Elephants rescued from muddy mining pool in Malaysia.

Elephants were rescued from the mud after they were found stuck in an abandoned illegal mining pool in Malaysia. The herd stuck together as an excavator dug a path for them to climb out, while crowds cheered them on.

SL – Article – Tea The Invigorating And Sustaining Wine Of Life ………………………….SRI LANKA

Quote: – “The natural flavors of teas are quintessentially different from country to country, from which height, district, season and year, it’s grown. It is the same as with Wines.

Connoisseurs of wine would like to know from which country, district, and year the wine was produced. All this critical information is absent to the Consumer of tea in the USA” Unquote.

Tea plantation in Sri Lanka. Photo Credit: Sri Lanka government

Tea The Invigorating And Sustaining Wine Of Life 

My American friends must understand that choosing tea is like choosing wine. And here is why? The natural flavors of teas are quintessentially different from country to country, from which height, district, season and year, it’s grown. It is the same as with Wines.

Connoisseurs of wine would like to know from which country, district, and year the wine was produced. All this critical information is absent to the Consumer of tea in the USA. Hence, it’s Hobson’s choice or not much of a choice. Instead of straight premium Teas, most Teas sold in America are processed blends.

Surely you never blend or process wines. It’s sacrilegious if not utterly ridiculous. And so it is with Tea. Tea sold in the U.S. are blends processed from teas from a couple of countries like Sri Lanka, India, Kenya, China, Vietnam, Indonesia etc.

Hence there are non-tea producing countries that have hijacked Tea from producing countries and named them as English Breakfast Tea, Irish Breakfast, Earls Grey, Tetley’s etc. adding further confusion to the choice of American consumers. 

An example of a good product specification, in the U.S., is the “100% US-RAW-Unfiltered Honey”. This product is neither processed nor a blend of honeys. It is honestly identified by its singular country of Origin as 100% US, and its quality as RAW Unfiltered.

I immediately bought it and savored its wholesome goodness and acquired a taste for it. Similarly, Tea is generally of standard grades, strengths and flavors. Such as Broken Orange Pekoe, Orange Pekoe, Fanning’s, Silver tips, Dusty, Green Tea etc., to name a few. In all fairness, US consumers must be allowed the freedom of choice, to buy 100% Pure Sri Lankan (Ceylon*) Tea.

Once you’ve savored its rich flavor and goodness, you will convince yourself that you’ve made a great discovery to forge a richer, invigorating, zestful and satisfying lifestyle. Incidentally, Country of Origin is mandated by the World Trade Organization (WTO), as consumers should have the right to know where exactly it came from?

Further, Teas grown in land locked areas within a continent does not have the freshness of Island grown teas. The perennial moisture bearing winds of this Tear Drop Island of Sri Lanka/Ceylon*, refreshers and cleanses the tea bushes.

The Central mountains of the island, abound with hundreds of thousands of steams forming a dozen large rivers around this little island nation; which has about the best water quality in the world. Sri Lanka (Ceylon) Tea is much sought after, owing to its year-round Monsoon rains and windy climate blowing continuously over this pearly island – making it the world’s Tea market leader in 2017.

The Chinese being the world’s second largest producer; bought over 10 million kg’s of Black Tea from Sri Lanka in 2018 and is now buying almost 4% of all Sri Lanka/Ceylon* tea. Indeed, they have learnt fast.

The increase in demand for Sri Lanka black Tea is to both blend its own teas and also cater to broader market, including the younger Chinese citizenry; who have set a trend to drink Sri Lanka black tea with milk, enhancing both its taste and nutrition.

Tea Blenders, require Sri Lanka (Ceylon) Tea, to give it the necessary body and punch in their blends. However, consumers in the USA are deprived of the opportunity to savor the real Premium Teas of Sri Lanka – A crying shame! 

Used as a herbal remedy for general debility, 4700 years ago and subsequently used throughout the globe, as a daily beverage, it has many positive benefits – as it helps to control weight, maintain blood pressure, whilst preventing all sorts of diseases, for example heart attack, stroke, obesity, diabetes, and certain cancers; prevents depression, improves memory, and even protects teeth and bone health.

Tea is not expensive and is delicious in taste. A very good reason for more than 3 thousand billion cups of tea to be consumed everyday throughout the world. No other beverage could compare with this volume.

Tea drinking is a ceremonial fine art in Japan, China and other Asian states. Obesity is rare in these countries. In the UK and its colonies Tea was the main beverage which gave colonial settlers the required sustenance to live in their new tropical and sub-tropical homesteads. The UK is still, largely a Tea drinking nation. 

With the fast track life in the U.S., it becomes important that its citizens fortify themselves with the oldest known herbal beverage “Tea”. This largest consumed beverage in the world; is not having its due place, owing to the clumsy manner in which it is portrayed to the North American citizenry.

Generally, the large stores throughout the U.S., do not single out a specific country or strength or inherent natural flavor each brand of tea has. Instead it is marketed by brands and artificial flavors naming many countries that go to make the blend. This gross injustice to the consumer has to be addressed.

Other beverages which are costlier and known to be toxic or unhealthy are copiously consumed owing it’s forceful and trendy reminder advertising. However, there is no denying, thatTea consumption is on the increase with imports on the fast track. This unprecedented increase in demand has very recently prompted Poland to grow Tea and even exporting it.

There is nothing as healthy, invigorating and delicious as a cup of freshly brewed Tea. It’s magical – it cools you when you are warm and warms you when you are cold. Anytime is tea time. The healthy robust Turks, consume at least five to six mugs of tea daily, which keeps in good fettle.

If the Boston Tea party of 1773 was the culmination of a Political and Economic protest by brave Americans, leading to the American Independence in 1774; then it about time the present-day Americans have their right to choose The Best Tea.

July 30, 2019 

By IDN

By Dr. K. Mulaffer

July August Volunteers in Action in the Field

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“It’s been an incredible experience for me here with the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society (SLWCS), looking at mitigating the conflict between the villagers (and many villages) and elephants. It’s an incredible experience to see the work that is being done to help the communities understand the importance of these amazing animals and at the same time helping them live and cultivate on the land they have, without it being destroyed by the elephants.” Tara Benson, United Kingdom

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Alicia Chadwick
Volunteer Coordinator
SLWCS

This is a short summary of the activities our volunteers have been doing during the last week of July and the first week of August.

Monday July 29th 2019
Volunteers: Alex, Kate, Ludovica, Vittoria, and Julian

Morning – Volunteers conducted dung analysis in Goda-Ulpotha along a different patty. This is the final analysis for this area for a while. 2-4 day old dung, and much of it. One had cloth and plastic in it.

Afternoon – All volunteers (Including Jamie, Frances, Michelle, Paul, Toby and Ruari)

Went to Weheragala tank and saw about 4 elephants near the forest edge. After moving closer there were over 25 in the valley! 3 wandered within 10 metres of the Land Rovers.

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Tuesday July 30th 2019

Team 1 Volunteers: Alex, Kate, Tara, Ludovica, Vittoria, Julian, Jamie, Frances, Michelle, Paul, Toby and Ruari

Morning – All volunteers conducted a pugmark survey along Akkrakala. Had a team in the canal and a team on the road. Many pugmarks, with the volunteers switching responsibility of the data sheet, GPS, and recording measurements.

Afternoon – To Weheregala tank moving into Goda-Ulpotha with a few elephants on either side. Waited at Weheragala after the elephants left. Saw 8 just as we were leaving the tank.

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Wednesday July 31st 2019

Team 1 Volunteers: Alex, Kate, Ludovica, Vittoria, Julian, Michelle, Paul, Toby and Ruari.

Morning – Butterfly garden and orange tree preparation. Morning was very hot. Everyone moved to helping the kids planting orange trees. Productive morning.

Team 2 Volunteers: Tara, Jamie and Frances.

Ruvini took volunteers to help with her surveys of the Mahaweli River.

Afternoon – All volunteers went to the Weheragala Tank. Several elephants at Weheragala. Three of them were playing in the water and swimming, spraying and rolling under water. 1 male in musth.

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Thursday August 1st

Morning

Volunteer Team 1: Kate, Ludovica, Vittoria, Tara, Jamie and Frances

Fence Monitoring Weheragala North. Very well monitored aside from one post being knocked down with elephant prints along fence line. Fixed the fence.

Volunteer Team 2: Alex, Julian, Michelle, Paul, Toby and Ruari

Fence Monitoring Weheragala South. Some leaning posts, but propped back up and fairly well maintained.

Afternoon

All the volunteers went to the tree huts, no elephants were observed.

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Friday August 2nd 2019

Volunteers: Alex, Kate, Tara, Ludovica, Vittoria, Julian, Jamie, Frances, Michelle, Paul, Toby and Ruari

Morning – All volunteers went to Karu Forest to check camera and sand traps. Many Jungle fowl and Wild boar footprints in the sand traps. Came back to the field house and looked through the SD cards. Some Wild boar, mongooses, and deer were captured by the cameras.

Volunteers: Kate, Michelle, Paul, Toby and Ruari

Afternoon – Elephant observation at Weheragala Tank. Saw a small family at the back end of the water.

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Monday 5th August 2019

Volunteers: Paul, Michelle, Ruari, Toby, Frances, Jamie and Scott

Morning – Volunteers morning activity was clearing the butterfly garden. Many large invasive trees known as Ipil Ipil (Leucaena leucocephala) were chopped down and lots of land cleared. Helpful having 3 big men there!

Afternoon – Volunteers saw many elephants at Weheragala Tank. Big group of at least 20. Stayed a bit longer at that location as some elephants surrounded the vehicles.

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Tuesday 6th August 2019

Volunteers: Paul, Michelle, Ruari, Toby, Frances, Jamie, Scott, Todd, Lily, Anna and Chris

Morning – All volunteers went to work on Project Orange Elephant to plant some new orange trees at a farm in Himbiliyakada. We planted 30 new trees which the farmer was very thankful for.

Volunteer Team 1: Paul, Ruari and Toby

Afternoon – It is Toby’s birthday today, he decided to go fishing with Siriya as a treat. Had a great time and caught some fish!

Volunteer Team 2: Michelle, Frances, Jamie, Scott, Todd, Lily, Anna and Chris

Afternoon – Went to Weheragala Tank and saw at least 30 elephants to start with. The cars scared them off a bit, but some came back. Went to Goda- Ulpotha

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Wednesday 7th August 2019

Volunteer Team 1: Paul, Michelle, Ruari, Toby, Frances, Jamie

Morning – Dung analysis in Goda-Ulpotha. One piece of dung had a plastic bag in it. Very fresh or a few days old.

Volunteer Team 2: Scott, Todd, Lily, Anna and Chris

Morning – Dung analysis in another region of Goda-Ulpotha. Again, a lot of fresh and day old dung.

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Afternoon – 24 elephants at Weheragala Tank. All in good health condition with a few infants and juveniles. One male came at 5 pm with a broken leg and a big limp.

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Thursday 8th August 2019

Volunteer Team 1: Paul, Michelle, Ruari, Toby, Frances, Jamie

Morning – Pugmark analysis along old crop fields near the field house. 6 pugmarks were sighted. The ground was very dry so they were difficult to find.

Volunteer Team 2: Scott, Todd, Lily, Anna and Chris

Morning – Pugmark analysis along old crop fields near the field house. A lot of pugmarks were observed.

All Volunteers

Afternoon – Again, many elephants at Weheragala Tank. Some juvenile and infants too. Two big bulls had a fight not for from the jeeps. One of the males approached the jeep only 5 metres away. Vije asked him calmly to ‘go away’ and he did. It was amazing!

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Friday 9th August 2019

Volunteer Team 1: Paul, Michelle, Ruari, Toby, Frances, Jamie

Morning – Fence monitoring in Hebilyalagoda. Monitored the whole fence. Saw a few loose posts and termite covered posts which were removed.

Volunteer Team 2: Scott, Todd, Lily, Anna, Chris and the German tourists couple: Dorothea & Tobias

Morning – Fence monitoring along Guruwelayaya next to the Mahaweli River. Many fence posts had termites but they were removed.

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Afternoon – One large male in Weheragala Tank. The same one from Wednesday with a limp and broken leg. He came very close again today. A skinny elephant with a gunshot wound was also spotted. Chandima explained she is old and unwell.

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For information on the SLWCS Volunteer Program please visit: https://www.slwcs.org/volunteer

SLWCS Staff and Volunteer shirts sponsored by elephantea

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Big, rumbling thanks to our Corporate Partners for their kind support and to everyone who has donated and supported our wildlife conservation efforts!
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Photo Credits:

Alicia Chadwick/SLWCS
Ravi Corea/SLWCS