South Africa to Resume Elephant Culling

Keeping ecosystems in balance while trying to keep people happy is a tough job for any government official or organization. Many difficult choices must be made, and those choices are often no easier for the people responsible for making them than they are for the public.

From The Washington Post:

“The government’s compromise, coming after a year of public deliberations, was to allow culling as one strategy among several, including relocating animals, sterilizing them and expanding parks to give them more room, said Marthinus van Schalkwyk, minister for environmental affairs and tourism, in a statement issued Monday.

‘Our Department has recognized the need to maintain culling as a management option, but has taken steps to ensure that this will be the option of last resort that is acceptable only under strict conditions,’ van Schalkwyk said.

Department spokesman Mava Scott said the moratorium would officially end May 1. He said that a tourism boycott would be ‘unfair’ and that government officials are trying to manage a difficult problem responsibly.”

Activists are threatening a tourism boycott, stating that “The latest research has proved that elephants have a sense of self-awareness, placing them in a unique category together with great apes, dolphins and humans…”

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11 Responses to “South Africa to Resume Elephant Culling”

  1. stefani says:

    This is absolutely horrible.


    People who kill elephants other than in self defense should be shot.


  2. Hazel Chambers says:

    An elephant is one of the most intelligent and self-aware creatutes on earth.

    There is no excuse to control them by killing them.

  3. Linda's Cats says:

    I saw a discovery channel show (probably BBC Productions) about how elephants appear to be the only animal besides us, that actually understands death and has some sort of ritualize aspects to respond to death.

    if elephants come across elephant bones, (and by the way, not just any ol bones, ONLY elephant bones) they will pass the bones from elephant to elepthant, then replace them on the ground.

    if they find that there is a bone in someone’s home or shack, and the elephant can “find” it, they have been known to rampage the shack, and take ONLY the bone.

    It’s pretty stunning.

  4. shibadiva says:

    Read Jeffrey Masson - “When Elephants Weep” for example, but he has done other books as well. Or Temple Grandin - “Animals in Translation”. Both of these authors write about aspects of animal intelligence, communication and thinking that we discount with our philosophy of God-given dominion over living creatures. For that matter, read Matthew Scully, author of “Dominion” and it will make you weep.



    Our dogmas are our defense when we look in the mirror at our injustice to our neighbours on this planet. Surely the creative minds of South Africa can find more humane solutions.

  5. DeniseA says:

    how disgusting and appalling in a 21st Century technological civilization the only solution to the “problem” is the same old crude, draconian, barbaric mindset from the dark ages.

  6. Cathy says:

    I think there are some people that should be culled.

  7. Jennifer Moore says:

    This story breaks my heart. I love elephants. They are very special creatures, and I agree with the activists’ assessment of elephants as highly advanced.

    I’m really hoping they can find other solutions.

    I really think that if humans interfered less with the natural world it would balance itself out.

    This sucks.

    ~Jennifer Moore

  8. ludivine says:

    I am horrified by all this. All we can do is boycott South Africa. No tourist should go to this country until they promise to find another solution.
    People will still go though. too selfish to really care.

    I find all this terribly upsetting!

  9. Hazel Chambers says:

    It has been said that humans are the only creatures who blush…and the only ones who need to do so.

    South Africa should be red-faced indeed.

  10. Wescott20 says:

    I agree with Cathy. And South Africa will not get one tourism dollar from me…EVER! Why don’t they cull the men running around there who think raping a virgin girl will get rid of their AIDS?

  11. Carolyn Lever says:

    With over 6 billion people living on this planet, there is only one species whose population needs controlling, as far as I can see.

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