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“Elephant Killing Weighed” in South Africa

By Gary Bogue
Friday, March 2nd, 2007 at 6:41 am in Elephants.

As South Africa’s fast-growing pachyderm population fills parks, an official offers a plan, including mass culling as a last resort.

There are an estimated 690,000 elephants in the wild. The vast majority are in Africa, where the larger species are threatened but not endangered, as are their counterparts in Asia.

You can read the entire story by Michael Wines of the New York Times.

Meanwhile, local reader Michael Shatto of Concord also has a few words to say about elephants:

Gary:
The Contra Costa Times began March with the report: “Elephant Killing Weighed” (March 1 Times, page A17), a clever headline sure to provoke. Actually, the story is even-handed and accurate, surprising considering what the New York Times has been publishing, but I digress.

Facts:

Culling elephant herds has gone on since Colonial times and probably back into the mists of time.

Too many elephants causes extreme over-grazing, erosion, lack of food for other animals and habitat destruction.

Too many elephants conflict with man. They destroy crops, sometimes villages. Why? Humans taking over habitat. Farmers have killed more animals than all the poachers and legitimate hunters combined. No, Virginia, not just evil modern city building man, this has gone on since Lucy.

Elephant meat is delicious. None of the culled elephant is wasted. Even if people didn’t eat any of the culled elephant, there would only be a few bones left in less than a week.

Shadow thoughts by (Michael Shatto, Concord)

Anyone else have anything to add to this?

I’ll bet you do … just click on “Comments” below while I go hide under my desk …

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7 Responses to ““Elephant Killing Weighed” in South Africa”

  1. LESLIE WALTON Says:

    AW, GOSH GARY, WHY DON’T WE CULL HUMANS WHO ARE MAKING A MESS OF THE CITIES AND CAUSING SUCH WIDE SPREAD DESTRUCTION THERE! WE COULD SPEND THE MONEY RESETTELING WILD ELEPHANTS TO AFRICAN COUNTRIES WHERE THE MILITARY WENT ON DURNKEN SPREES USING MACHINE GUNS TO DESIMATE WHOLE HERDS! IT IS FUN AND EDUCATIONAL CATCHING ELEPHANTS. I BET LOTS OF YOUNG,BORED KIDS AROUND THE WORLD WOULD LIKE THE CHANCE TO CATCH AND TRANSFER THESE BOHEMOTHS. LET’S GIVE IT A GO! MUCH MORE HUMANE THAN CULLING. VAST CONTINENTAL LAND MASSES WITHOUT A HUMAN IN SIGHT ARE ABLE TO TAKE THESE UNWANTED ELEPHANTS. FORGET THE MONEY SPENT. LETS WORK ON OUR OWN SOULS!

  2. Gary Says:

    Amen!

  3. Justin Callahan Says:

    I suggest that you read “Elephant Song” by Wilbur Smith before you make any judgements from the heart. You may learn something that the intellect can use rather than the emotions.
    I am presently working in S.A. The elephant problem is real and contaversial here too.

  4. Brianna Says:

    I agree to a ponit. there should be something done about the mass, but can’t they find other ways of taking care of them before they cull them. if not then ok they need to do what they need to do. and to the person who’s comment about the “cull humans” i bet you anything that if that was what this was all about they would be upset about that. but i say if they have to cull them then okay….that could feed tons and tons of people there who need food.(has that person forgot about that….that people there need food)
    so what i’m trying to get at is there is no need to hide under your desk. you said the right things!

  5. Constance Beckett Says:

    I think most people who see this will react emotionally but, over population of a species that consumes tons of vegatation on a daily basis and there is no re planting or renewal of their food source I think culling is more humane than starvation!

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Why can’t they neuter the elephant bulls???

  7. Dr. Southerland Says:

    As an animal lover and biologist it is always tough for me to see the impact that humans have had on wildlife. It is my job to make sure that governments do the right things and I have dedicated my life to it. Truthfully culling humans, while not a practical option, would help to solve the problem of the overpopulation of many of the animals we have here in Africa. We haven’t had a serious disease, food shortage or war to help control our population in a long time. Unfortunately the Elephants here in South Africa now are rapidly developing these first two problems. The closest two pods have started losing weight from lack of food and one is seriously ill. Starvation and malnutrition drives diseases. We have to control the population now. I have been asking for support to be able to finance birth control for the whole area, but as it is we now have no choice but to reduce the population. I cannot stand to watch these animals starve to death and die very sick painful deaths. We must cull some of them now before the entire worlds population of elephants is threatened by disease or further starvation.

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