Nepalis are particularly overzealous of the few things that we consider special to our country and culture. Examples of these are aplenty on the internet, where Nepalis crowd any bit of international content that make mention of the words ‘Nepal’ or ‘Gurkha’. Among these points of vigorous pride include the immense natural diversity of our country — a facet of our country that all Nepalis take pride in, but few have any experience with.
This zealous pride limits itself to nothing but an ego-boost to the Nepali cultural identity. It can be said that the average urban Nepali, while taking pride in these unique qualities of Nepal, make no major effort to learn more about them; nor do they hold an ethical stance in their day-to-day actions that reflects this pride.
We like to rant about how the government doesn’t take care of our cities, but saw as recently as this past monsoon that we have no qualms about throwing our garbage out on the flooding streets. A video posted on r/Nepal has shown yet another example of this hypocrisy, this time concerning the Nepali’s reverence towards its native wildlife.
The video appears to have been a screen capture from a Facebook story, recorded and posted by a concerned citizen. In it, a visitor to an unknown national park in Nepal can be seen teasing a baby elephant with a plastic wrapper, eventually letting the elephant eat it.
The person taking the video can be clearly heard protesting this move, asking his friend not to feed the piece of plastic to the elephant. But the words fell on deaf ears. The silent creature appears to be clearly enthused at the offering, which it believes to be a treat. It takes hold of the wrapper delicately with its trunk and chomps it down completely.
The fact that the videographer uploaded the video to his social media account shows that he believes the act to be no big deal. But feeding plastics to any living being is no small crime; it can easily cause the death of any living being who consumes it. It is quite apparent from their actions and demeanor during that interaction that they have no qualms about causing harm to precious wildlife for a momentary interaction.
Thankfully, the original poster of the video decided to take action and managed to track down and visit the elephant enclosure — which was apparently the Elephant Breeding Center in Chitwan. The warden appears to have responded positively to the complaint, devising additional means of isolating the elephants from the physical reach of visitors. It seems, however, that the culprits seem to be free of any repercussions — at least for now.