[Physci_undergrad] FW: Urgent: Thousands of Kruger Elephants Face Slaughter

Gergel, Inna gergel at physci.ucla.edu
Wed Nov 16 13:59:37 PST 2005

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-----Original Message-----
From: Fred O'Regan, International Fund for Animal Welfare
[mailto:fred at ifaw1.org]
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 1:33 PM
To: Inna Gergel
Subject: Urgent: Thousands of Kruger Elephants Face Slaughter

International Fund for Animal Welfare
November 16, 2005

Urgent: Thousands of Kruger Elephants Face Slaughter

Dear Inna,

Thousands of elephants in South Africa's Kruger National Park need your

The largest land mammal on earth, elephants are extremely intelligent,
social and grieve tremendously for the loss of family members. Can you
imagine these majestic creatures being herded into family groups by
helicopters, and then shot in the head by marksmen?

This population control measure by lethal means (called a cull) is exactly
what is being proposed by South Africa National Parks (SANParks) in order to
protect the vegetation of the park from a perceived overpopulation of
elephants. But culling is a cruel, unethical and scientifically unsound
practice that does not consider the welfare implications to elephant society
as a whole, which is why it has been banned in South Africa since an
international outcry halted the practice in 1994.

Speak out against the mass killings of elephants now

Culling has been heavily criticised by many independent scientists, some of
whom are considered to be the most reputable scientists working on elephant
biology and population dynamics in Southern Africa. Very little is actually
known about the impacts that elephants are having on biodiversity in the
Park. Published 'evidence' of the destruction caused by elephants comes from
non-scientists and is based largely on observation.

There is a better way. A way that relies on nature itself to manage elephant
populations and reduce any impact large elephant herds could potentially
have on vegetation in national parks.

By allowing a greater migration of elephant groups between parks and
countries in southern Africa, i.e. the creation of a network of connected
protected areas or 'megaparks,' elephant populations can be managed by
natural forces such as drought. In fact, Kruger is already part of a
trans-boundary initiative linking it to national parks in Mozambique and
eventually Zimbabwe.

We have squeezed elephants into small reserves in which, in many cases, the
natural factors controlling elephant populations can no longer operate. A
series of conservation networks that include differing landscapes and
conditions -- some ideal and some non-ideal for elephants -- can restore
conditions that give rise to natural mortalities. Elephants would benefit,
people would benefit and so would the revenues raised by tourists wanting to
view the magnificent sight of herds of roaming elephants.

No proof means NO CULL

Sound science should be informing the management of the Kruger National
Park. By dealing with elephants in short-term isolation, SANParks is not
considering a holistic approach to the management of the Park's resources. A
cull will also tarnish South Africa's image as a reputable wildlife

The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism is due to make a final
decision on elephant culling by the end of the year. That's why we need you
to send South Africa a message urging the government to reject culling
elephants in Kruger National Park right now

It is said that elephants never forget. Let's make sure South Africa doesn't
forget why it banned the culling of elephants in the first place.

Thanks for all you do,

Fred O'Regan
President and CEO

P.S.  Culling elephants in Kruger National Park is a quick-fix solution for
reducing elephant populations that lacks scientific justification. There are
more humane options, such as contraception and larger migratory boundaries,
yet to be fully explored. Please speak out now to stop the mass slaughter of
these highly intelligent and emotional creatures

IFAW (C) 2005
This message was sent to: inna at ucla.edu

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