Peace in the plantations: This is our CoExistence Story.
Time for tea? Next time you’re having a cup, think of us; the Tea Timer elephants. We come from the green tea gardens of the Valparai Plateau in Southern India. Here tea and coffee companies have flattened 221 square kilometres of our forest homes to make room for their plantations. For us, tea plantations should be a safe haven; a place between feeding grounds where our herd can rest, find water, or at very special times a quiet corner to give birth. We see lots of humans in the tea farms and try to give each other space, but when we catch each other by surprise it’s frightening, especially as we need to protect our babies.
One day a man called Dr Ananda Kumar started working here. Now the humans know when we are close by. They see warning lights and are sent message alerts by something called WhatsApp.
In a curious twist, Elephant Family’s Patron is chief Chaiwala, Waris Ahluwalia, who played the same role in Wes Anderson’s ‘Darjeeling Limited’. True to life, Waris is bringing the UK’s first elephant-friendly tea to market from plantations who are doing all they can to encourage peaceful CoExistence.
“People want to learn to live with elephants rather than drive them away” says Elephant Family conservationist in the field, Dr. Ananda Kumar, “There is a gentle perception of the elephant because of their manifestation as the Hindu god Ganesh. People here are really tolerant.”
The Tea Timers Herd is sponsored by House of Waris Elephant Friendly Tea: UK’s first certified Elephant-Friendly tea. Organic. Fair trade. Biodynamic. In support of Coexistence.