Limba Is Dead – Christine Jordaan Honours Her
Limba Is Dead – Christine Jordaan Honours Her. She was an Asian elephant confined to a life in Canada. Her spirit is already back in Asia – free – youthful again -with her herd – close to her Mother. She came to the Bowmanville Zoo from Quebec in 1989. I don’t know how she came to Canada and it doesn’t really matter. Her life was stolen – her fate sealed many years ago!
I have read that she was about 50 years old – so let’s assume that she was born around 1963. I don’t know her origins but from what I do know about “working” Asian elephants – she was probably ripped from her family as a baby and put through the “crush” – (the breaking of her spirit) – to teach her to fear and to obey her handlers.
She lived alone in The Bowmanville Zoo – she should have been released to a sanctuary. That is what a kind person would have done for her in her declining years. It was not to be. May her death serve as a stark reminder of the greed of humans as they use animals for their own selfish ends. She was made to perform at events and to kneel on cold concrete at the 2013 Remembrance Day Ceremony.
She was forced to march in the stupid Santa Clause Parade. Someone should explain to the kids in Bowmanville that Santa has reindeer – not elephants!
In the wild Limba might have enjoyed a long life – perhaps into her 70’s or even 80’s. She is gone now – free and young again – her lovely, gentle soul at peace. No more stools to stand on – sticks to watch out for and events to tolerate. The zoo claims that “she charmed millions of children” – did they ever stop to ask if she was happy?
The beautiful Christine Jordaan of South Africa wrote a haunting poem in 2002 while in London, England. She was suddenly overcome by a longing for Africa and she wrote these beautiful words. It Is Entitled Child Of Africa. Christine has kindly allowed me to use her magnificent poem in a dedication to Limba. It matters not that Limba was an Asian Elephant – the sentiment is the same.
This honours Limba and the life that was taken from her! Just as Christine had to return to her native Africa – Limba must have yearned for her home in Asia – an elephant never forgets!
Dedication to Limba – RIP – Child of Africa
For Limba … a tortured soul, enslaved for human entertainment in a zoo in faraway Canada
Who knew the cold snow of a foreign land – but never ever the hot sunlight of her Africa (Asia) which was her birthright – stolen from her!
Child of Africa
Snow is drifting gently down
but it’s the hot veldt air ruffling my hair
and I don’t feel the soft flakes on my upturned face
nor the whispering wind on my skin
for I raise my eyes to wide African skies
and this world around me goes dim;
As the roar of the traffic dulls my mind
I feel a hunger so strong, so deep
the pulse of the land that shaped me
calling to me in my sleep
I must go soon, my spirit is dying
longing for the majestic still
pacing this cage, my soul is crying
for the rolling green valleys and hills;
The meandering rivers, blood of the land
wending their way to the seas
from the rugged peaks through the desert sands
this rhythm of life is in me;
Before me stretch vast horizons
spirit untamed by human hand
speaking to me as it always has
born of the earth
one with the land;
Back to the glory, the savage beauty
beating always in my veins
this restless yearning, always burning
cooled only by soft summer rains;
Soaring through the silent space
the wild is waiting, alive and free
the hot desert sun is kissing my face
my mother, my home, welcoming me
I fall to the ground, the bare earth in tears,
She sees my pain
She knows my fears
cries with me,
tears soaking into the ground
I feel Her heart beating
one with mine
I know his voice
I’ve roared with him many times before
The air is charged, lightening flickers
spirit awakes, the land answers my call
Rain lashes down
and I tear off the layers
stand naked before heaven
and scream out my pain
wind is tearing around me
chaos erupts inside me
thunder crashes his anger, lightening bursts into flame;
Tears mingle with the rain
washing me clean once again
raw and alive I am strong
storm eases off
wind calms her fury
exultant I stand proud to carry on;
When my body eventually stills
take me back to the rolling hills
lay me down to rest in my land of birth
on the gentle breast of Mother Earth
to the silent splendor where I used to roam
I’m a child of Africa, take me home
Neytiri Tskaha and Mariana Fernandes… don’t cry for her death… it’s her life that must make humanity weep! Limba Is Dead – Christine Jordaan Honours Her. Rest well now sweet Limba – you are free!