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Reflection Assignment: Charles Siebert, An Elephant Crackup? (Essay Sample)


Charles Siebert, “An Elephant Crackup?”
In “An Elephant Crackup?” Siebert quotes Gay Bradshaw on the basic changes that humans need to make in order to ensure the survival of healthy elephant populations: “In addition to conservation, we need to educate people about how to live with wild animals like humans used to do, and to create conditions whereby people can live on the land and live with elephants without it being this life—and—death situation.” Siebert takes this thinking one step farther by arguing that the elephants' survival depends on humans developing a deeper sense of identification with the natural world. In what ways does Siebert's own essay help to create that sense?
Rough Draft Requirements
Assignment due September 20th. No extensions.
Minimum 4 typed, double-spaced pages. Please number these pages.
1-inch margins and 12-point, Times New Roman font. Printed on both sides. Stapled in the upper left corner.
Use MLA documentation for citations from the text (see A Pocket Style Manual for guidelines).
Please bring four copies of your paper on September 20th for peer review.
Late papers will result in a one-half letter grade deduction from the final paper grade for each day it is late.


The article ‘An Elephant Crack-Up?” by Charles Siebert focuses on the rather disturbing trend among elephants in modern time to be aggressive and domineering. Elephants are social animals, in much the same as humans are, and the article suggests that one of the reasons for the change in behaviour is that the elephants are coming into danger through the actions of humans. One way in which this happens is the separation – whether purposefully or accidentally (not that one is better than the other) – of elephants calves from their parents, and adults from other adults they have bonded with. This paper will look at the various ways in which Siebert considered elephants and their wellbeing to be directly correlated to the ways in which humans interact with and handle contact with elephants, not only in terms of how the elephants will react, but also by showing how this works with human beings as well, since we both share the same need for socialisation.
The article written by Siebert is focused mainly on the more recent behavioural changes which have been seen throughout elephant populations – rather than simply being peaceable and mostly avoiding contact with the outside world, elephants have become more aggressive and threatening.
Okello started inching the jeep forward, revving the engine, trying to make us sound as beastly as possible. The matriarch, however, was having none of it, holding her ground, the fierce white of her eyes as bright as that of her tusks. (Siebert)
Elephants have always skilled people; it is true, and Siebert acknowledges this. However, there is a difference between killing to protect oneself and one's young, and simply killing for seemingly no reason, as has happened on several occasions recently. Siebert mentions that elephants have killed many times recently, seemingly for no reason. The “perversity” (Siebert) to use Siebert's phrase, is what has driven people to see these elephant attacks as something out of the ordinary – they are not simply protecting young, they are attacking with no provocation. This is something which has people concerned.
We know that, in many respects, animals are like humans. They need care and affection, they do best in environments which are suited for them, and they are quite often highly social. Unfortunately, as we are now finding, the more negative parts of humanity are also present in these animals too. Violence is not uniq

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