The wildlife filmmaker focusses on challenges faced by elephants and how their survival is threatened by loss of habitat and human interference
If wildlife filmmaker and elephant conservationist Sangita Iyer had her way, there would be no elephants in captivity in India. Processions led by elephants would be a thing of the past.
That, she insists, is the need of the hour because of the 40,000 elephants on our planet, 55% happen to be in India. Asian elephants are on the endangered species’ list of The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Sangita says India is their last bastion. “Male elephants are declining dramatically, as they are targeted by poachers for their tusks, and exploited in “cultural festivals” of Kerala. Of the 27,000-odd wild elephants, just over 1,000 of them are bull elephants. This will inevitably cause inbreeding, leading to deformities and deadly diseases, threatening the long-term survival of the species,” she explains.
As part of a world-wide campaign to raise awareness about Asian elephants, Sangita has made a 26-part short docu-series, Asian Elephants 101.
Five short films will be aired on Nat Geo TV India in seven languages, interspersed with various programmes on World Elephant Day, which falls on August 12. Nat Geo WILD YouTube is also airing a few segments through August and September.