In an article in The New York Times, Jeffrey Gettleman reported on the recent shooting of 22 elephants including several very young ones in the Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The killers shot them from the air, then landed so they could cut off the ivory tusks worth one million dollars. The park guards suspect that the perpetrators were members of the Ugandan military shooting from a helicopter and using ivory poaching to fund military activities. Other notorious armed groups – the Lord's Resistance Army, the Shabab, and Darfur's Janjaweed – are hunting elephants and using the tusks to buy weapons.

Gettleman writes: "Africa is in the midst of an epic elephant slaughter. Conservation groups say that poachers are wiping out tens of thousands of elephants a year, more than any time in the previous two decades, with the underground ivory trade becoming increasingly militarized."

Elephant mother and babyElephants are the largest territorial mammals living on earth. Gigantic and strong, they are able to move with agility and perform many different functions with their trunks such as smelling, feeling, greeting, and bathing. Three other qualities make them outstanding creatures: their intelligence, their extraordinary memory, and their delight in living in herds with other elephants. They have life spans of 60 years or more.

In Peace to All Beings, Judy Carman notes how many of us are deeply shocked and moved after reading about incidents of human cruelty to animals. We are often moved to take action and to send our prayers to them.

And so we pray this news. . .

Short Prayers to Use When You Hear about
an Animal Cruelty on the News
by Judy Carman

May You Be Free
May you be free from suffering,
May you be liberated.
May you realize universal compassion.
May you be healed.
May your angels watch over you always.
May the Great Spirit guide and comfort you
and bring you to your highest good.
If you have left your body,
may you follow the Light
and find eternal peace and joy
at home with the Creator of all that is.
And so it is.
Thank You, God.

I hold in my hands your pain and your sadness.
Now I open my hands and release it all to God,
in faith that you will find the healing
and the perfect love
that you need right now.
And so it is.
Thank you, Holy Spirit of Unconditional Love.

A Memorial Prayer
Dear one, you have graced this earth
with your beautiful presence,
And now you are being called Home.
Look for the Light that will guide you there.
Your angels and guides and our Creator
await you with loving, open arms.
Father-Mother-God, thank You for
caring for my sister (or brother)
in this life and in the next.
And thank You for the privilege
of being present at this holy transition.
Blessed be all my relations
And so it is.

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