Elephants & Human Population Dynamics of Africa

Now I have to take a new tack. I want to talk about the human population dynamics of Africa.

NB: In 1900 the United Nations claim there were 95.9 million people living in Sub-Sahara Africa; that by the year 2000 that number had grown to 622 million; and that the prognosis for 2100 (at the end of the current century) there will be 4 billion people living in this part of the world.

What on earth is Africa going to do with so many people? What is their impact on our environment – and on our wildlife – going to be? What is certain is that there will be no wildlife left outside the national parks by 2100 – IF, that is, the national parks themselves then still exist.

Another probability is that the only animals left alive in Africa, outside the national parks, by the year 2100, will be domestic animals.

Why? Because Africa’s rural people depend on cattle, sheep and goats for their survival. They cannot afford to allow their domestic animals to become extinct. It is ironic however, that cattle, sheep and goats will survive when Africa’s wild animals – which are infinitely more valuable than domestic animals – will not survive. We need to ask ourselves why THIS should be? And the answer is parallel. The wild animals will disappear because they do NOT contribute to the rural people’s survival.
Now we have to go around in circles a bit.

Why cannot we enable wild animals to benefit the survival of our rural people? We cannot allow that because the people in the West – from urchins in the streets of the West’s inner cities, to presidents and prime ministers in Western governments – are ranged against us.

They believe it is immoral for man to make money from, or to benefit from, the sustainable use of wild animals. Organisations like CITES – which is controlled by the international animal rights brigade – refuse to allow us to sell ivory and rhino horn; and they are opposed to hunting.

Organisations like the US Fish and Wildlife Service less-than-subtly control our wildlife management activities by imposing bans on the importation of African hunting trophies into the United States. And the European Parliament listens to petitions drawn up by animal rights NGOs who don’t want elephant, rhinos or lions used for any purpose at all.

Africa’s wildlife today, it seems, is being manipulated by public referendums in the West. So Africa is seriously circumscribed with regards to what wildlife management activities it CAN practice which it CANNOT practice.

The truth of the matter is, however, that the best way to make sure that wild animals will continue to exist in Africa, after 2100, is to replace cattle, sheep and goats with elephants, rhinos and lions – on the lists of animals that can help Africa’s rural people to survive.

And Botswana – with its new president thinking in this ‘right’ manner – is actually poised to lead the African continent out of the morass that the Western World has submerged us in, in recent years.

Botswana has a truly huge surplus of elephants that can be used extensively to relieve poverty and unemployment in its remote rural communities.

And this is the BEST long term solution to the problem of conserving Africa’s elephants – and other wildlife – into posterity. And I – together with the True Green Alliance – stand by to help Botswana make this happen.


Ron Thomson

I am NOT a ‘trophy hunter’ - and never have been. I am not involved in the trophy hunting safari business. I am also not a game rancher. But I have ‘administratively controlled’ professional hunters and safari outfitters in my capacity as a government game warden. I am an 80 year old ex-game warden with 60 years of continuous experience in hands-on wildlife management, and national park management, in Africa (1959 to 2019). In breakdown, I have 24 years experience in the management of national parks in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe - and in the management of the wild animal populations that lived inside those national parks; one year as the Chief Nature Conservation of the Ciskei in South Africa; three years as Director of the Bophuthatswana National Parks Board in South Africa; and I worked for three years as a professional hunter in the South African Great Karoo (taking foreign hunters on quests for plains game trophies). I discovered, however, that professional hunting was not my forte. I worked as an investigative wildlife journalist for 30 years in South Africa. I have written fifteen books and hundreds of magazine articles on the subject of wildlife management and big game hunting in Africa. Five of my books are university-level text books on wildlife management. I am a university-trained ecologist; was a member of the Institute of Biology (London) for 20 years; and was a registered chartered biologist for the European Union for 20 years. I have VAST experience in the “management hunting” of elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards and hippos (as part of my official national park work in the control of problem animals); and I pioneered the capture of black rhino in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley (1964 - 1970). My university thesis was entitled: “The Factors Affecting the Survival and Distribution of Black Rhinos in Rhodesia”. Look at my personal website if you want any further details about my experience: www.ronthomsonshuntingbooks.co.za.

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2 thoughts on “Elephants & Human Population Dynamics of Africa

  • Well done Ron your dedication and understanding of Africa in all aspects is incredible
    I only hope one can turn the tide of destruction before it is to late and in this regard the new Botswana President is set lead the turnaround benefitting his people and wilderness areas alike.

    • Dear Rodney,

      Thank you, once again, for your kind words

      We do what we can do. And we keep trying! Never five up on the challenge.

      I have every faith in Botswana’s new president, Mr Masisi. And the TGA is poised to help him realize his dreams – which are our dreams, too – whenever the need arises.
      Kind regards


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