Monday, November 08, 2004

Excess Elephants (and what to do with them)

I know what your thinking ... yeah, way the hell too many of them. I'm also fairly certain there wouldn't be a shortage of creative ideas on how to address this 'problem'. But, as it happens, this has nothing to do with the sad democratic process of last week but rather a recent doubling of the elephant population in South Africa's Kruger National park which has resulted in devastation of habitat inside the park as well as unwelcome foraging on adjacent private lands.

The park that can accommodate a maximum of ~7500 elephants has ~13,000. SANP (South African National Parks) convened the Great Elephant Indaba [meeting] and the conference concluded that it was necessary to lift a nine-year moratorium on killing elephants. The plan calls for the killing of hundreds each year for five years.

Additional proposals were considered for maintaining a sustainable elephant population, as well as the desired biodiversity. These included increased land acquisition, fertility control, "speeding up the region's transfrontier-park program" [resumption of old migration corridors between parks] and ...

moving elephants from overpopulated to underpopulated parks or private reserves - a very costly proposition in terms of time and dollars [tempting though and there is the money well-spent idea; although fertility control sounds even more promising in the long run]. On the other hand, this gives moveon a whole new meaning. Okay, I admit it - I won't be starting up a save the elephant foundation any time soon.

From the same article we learn:
Elephants Find Death Socially Traumatic

A professor of philosophy at the University of Pretoria, Alex Antonites, said research had shown elephants to have a higher level of self-consciousness than almost every other animal. It was not mere cleverness but, in fact, self-awareness, which made death individually and socially traumatic for them, he said. Thus the ethical dimension of killing had to be brought into the equation.

I'm thinkin' some organization's symbol is not very fitting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Christian fundamentalist friend that told me he can resurrect the dead...He said the bible told him so...Does anyone know where Lee Harvey Oswald is buried ?

2:15 PM  

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