomlin.
"An Apology to Elephants" spotlights elephants' importance to global ecology and the environment. Known as the "gardeners of the forest," they clear large trees and branches for food, which makes way for smaller plants and animals to thrive. However, due to the ivory trade and habitat destruction, elephant species are considered either vulnerable or endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and are at risk of extinction within the next ten years. "Extinction is a part of the pattern of life on the planet, but we're amping up the rate at which extinctions occur," says paleontologist Dr. Ross MacPhee.
I'm a Master Naturalist and an outdoor enthusiast -- mostly kayaking, and I live on a Peninsula in the Chesapeake Bay. I'm the author of The Nature Fan, Nature Fan Activists, Green Earth Almanac, and Amanda's Geographic. Formerly, I ran the nationally syndicated column "National Green Activism" for The Examiner, and I was a key factor in the success of many campaigns. Make sure you don't miss a post, and subscribe by email! Thanks for reading.