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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

cannabis for elephants !!!

Ever heard of CBD Oil ?

Elephants are part of our rich culture.  In early 1970s was always fascinated to see in close quarters ‘Azhwan’ the majestic gentle tusker of Sri Parthasarathi swami temple.  It would be fed big rice balls laced with jaggery (it used to taste ‘kadalai urundai & coffee too) – more than the size or the quality, it was always fed with loads of love and affection.  Azhwan was a hero in his own right loved by one and all in Thiruvallikkeni and the day he passed away in 1977, thousands of the residents walked alongside in its funeral crying !

This ritualistic feeding ceremony (locally known as Aanayoottu) takes place inside the premises of the famous Vadakkunathan Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, in the heart of Thrissur city. The festival falls on the first day of the month of Karkidakam. The month of Karkidakam as per traditional healthcare practices in Kerala is meant for body rejuvenation based on the principles of Ayurveda.  On the festival day, which usually is marked by intermittent rains, elephants are brought inside the premises of the Vadakkumnathan Temple for the special feast. The elephants first pay obeisance to the presiding deity and they themselves are subjected to worship later during the course of the feeding ceremony. The  elephants would be  lined-up in a single row and facing them would be thousands of people in an excited mood to feed the elephants and getting ready with their offerings.  The special feed of the elephants basically would contain sugarcane, rice, ghee, coconut and jaggery. The feeding session begins with an offering by the chief priest of the temple. Aanayoottu literally means feeding the elephants with specially prepared food. This special food is prepared as per Ayurvedic principles, which is meant for enhancing the well-being of the domesticated elephants.

Vistula  is  the longest  river in Poland, the 9th-longest river in Europe, at 1,047 kilometres (651 miles) in length.  The Vistula rises at Barania Góra in the south of Poland,   where it begins with the Little White Vistula (Biała Wisełka) and the Black Little Vistula (Czarna Wisełka).  It flows through Poland's largest cities, before emptying   into the Vistula Lagoon (Zalew Wiślany) or directly into the Gdańsk Bay of the Baltic Sea with a delta.  The river is often associated with Polish culture, history and national identity. It is the country's most important waterway and natural symbol.

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a “high.”   

Cannabis, also known as marijuana  is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant used primarily for medical or recreational purposes.  The main psychoactive component of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is one of the 483 known compounds in the plant,  including at least 65 other cannabinoids,[22] including cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis can be used by smoking, vaporizing, within food, or as an extract.  Cannabis has various mental and physical effects, which include euphoria, altered states of mind and sense of time, difficulty concentrating, impaired short-term memory and body movement,  relaxation,  and an increase in appetite.  Onset of effects is felt within minutes when smoked, and about 30 to 60 minutes when cooked and eaten. The effects last for two to six hours, depending on the amount used. At high doses, mental effects can include anxiety, delusions (including ideas of reference), hallucinations, panic, paranoia, and psychosis. It is banned in many countries.

The Warsaw Zoological Garden, known simply as the Warsaw Zoo  is a scientific zoo located alongside the Vistula River in Warsaw, Poland.  The zoo covers about 40 hectares (99 acres) in central Warsaw, and sees around 1,000,000 visitors annually, making it one of the busiest zoos in Europe.  It is home to over 11,000 animals representing more than 500 species. The Warsaw Zoo served as a hiding spot for Jews and escapees from the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II.  Zookeepers Jan and Antonina Żabiński, responsible for saving hundreds of Jews within the zoo premises, were eventually granted the title of Righteous Among the Nations for their contribution, effort and good will. These events were documented in the novel The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman and in the 2017 war drama film starring Jessica Chastain.

The zoo is in news ! for the Polish zoo proposes to give marijuana to elephants to reduce their stress levels !

Warsaw Zoo will start giving its elephants medical marijuana as part of a new project to test if it reduces their stress levels. The Polish zoo's three African elephants will be given liquid doses of a high concentration of the relaxing cannabinoid, also known as CBD oil, through their trunks. Dr Agnieszka Czujkowska, the veterinarian in charge of the project, believes that it is 'probably the first initiative of its kind for elephants'. Medical cannabis, which is derived from a cannabis plant compound, has been used worldwide to treat dogs and horses.

The veterinarian said the CBD does not cause euphoria or any other harmful side effects on the elephants's liver and kidneys. She said: 'It's an attempt to find a new natural alternative to the existing methods of combating stress, especially pharmaceutical drugs.' The project comes after the zoo's herd had to cope with the death of its alpha female Erna in March.  One of the elephants Fredzia, has displayed signs of stress since the death of Erna, as she has struggled to create a relationship with her female companion Buba. It can take months, or even sometimes years, for elephants to cope with the loss of an elder, the BBC reported. Due to her recent behaviour, Fredzia is considered to be an ideal candidate for the study.

'When Erna passed away, everything changed. I don't think Fredzia was ready for such a big change,' Dr Czujkowska told the BBC. The zoo monitors the elephants's stress by checking their hormone levels and through behavioural observation. The first stage of the trial has already been completed and involved collecting faeces, saliva and blood samples from the elephants.  The zoo's elephants will be given liquid doses of a high concentration of the relaxing cannabinoid, also known as CBD oil, through their trunk. Dr Czujkowska said it will take around two years before her team has any conclusive results on the new project.

But if it is successful, the initiative could be tried with other animals living in captivity. Dr Czujkowska joked that 'contrary to what some would imagine, the elephants won't be using cannabis pipes nor will they be getting huge barrels of it' to match their size. The initial doses will be comparable to those given to horses, which is a vial's worth of a dozen drops of CBD oil, given two or three times a day.

While the community would accept on face value whatever is stated by the Westerners – in Africa the might tuskers are killed by poachers and rich Westerners who pay the poor Govt money and get license to shoot with modern machine guns. In India, elephants are loved, regarded and treated so well – the mahouts know them so well and bond so nicely with them but once awhile a foreigner or media would start a campaign that animals are treated cruelly but no such voice would come when animals are poached, killed legally and at times culled without remorse – the healthier ones too getting killed for the Zoo would not want them.

It is the media which controls every thing or is there something more with a propagandist tinge !  Sad are the ways of people.


With regards – S. Sampathkumar


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