Human-Wildlife Coexistence

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Upcoming
June
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Humans and Nature Sharing Space

Biodiversity is one of our main areas of interest and we are proactively looking to engage in this topic. The Coexistence exhibition is in line with the Triggered by Motion exhibits that can currently be seen at the Science Gallery Bengaluru as part of the ‘Carbon’ initiative.

Human-wildlife coexistence is a phenomenon that exists irrespective of our attention to it. And this is what the ‘lantana elephants’ represent. Lantana is an invasive species of plant that is plaguing many wild places of India, including the most popular national parks very close to Bengaluru – Nagarahole and Bandipura. The elephants we are referring to are made from the lantana wood, created by local community artists who inhabit the fringes of Indian forests, coexisting with wildlife every day, sharing space with large mammals such as elephants, tigers, leopards, gaurs and boars among other species. India is an outlier in the way people and wildlife live side by side, despite it being the most populous country in the world. Coexistence is a negotiation in the shared space, ensuring a balance of the needs of humans and all forms of wildlife.

To inspire more humans across the world to understand the significance of coexistence with wildlife, hundreds of lantana elephants are migrating from Karnataka to Cochin, London, and will be soon reaching parts of the USA, too! Every lantana elephant is modelled on a real wild elephant, based on the research studying individual elephant personalities from the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. They are taking their stories of coexistence to the world, and raising funds for their forest counterparts.

Not to forget that some of these lantana pachyderms will find home in different parts of Bengaluru. They will serve as artistic testaments to the fact that human-wildlife coexistence in India can set an example to various parts of the world where human-wildlife interactions lead to conflict. The lantana elephants are part of the bigger ‘Coexistence: The Great Elephant Migration’ project, which also includes talks from and discussions with India’s foremost wildlife scientists and conservationists, street plays and screenings of wildlife films. Some of these talks and screenings are held in the event space of our Bengaluru office. We welcome you to register for all the talks that strike a chord with you and hope to see you soon!

Contact

Mateo Diettes
Mateo Diettes

Academic Engagement Associate

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