His name is Tenzing Bodosa, and he says he is most happy when he sees animals from the jungle come down to visit his forest in the Indian state of Assam.
Bodosa has created the only tea farm around the globe that is elephant-friendly and favors a symbiotic relationship between man and animal.
It’s no secret that the elephant is an endangered species in India. The Asian elephant alone has dwindled by 50 percent, and statistics show that about 64 people were killed during human-elephant conflicts in 2018.
One of the largest and newer threats to the jumbo-sized animal has been the proliferation of tea gardens that are located in areas that mark the natural elephant migration routes between India and Bhutan.
Bodosa is trying to improve the living of both elephant and man with his unique approach to an elephant-friendly tea garden. His farm has become famous worldwide, and tourists have now discovered this incredible spot in nature. Bodosa has about one hundred visitors yearly who check out his garden and enjoy a great cup of organic tea while seeing the majestic animals roam through his vast fields.
For those who run tea gardens in India, it’s all business, and these owners often erect electric fences and deep drainage ditches that have killed the animals that trespass on their farms. Some have also sprayed dangerous pesticides to poison the elephants and to keep them away from vegetation.
For Bodosa, that is an inhumane strategy and nothing he wants to adopt. Instead, he has welcomed the beautiful, gray animals to his farm by growing the kinds of vegetation they enjoy. For example, he has plenty of bamboo plants for them to munch on as well as jackfruit, elephant apple and star fruit.
Bodosa even says he makes his own manure for planting that features dry leaves and brown leaves from nature.
He prefers to create more shallow ditches and has provided plenty of water for visiting elephants to bathe in and enjoy.
People from near and far have come to Bodosa to learn his elephant-friendly techniques. He says he has trained some 30,000 farmers.
The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network has certified Bodosa’s garden as the world’s only elephant-friendly tea farm. That is quite an honor for him, and his efforts are paying off. Elephant-human conflicts are down, and the animals are staying away from the busy villages in town.
For Bodosa, it’s not hard to grasp. He has a sign that is featured in his tea garden, and it reads: “If you respect nature, it will respect you. It’s that simple.”
He believes that if man can build a large concrete city, then, man should also build a city forest in the middle of the city.
It’s pretty cool to sit in Bodosa’s tea garden sipping a delicious cup of tea in the company of wild elephants.
He welcomes volunteers to work in the garden and to help him maintain his mission of peaceful coexistence between man and elephant.