INCREASE IN ELEPHANT ATTACKS
The recent elephant attack on a car and it’s occupants in the Kruger National Park has once again brought to the fore the increase in elephant attacks throughout Africa. (Josh Bernstein tried to get to core reasons for an increase in attacks in his “Into the unknown” series, with no hard conclusion.)
Many environmentalists attribute the increase of elephant attacks to humans encroaching on what used to be elephant habitat. Humans are supposedly reducing the amount of habitat available to elephants.
This would however not apply to the Kruger National Park because the size of the park has not decreased, if anything it has increased with the dropping of fences between private reserves and Mozambique.
I therefore cannot help but ask if this is thus not as a result of unchecked elephant population growth? The herds in the park have not been controlled for years and I have seen how the condition of the veld has deteriorated as a result, Mopanie thickets abound in some areas. (I have seen a similar situation in the Hluhluwe reserve were elephants were reintroduced.)
I have been visiting both parks for 40 years and the environmental impact of increased elephant populations is obvious.
I remember when elephant control (culling) was practiced in the park and how much better the veld looked, attacks on humans were also few and far between. I also remember the elephant biltong sold in the camp shops. (This helped generate additional income as well)
In Daphne Sheldrick’s book The Tsavo Story, she makes some very interesting comment about how the veld in Tsavo changed after a drought which reduced elephant numbers significantly.
Is it not time to reintroduce elephant control, possibly limited elephant hunting in the park?
January 18, 2014 / firstname.lastname@example.org / 0
Categories: CONSERVATION AND HUNTING