Dozens of elephant families throughout Asia are killed by trains each year. Ron Chandler, President and Co-Founder of Conservation Initiative for the Asian Elephant, is dedicated to preventing more elephant families from being victims.
Some Indian State governments have successfully reduced train speeds through elephant corridors and conservations areas — reducing both human and elephant injuries and deaths. Ron is hoping to do the same in areas that lack this protection by promoting his petition.
Mr. Chandler was also kind enough to share his insight on the cause and petition:
What inspired you to take action on this topic?
Slowing trains and strictly enforcing speed controls throughout India will stop a needless loss of elephant and human life, as well as recurring economic catastrophe. This is a relatively simple problem to solve, and solutions can be implemented immediately with direct economic benefit to the train operators and the commercial interests that they support.
What is your main concern?
Asian elephants are being lost needlessly throughout their range. We have perhaps 10 years to effect the substantive changes necessary regarding land use management, elimination of poaching, and sensible transportation operations — to name a few — or we might lose them all forever.
What is Conservation Initiative for the Asian Elephant (CIFAE)?
I have loved elephants all of my life. On my 40th birthday I asked myself what would I do if I could do anything? “Help save elephants” sprang immediately to mind. That summer I began studying elephants and learned what was being done and not being done, and what they needed most. A year or so later I met Christy Williams — who is now WWF’s Asian elephant, rhino and tiger expert — and we formed CIFAE.
What are your hopes for this petition?
This petition is being received by the Chief Forest Minister of West Bengal but also by the Minister of Railways, Government of India. Between these two individuals, train speeds can be enforced and slowed to a speed that assures elephant and human safety. That is our hope and our mission on this issue.
The elephant desperately needs our help. They cannot protect their young or their families from speeding trains; only we can protect them by slowing the trains.
Is there anything else you would like Care2 members to know about this cause?
Anyone that loves elephants can help save them; the opportunities are limitless. We (CIFAE) work with local not-for-profit and non-governmental organizations throughout SE Asia toward resolving factors affecting the lives of Asian elephants. Learn how you can help us save the Asian elephant. Write me, Ron Chandler, President, Conservation Initiative for the Asian Elephant at Contact@saveelephantsnow.org.
TAKE ACTION: If you want to help prevent dozens of elephant deaths each year, sign this petition today!