Twenty twenty was an exceptional year when a microscopic virus brought human activity a grinding halt. Photos of wildlife roaming urban streets around the world went viral. Herds of fallow deer grazed the lawns of housing estates in east London. Wild boar snuffled and foraged on the streets of Haifa in Israel, while river dolphins jumping in Istanbul’s Bosphorus, otherwise trafficked by huge tankers, cargo ships and passenger boats.
Our lightened footprint, the anthropause, showed us that animals and nature are just around the corner, waiting to share space, if we let them.
Can we make Coexistence more permanent?
There are places in the world, where people and elephants have always been living together in ways that are unimaginable to most of us. It’s an ancient relationship, that’s being challenged and negotiated everyday.
As these Lantana elephants travel around the world, they call on people to live well with nature around them, carrying the stories and knowledge of how they live with people. This isn’t a call for an extreme return to the wild. Look around you, wherever you are. Who do you share your world with? Can we increase our coexistence everywhere, and rewild ourselves. Nature is intelligent and adapting. Other life forms will meet our efforts halfway, if only we give them the chance.
by Dr Tarsh Thekaekara
WildEast is the new voice for a region where wildlife lies shattered & fragmented by hard farming and a human blind eye; a region where the collapse in the state of nature is mirrored by a collapse in our understanding of its critical importance to the life systems on which we rely.
People per km2: 455
Wild elephants: 27,000
Wild tigers: 3,000
Wild leopards: 9,265
Estimated crops loss per annum: 500,000 hectares
Human wildlife conflict mortality per annum: 600 People
People per km2: 270
Red deer: 350,000
Wild boar: 500 - 100
Scottish wildcat: 100 - 300