“half an hour more and then home”

by Nathan the Assistant Producer, in India
14th June, 2009

I’ve been home now for just over a day and my head is still spinning from the events of the past three days. I knew that transporting an elephant 300 km wasn’t going to be easy, but what I did not expect was for a complete media circus, the most disheartening abuse of an animal and the sadness that comes from seeing the domestication of a wild animal. At one point I was seriously close to tears when the Indian mahout (elephant trainer) was whipping the poor beast with a stick. I looked up into the elephant’s eye and could see directly into its soul; beaten down and defeated the animal was begging for help. When we finally arrived at the sanctuary, which will be its new home, I was pleased to see that it has a wide-open space to live in. But my heart sinks every time I think back to the hours spent trying to get it onto the truck. It was certainly one of the cruelest things I’ve ever witnessed.

The final few days were also the longest and very tiring. Thankfully Luke nailed the ending piece to camera quite quickly and Marc’s assessment that we only needed to film “half an hour more and then home” was not as wide of the mark as it usually is. I can’t wait to see the final edit of this episode. It’s going to be immense.

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