Tuesday, April 5, 2011



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.
There are ways to solve conflict. But throughout Africa, organisations trying to protect elephants struggle for funds.
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.


Jorie Pacli said...

Oh wow! You're going for an adventure to Namibia with the ele and your going to leave me behind.... I will miss yah... Enjoy though and bring more ele pictures for me....:)

P.S. A-Z Blogging challenge is really fun and interesting but will it be too late to join though? I see you're doing great with it now... You'd posted about A, E and now D... Sounds really fun!!!

Jessica Brant said...

Cool challenge you have embarked on :)
You are so luck to have traveled to such beautiful places :)

Kerry-Ann said...

You are going to do one of the things on my 'rewards' list. I saw this a while ago and got it stuck up on my dream board. I am so envious of you. And good on you for putting up the challenge. What right do people have to take without giving anything back.

Jim said...

Thanks ladies. And you're right Kerry-Ann, I could maybe accept the need for culling a problem elephant, if the same person was also funding conservation programs, a guy with his sort of money could easily afford to.

Christy @ Technosyncratic said...

What Bob Parsons did was just disgusting. He should definitely spend some quality time working with elephant aid organizations... but sadly I doubt he ever will. :(

Good for you, though, and good luck during your time in Namibia!

Barbara said...

Thank you for visiting my Blog. I love the elephant picture, it's so heart-breaking to learn what happens to them. Some people are so cruel.

Unknown said...

Jim, dang that guy should be the new elephant stinky stuff picker upper! Oohh have fun in your travel!

Debra said...

That huge bull elephant didn’t harm you Jim because he (as all animals) sense your benevolence and goodwill. But still… I’d have been a little uneasy too if one had walked up behind me in the dark :) I mean, that’s just human nature.
This is senseless. Never a justification for killing elephants – never. I just wish Bob Parsons would take you up on that challenge to come to Namibia and learn how to be more humane for a change.

Caz Makepeace said...

That guy makes me sick. I'll never buy anything from Go Daddy again. And his ridiculous justification for it is even more sickening. You give it to him Jim

Mary Hudak-Collins livingthescripture.com said...

Dang Jim...that is one BIG animal! I'm not quite sure that I could have sat still if I would have turned around and saw something like that behind me!
Beautiful photos. Good luck on your upcoming trip:)

lorna - the roamantics said...

wow jim. i'm floored. and bowing to you for posing this challenge. i have tons of domains registered with godaddy, and i'll be transferring them elsewhere. keep up the fantastic work :)

Fida said...

Your Voortrekker encounter sent shivers up my spine. I love Elephants, and really hope to see them once in their natural environment. Would love to participate in your EHRA - maybe one day.
Oh, and I absolutely don't get those big-game-hunters...