We made a documentary film about it. And now we have had a reaction:
SANPARKS, presumably with Minister Creecy’s approval has arranged for the Humane Society International (HSI South Africa) to start darting mature elephant cows with a contraceptive (ostensibly to stop them breeding so prolifically). And in their video, HSI claim that this is the only way to deal with Kruger’s “too many elephants” problem, humanely.
This turn of events just shows the whole of South Africa’s general public just where the SANParks administration’s sympathies lie. And, presumably, just where Minister Creecy’s sympathies lie, too. As the minister-in-charge of SANParks, she must have had some say in this terrible decision!
In my opinion, the Humane Society International is a fanatical animal rights NGO that should not be allowed to get involved with the management of South Africa’s wildlife heritage. I am personally affronted by this development. I am concerned that our Minister doesn’t know this!
I must now make a observation about the duplicitous Humane Society International (HSI). One minute they are telling the world that the elephant is an “Endangered Species” (of which, I might add, there is no such thing); and the next thing we hear is that HSI is not only supplying contraceptives to render elephant females infertile (ostensibly to stop them being culled), they are actually participating in its administration and enjoying the ride. Surely, if they really meant what they tell the public – that the elephant is an endangered species – they should be providing elephant bulls with viagra and cialis to make them more sexually potent which will help them produce more calves, not less!
The elephant, an “endangered species?” What bunkum! In all southern African game reserves there are ten and twenty times too many elephants. How can they be endangered?
In the same vein, HSI are one of these crazy bunny-hugger entities that tells the general publics of the world that animals should have the same legal and personal rights as those enjoyed by humans. That being the case, I have to ask HSI how it obtained permission from the thousands of elephant cows that they will be injected with contraceptive hormones to stop them breeding. That will cause them to be physically and horribly subjected to continuous elephantine rape. Speaking on behalf of these cow elephants – and I am sure this would apply to all human females subjected to same kind of sexual injustice – they will not want to be subjected to the unwanted and continuous sexual attentions of hundreds of randy old bull elephants all year round, for every year into future.
The truth of the matter is that HSI, like all the other animal rightist NGOs in this disjointed world, couldn’t care a damn what they tell the public – even, if it is a blatant lie – just so long as what they say, stirs the public’s emotions and gets them to loosen their purse strings. DONATE, DONATE, DONATE is their never-ending war cry!
Our own government officials ought to understand the implications of all this, too. And that, when they rub shoulders with social racketeers who make money out of telling lies, they are consorting with classical mafia. Anyone who wants to understand this intended slur better, are advised to look up on the internet: The American Racketeering Influenced and Criminal Organisations Act (The RICO Act) and see just how you can tick all the boxes that prove the validity of this statement.
Personally, I don’t think that the Kruger administrators or its scientific staff have had anything to do with this decision at all. This is a political decision that has been foisted on the Kruger staff. And I will eat my hat without salt if that is not the case. This elephant management problem is not a political issue. It is a wildlife management matter that needs trained wildlife management people, our own scientists and qualified field staff, to undertake. These are the people that our political leaders should be taking their advice from. They, after all, have all been employed to do precisely that. It is their job to provide such advice to the government decision-makers. And the fact that other uninformed people have been permitted to take over such management responsibilities inside our premier national park, is a disgrace. Makes me wonder just how much money this time round has changed hands during the process. In the last debacle of this nature, the sum exceeded a ten million rand donation to a self-serving scientist.
If I am proved right in this regard, everybody in South Africa, should be up-in-arms over this state of affairs. It is time that the general public started to object to this blatant capture of our wildlife management affairs by foreign imposters.
Two things further aggravate my chagrin.
This is happening when (and despite the fact that), several years ago, SANParks tested cow-contraception as means of reducing Kruger’s rate of elephant population increase and they found it seriously flawed. So much did they find it wanting that they refused to continue with the contraception experiment. As I understood the situation, elephant cows that are being given contraception, to make it work, need a booster every six months.
Now, how, in a population that numbers somewhere between 34 000 and a possible 50 000 animals, all running around a game reserve that is 20 000 square kilometers in extent, does the person doing the contraceptive-darting determine which cows had been darted six months previously, and which had not? For such practical reasons alone, therefore, contraception is an impractical procedure. Another reason why contraception was apparently abandoned was because cows that had been injected with a contraceptive came into a state of perpetual hormonal oestrous and they were mated so frequently by bulls that were looking for a cow-in-oestrus, that the continuous sexual attention they received exhausted them.
So much for the Human Society International’s concerns about the need for the humane management treatment of the elephants.
The problem we exposed in KNP last October is a biological and wildlife management problem. Stopping elephant cows producing more calves is not the issue here. The principle problem, at this time, is that there are too many elephants doing too much escalating damage to some very sensitive habitats. Also, a second and equally important problem, is that too many elephants are a serious survival threat to major plant and animal species. As I write these words, those too many elephants are causing massive species diversity losses (of both plants and animals) in the country’s most important national park. And the purpose of that national park, according to a long- standing parliamentary mandate, is to maintain the country’s species diversity into posterity at all costs.
The real problem is that there are too many elephants in Kruger National Park which the game reserve’s habitats cannot sustainable support. And stopping cows having more calves is not going to solve such a problem.
The only way to solve it is to reduce the number of elephants to a level that the habitats can sustainably support. In other words, we are going to have to reduce their number to a level that is below the habitat’s sustainable elephant carrying capacity. And the only way we can do that, is by culling.
There is no use in stressing the HSI point that contraception is more humane than culling (or rather population reduction). We are not, however, talking about whether the best management action is humane or not. All managers involved in any population reduction activity will want the killing process to be as humane as possible. I know that for sure because I was once one of them!. But it will be a totally futile exercise if the management objective is not achieved.
So Mr HSI executive, get out of the way and let the people who know best what to do, get on with the job they know how to do it. There is no other way – unless you want some of the elephants to be shipped alive to West Africa, if that is what you would like to do. That can be done. But we mustn’t let anything get in the way of our primary management objective – which is to reduce Kruger’s elephant numbers to at least 3500 in the immediate future.
Anyone who delays this process will be guilty of allowing the Kruger National Park to degrade into becoming a desert.
I fear the hand of Minister Barbara Creecy is behind this debacle. So I will make sure that she gets a copy of this opinion statement.
Ron Thomson. CEO. TGA