Elephant update, parks and reserves are killing fields

IMG_0774 (1280x960)I haven’t posted about elephants since March 6.  Today’s news story about an elephant trampling a poacher to death in Zimbabwe caught my attention.  Within the article are some worthwhile facts; The Elephant Advocacy League estimates that about 40,000 elephants are killed annually.  On May 6, 26 elephants were killed in Dzanga-Ndoki National Park in the Central African Republic.  This is a world heritage site.  In Cameroon 40 endangered forest elephants were killed in 2 national parks as reported Mar. 27.   In Kenya, 24 have been killed in the Tsavo conservation area consisting of 2 national parks.  In Tanzania, there are allegations of 70 carcasses in Selous, the world’s largest game reserve and allegations of government worker involvement or complicity.  It appears that the national park / game reserve protection model is failing miserably.

No, that last statement is incorrect.  The park/reserve system is doing the job of separating day to day wildlife-human interaction.  Wildlife wandering in villages or trampling through farms or agricultural crops is a poor mix.  And in my first paragraph I ignored parks that are too successful at protecting elephants.  Think of Kruger National Park and of Chobe where there are now so many elephants that park integrity is threatened by the damage elephants do to vegetation.  I have read that in parts of Zimbabwe, elephants die as their food supply is now too distant from watering holes.  So the problem is not the parks and reserves, the problem is with adequate enforcement of protective measures, and yes the problem is that sometimes wildlife management of expanding populations may also be required.  For additional thoughts, views and information about poaching, I refer you to 2 blog posts by Rory Young, “What would effectively stop elephant poaching in Africa?“, and “How do you deal with animal poachers?” [WARNING – graphic images not for children].

Rhino anti-poaching campaign, an update

IMG_0262 (1280x960)The Washington Post has published an excellent article on the different measures and equipment being used to combat rhino poaching in South Africa, but also noting that poachers are also learning and that the number of rhinos poached has increased again this year.  Click here to read the article.  Smart phones, drones, predictive mathematical modelling, negative advertising, dyes and nausea inducing chemicals is all in part of it.  Even legalization of trade is an alternative under consideration.  Even so, as cvheerden has pointed out, this week’s news reported the “Last rhinos in Mozambique killed by poachers” including Mozambique game rangers in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park which is the park shared with South Africa and Zimbabwe.  Kruger Park is South Africa’s portion of the Transfrontier Park.  Further information about Mozambique and Limpopo Park poaching is available here.  

May 23.  “It’s a fight to finish at rhino killing fields of South Africa

Hello Africa!

Jim and Debbie, Richard and Kathy and Gene and Rachel toured South Africa, Swaziland, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Chobe Park in Botswana with SmarTours in Oct/Nov 2012.  Seeing African animals in the wild has always been one of Debbie’s dreams.  Jim prefers cities, history, culture and food.  So the trip was magnificent for both.  South Africa, Swaziland, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Chobe Park in Botswana are great places to tour, travel, visit. My wife and I, our friends and our tour group traveled safely, enjoyably throughout our trip. Our guide in South Africa was Ron McGregor.  There was no bad news to recount and lots of most enjoyable adventures.  I find southern African nations to be…. intriguing.  View News SA and News Zim pages to see what’s been going on in these countries since Feb. 2013.