The current uproar over the change and then pause in elephant trophy policy has gotten everyone’s attention. It has given us a chance to express a totally different view of the issue. Here is a letter we submitted to the Los Angeles Times in response to a string of letters lamenting the change in U.S. policy.
Sir: The elephants of Africa belong to the people of Africa. To argue that conservation policies adopted by the wildlife professionals of Zimbabwe, Zambia and other SADC nations are wrong suggests that Africans are incapable of determining what their societies need and how they should meet those needs.
Is that any different from the worst type of 19th-century colonialism when white man assumed a “burden” to bring civilization, commerce, and Christianity to the natives?
Viewed from Southern Africa where so many have had to deal with the death, destruction, and devastation done by elephants in overcrowded preserves, the pronouncements of the animal rights supporters in the developed world sounds like a racist rant.
Managing Director, Ivory Education Institute