Desert adapted elephants are found in Namibia and Mali. In Namibia increasing elephant populations have seen them move into areas where they once roamed freely, but were wiped out during the early 1800's so successive human populations have no knowledge of how to live with them. It's easier to shoot them than to adapt. One organisation works solely to mitigate this conflict.
A huge bull elephant silently walked up behind me in the dark, and I never knew it was there until Sam ( a fellow volunteer ) noticed it. The largest, oldest and dominant of all the desert elephants in the Ugab area just wandered up and started breaking branches off the tree we were sitting under at the time. Now when I got over the surprise and fear, I started to enjoy the close up encounter of the enforced immobility spent watching a bull elephant: you don't make any move it may interpret as a threat. As he continued to
eat only 13 metres away, I could only wonder how relaxed this huge beast was with us. That wild animal Voortrekker could so easily have charged and killed us but yet he left us alone, just paying us a visit and scaring the pants off us that night.
|Voortrekker, photo courtesy EHRA.|
Why do we need to kill such a magnificent and gentle creature?
Well this guy shoots elephants: GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons videotaped himself killing an elephant and upset so many people. The internet is burning up on this one- and rightly so.
What are your thoughts on this?
Senseless or justified?
In 4 weeks time I'll re-join EHRA ( Elephant-Human Relations Aid ) in Damaraland, Namibia where Voortrekker surprised us. EHRA are at the coalface of conflict mitigation between free roaming elephants and farmers and villagers in the area. Read their website about how they enlist volunteers to build rock walls around village water points so desert elephants can drink but not destroy the tanks and pumps, and villagers can learn to live with them.
|Elephant bull and cow at Okaukuejo, Etosha, Namibia.|
http://www.savetheelephants.org/home.html Read their stories at these links.
If we consider the motives of GoDaddy CEO Rob Parson, we must question why he can go shoot an elephant supposedly troubling local villagers, but does he ever fund any elephant conservation organisations?
If he really was concerned about elephants in conflict with villagers, where is his commitment to any organisation that works to mitigate human-wildlife conflict?
Here is a challenge to Bob Parsons.
Come with me to Namibia, for 2 weeks working with EHRA, actually doing something real to protect villagers, and the dwindling elephant populations.