ASIAN ELEPHANTS 101
UnchainedTV is delighted to announce the launch of the Asian Elephants 101 series, produced by the author of Gods in Shackles, Amazon’s #1 animal rights book, wildlife filmmaker & broadcast journalist, Nat Geo Explorer, and founder of Elephant Matrix, Sangita Iyer.
Asian Elephants 101, funded by the National Geographic Society, is the first science-based robust series produced to highlight the ecological, cultural, and spiritual significance of this endangered species.
Two years in the making, nine of the 26-part Asian Elephants 101 series world premiered on multiple National Geographic Channels, and we are excited to now stream the entire series on UnchainedTV.com.
Unchained TV Synopsis of the first 7 episodes
Two years in the making. World premiered on multiple Nat Geo channels! We’re thrilled to launch Asian elephants 101 series.
Living with Giants
Dramatic story portraying the precarious lives of elephants and people – two dominant species, trying to coexist. Join the movement: vfaes.org/projects
End Elephant Bullying
Habitat loss is driving elephants into villages and cropland to find food, where young men are mobbing elephants. Help cultivate saplings: vfaes.org/projects
Worshipped and tortured, revered and defiled. Indian elephants are exploited behind the insidious veil of religion. Support our projects: vfaes.org/projects
Every year, many elephants are killed on India’s deadly train tracks. Join our movement to end these tragic deaths: vfaes.org/projects
Rare footage of bull elephants displaying unique and extraordinary behaviors dispels unfounded myths about male elephants. Visit: elephantmatrix.com
A robust infotainment series supported by Nat Geo Society and produced by award-winning Wildlife Filmmaker, Author, and Voice for Asian Elephant Society Founder, Sangita Iyer
WHY THIS SERIES IS SO IMPORTANT
Given the similarities, Asian elephants also likely play a key role in climate mitigation. According to the IUCN, there are less than 40,000 Asian elephants left on the planet, fully 27,000 in India, their last bastion. Thus, saving Asian elephants of India is critically important to not only saving the species, but also other species in the ecosystem.
The issue is, human-elephant conflict (HEC) is rampant, due to the unprecedented human population growth in India, driving competition for space. Reckless development and land use have decimated 80% of wildlife habitats. Famished elephants are forced to leave the forests and venture into croplands to quell their hunger, exacerbating HEC, resulting in senseless tragedies – both humans and elephants. This in turn triggers retaliatory killings of elephants, and the vicious cycle continues unabated.
Another major issue facing elephants in India is their illegal capture. On the one hand, elephants are revered, considered the embodiment of Lord Ganesh – a Hindu God with an elephant face. But on the other hand, they are tortured and exploited for profit behind the veil of culture and religion.
Our mission in producing the 26-part short film series, Asian Elephants 101, is to highlight the survival challenges faced by people and elephants, as two dominant species compete for space. The short films, no more than seven minutes long, are grounded in systems principles that foster cooperation, mutualism, and coexistence, interspersed throughout the short films. They focus on key aspects of elephant ecology, the plight of captive elephants, factors contributing HEC, human encroachment into the wildlife habitats, climate change, habitat fragmentation, and deforestation, among other topics.
Our ultimate goal is not only to foster empathy, awe, reverence, and love for these magnificent animals but also to influence decision-makers to legislate laws that would take into consideration elephants, wildlife and the rich biodiversity of India. We hope that the narratives and visuals will help people understand our intricate connections with and dependence on other species, inspire attitude and behavior shifts, and motivate people to protect the endangered Asian elephants. The films will help people realize that the survival of elephants in the forests of India is crucial to mitigating climate change globally, demonstrating that what happens in one country reverberates across the planet.