And here we go Elephants to be culled in Zimbabwe.


December 29, 2004, 01:11 AM
I have been warning of this for some time now and here we go..I would like to hear from some of the anti elephant hunters on this sight and see what your opinon of the current elephant situation is now. Sport hunting and proper mangament could have prevented this.

By the way the reason that there have been very few elephant sightings in Hwange national park is because the elephants have eaten and destroyed all of the available forage and MOVED ON!!!

This article is from the Zimbabwe Chronicle, Dec. 28, 2004

Plans to cull jumbos mulled
Assistant News Editor
NATIONAL Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is planning to cull some elephants in an effort to control the ballooning jumbo population, that has also caused serious damage to the biodiversity, driving other smaller animal species to extinction, Chronicle has learnt.
Parks’ public relations manager Retired Major Edward Mbewe said plans to control the elephant population were underway.
“We have plans to reduce the elephant population, as a control mechanism in the wake of the large numbers of the animals and the destruction being caused to the environment,” he said.
The targeted jumbos are in the Parks Estates, communal areas and in Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources.
Retired Major Mbewe could not say how many animals have been targeted.
“We are working on a programme which will start very soon, then we will be having the numbers and specific areas,” he said.
Zimbabwe is also heading the Elephant Management Taskforce, which is aimed at coordinating strategies to address elephant problems within the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Delegates from countries having problems with elephants at the recent Wildlife Consultative Forum in Sun City in South Africa, said there was need to reduce the jumbo population by 50 percent to prevent further loss to biodiversity in their protected areas.
Zimbabwe was chosen to spearhead the campaign to manage elephants that involves culling as one of the options.
Retired Major Mbewe said faced with such a crisis there was need to act by reducing the numbers.
The elephant population in the country grew from 89 000 in 2001 to about 100 000 this year which is the second highest in the Southern African region after Botswana which has 123 000.
Other countries are also battling to manage elephant populations. Namibia has 14 000, South Africa 14 000, Tanzania 120 000 and Mozambique 19 000.
Zambia has 25 000 while Swaziland has less than 30 elephants.
Apart from posing serious threat to the environment, too many elephants also increase human and wildlife conflicts, as the jumbos would move to areas where there is food and water.
However plans to reduce the elephant population has been sharply criticised by some animals rights groups in the country.
The Zimbabwe Conservation Taskforce said it is opposed to the culling as there has been no proper census to determine the number of the elephants in Parks estates.
“ We are strongly opposed to this in view of the fact that no accurate counting has been done and nobody knows how many elephants we have. There have been very few elephant sightings in Hwange this past year and we sincerely hope enough pressure can be put on National Parks to abandon this idea until such time that a proper count is done,” said the organisation.


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December 29, 2004, 02:24 AM
Well - my feelings are well known. I have always wanted to go and participate in something like this.

Habitat can only support so much . There is a natural order to things.

Sounds as if there is some serious "out of balance" to me.

Maybe the elephants moved on because of Ultimate Shotgun and buckshot...I bet the "racking sound" scared them away... :D

December 29, 2004, 02:40 AM
Ecology is balance - and quite frankly - whatever the ''animal rights'' brigade want to spout - man has a part in it.

Let's parallel the deer situation ... those who would want to stop ''killing Bambi'' are I fear not cognisant of things ecological - tho they think they are! :rolleyes:

Jumbo will need culling - for Jumbo's sake - end of story!

December 29, 2004, 10:05 AM
I'm not religous by any definition but I'll pray for those that have to do the culling.

Hunting-sport or meat-is fine.I too would love to get the poop scared out of me in the high grass by an old tusker.

Culling(to me)is a sad,sad neccesity.

On the flip side it seems that sub-saharan Africa is imploding from AIDS.Maybe by 2050 or so the animals will take over larger tracts again.

December 29, 2004, 11:59 AM
new year

R.H. Lee
December 29, 2004, 12:12 PM
On the flip side it seems that sub-saharan Africa is imploding from AIDS.Maybe by 2050 or so the animals will take over larger tracts again.
Darwinism at work. Aint' it beautiful? They're killing themselves with aids, intertribal warfare and starvation. And they can't even control the elephant population by themselves; they will have to bring in Great White Hunters from far away lands. Pitiful. Go Jumbo!

December 29, 2004, 12:15 PM
I do not nessicarily disagree with anything said so far;
but is the elephant hunting thread going to get moved to leagle-political?

December 29, 2004, 12:21 PM
Again my appologies for my dis-taste, of scum bag governments, back to hunting, I heard on the elephant internet, they wish to begin "culling" of the clowns Mugabe and his thugs, sounds like a just cause.

December 29, 2004, 01:05 PM
And they can't even control the elephant population by themselves; they will have to bring in Great White Hunters from far away lands. Pitiful. Go Jumbo!


THEY are being forced to control there population by themselves. Great white hunters from afar haven't been allowed to because various animals rights scum bags have put so much pressure on their park departments to disallow hunting.

Now THEY are going to have to kill off nearly 50,000 elephants in a mass slaughter to keep from losing all of there elephants due to starvation.

Go jumbo??

The problem is jumbo has been allowed to go to far.. I hope you and your PETA pals are proud of your fine accopmlishment.

You really don't understand any of this do you Rilley??

This is not sport hunting anymore done by "great white hunters from far away" this is now an enternal program done by native killing teams that will go in a slaughter whole family groups at once. At great expense and risk to the local park departments and their teams.

Arc Lite.

I believe that everybody here is familiar with Robert Mugabe and his reign of terror. But once again that was not the subject of this thread. If you are going to post on my threads I am going to have to ask you to please try and stick to the subject.

Musolini was a terrible guy that once ruled in Africa too but that has nothing to do with the biological status of elephants in Southern Africa.

There is nothing you or I can do about Mugabe or the current sociopolitical staus of Sub -Sharan Africa. There is something we can do about the wildlife staus there. And the first step is to stop the missinformation that is spread from various NGO's and animal rights groups. They are causing the destruction of thousands of elephants which could otherwise be managed in a profitable, sensable way.

Why is that so hard to understand.


If they were to start Culling Mugabe and his thugs I'd be in..

December 29, 2004, 01:23 PM
Steady guys .... keep it on an even keel! :)

December 29, 2004, 01:44 PM
have a good new year

R.H. Lee
December 29, 2004, 01:59 PM
Game, like any natural resource, requires management to insure its continuing benefit to civilizations/societies/people. The problem is not with the African game, but with the lack of management, so in that we are in agreement. There is no reason a continent as rich in natural resources as Africa should be so backward. Yet they are. Has there ever been a great civilization there except for ancient Egypt? (which arguably may well have been Arabic, rather that 'African').

Your problem should be with the lack of autonomy of the African 'leaders', not with scum PETA lawyers from NYU. Why should an independent continent and its nation states be subject to 'white mans law'? If the African hunters over the years had been true conservationists rather than exploiters maybe the current state of affairs would have been ameliorated.

December 29, 2004, 02:06 PM
Arc Lite,

Fair enough..

Did you know Lance Nesbitt? he is a PH and a friend he also fought in the conflict and was I believe a Selous scout.

On the flip side I have seen the, with my own two eyes the destruction that is being caused by the current elephant population problem in Southern Africa.

Hunters and other conservationists have been begging, pleading and trying in many ways to be allowed to thin out these particular herds for years. We have been shgut out by animal rights groups, crooked politicians and bleeding heart liberals. Now it's to late. With proper management this would not have had to happen. the bleeding heart bambists of the world are directly responsible for the slaughter that is about to take place.

By the way they are the same people who put Mugabe in power in the first place. As you well know.

December 29, 2004, 02:13 PM

Yes I agree 100%.

And all I am preaching is management. And you are also correct that the main problem is African leadership.

PETA/other animal rights scum bags plying political pressure and funds and the National Geographic preaching anti hunting do not help any either.

Due to the missinformation that we get bombarded with every day most Americans think that the African elephant is on the verge of extinction. Nothing is further from the truth.

December 29, 2004, 03:33 PM
I find it ironic that the hunted here are more intelligent than the hunters.


December 29, 2004, 04:16 PM
have a good new year

December 30, 2004, 02:02 AM
:banghead: What frustrates me so much is that I cant afford to go over and do a little culling myself.I am 32 years old and I cant remember the first time I went hunting,been doin it all my life.I hunt because i enjoy the freedom of being outdoors,and also for the protein :) I also enjoy the excitement of pulling the trigger,and for that I'll make no apologies.The thought of going one on one with something that can sling the fertilizer out of you in two seconds flat appeals to me,strange perhaps,but it does.As for culling being neccessary,I have no doubt that it is and wouldn't have a harsh word for anyone that was envolved.Like I said,If I could afford it I would be on the first flight over tomorrow.Looking down the sights at an elephant must be a truly awesome sight,maybe one day......

P.S. H&H,thanks for all the wonderful stories you bring back with you from Africa.May there be many more!

December 30, 2004, 03:51 AM
Why is it that the Elephant population isnt being naturally kept in check? People only recently started hunting them. What did they do before we got over there Or is it just a matter of shrinking habitat?

Also, do elephants have any natural predators in Africa?

December 30, 2004, 07:40 AM
In stone ages, elephants and other wild animals virtually had their whole natural living space at their "free" disposal.

Back then humans were armed with "primitive" weapons like stones, spears, bows et cetera they were mostly prey to most wild animals themselves, I can easily imagine, every attempt to hunt big, dangerous game bordered on committing suicide :eek: . I suspect, thorough planning, sound tactics, superior numbers of "hunters" and maybe fire to scare the big, dangerous animals was necessary to be successful and to reduce the death toll and injuries on the humans involved as much as possible. When humans decided to take on such a dangerous and difficult task, the reasons were meat (food), hide, bones to insure the survival of their tribe. They weighted carefully between the risk of a couple of "hunters" and the survival of a whole tribe. I doubt, hunting by humans during that time ever impacted the whole population of any wild, dangerous game species.

Times have changed indeed, but I'm sure there are certainly tribes on this planet hunting that way to this day.

I am convinced, there's no natural predator species in Africa that hasn't the utmost respect for the power and size of a full-grown bull or cow elephant, so as soon as an elephant has grown to a imposing size he hardly has to fear any predator (except human :D )

Sound game management is absolutely mandatory to insure survival of the animal species on this planet, and if it means trophy hunting or culling or whatever, I have no objections against doing it.

"Ohne Jaeger kein Wild!"

I sincerely wish all of you a healthy and most successful new year!!!

H&H, thanks again for your interesting posts and the information you gave me.


December 30, 2004, 07:48 AM
So it's a case of the "carrying capacity" of the region being reduced rather than a reduction of predators. That makes sense, same story for deer around these these parts. Culling is appropriate in this case then.

What is really sad is that all that ivory is going to end up sitting in a warehouse.

December 30, 2004, 07:59 AM

With rare exception the elephant has no natural predators. The problem is shrinking habitat.


Speaking from experience stalking into a herd of elephants may well be the most intimidating and potentially dangerous situation in the world of hunting. It is an adrenaline rush no doubt.

Also speaking from experience being charged by one or two or twenty elephants is probably one of the most humbling experiences on this planet. When a herd of elephants decides to mass charge, you feel positively puny and insignifigant at that moment. Running is good. Been there done that. :)

December 30, 2004, 08:12 AM
What is really sad is that all that ivory is going to end up sitting in a warehouse.

Yeah, it's indeed a pity. I am not a hunter and I've never been in Africa but from what I've read it's difficult to locate an elephant with really long & heavy tusks nowadays.

Regarding the moral aspects of trophy hunting, I've browsed a German hunting forum yesterday and I was shocked about some hunters (!) negative comments after a gentlemen has started a thread reporting about his cape buffalo hunt in Tansania, including pictures. Fortunately, most of the posters congratulated the hunter to his trophies.

Still, for some hunters it's morally unobjectional to hunt and kill roe, wild boar, elk or deer but not when someone spends some of his hard-earned money to enjoy a trophy hunt in Africa!?! As an "outsider" that hasn't the slightest objections against trophy hunting that's kind of strange... :confused: :uhoh: :scrutiny:

December 30, 2004, 09:04 AM
Still, for some hunters it's morally unobjectional to hunt and kill roe, wild boar, elk or deer but not when someone spends some of his hard-earned money to enjoy a trophy hunt in Africa!?! TK 73,

This is 80% ignorance and 20% jealousy.

December 30, 2004, 09:18 AM
Elephants need to be managed by hunters just like deer and every other game animal.

December 30, 2004, 11:59 AM
Elephants need to be managed by hunters just like deer and every other game animal.


YES that is the whole point of this post..THANK YOU!!

December 30, 2004, 12:34 PM
YES that is the whole point of this post..THANK YOU!!
I guess it is too simple for some people to understand.
I would love to set my sights on an elephant if I had the $$$ :D

pete f
December 30, 2004, 01:29 PM

Hunting is a useful tool to manage some populations of animals. If i had a rich uncle die I would be back on a plane to Africa asap. And not just for hunting elephants.

Human population growth has drastically reduced the amount of land available for the large herd animals of Africa.

The animals have had traditional migration routes that do not conform with political boundaries. These migration routes allowed huge population to live on the ground which would not have supported those numbers had the animals been static. The climate of Africa is such that different areas are able to support large numbers of animals at differing times.

Changes in the human population have included decreases in nomadism, increases in farming and feed based ranching. These changes have tied people to specific plots of land and to specific crops which are naturally defended by the farmers. If these parcels are in the natural migration routes of game animals, then at some point there will be conflicts between animal and human.

Political decisions involved in land reallocation have dramatically altered the landscapes as well. Where as in the past large areas of ranches and farms were managed by small numbers of reasonably educated and informed people who had the capacity to understand the impacts and implications of actions. This system has been replaced by many small plots managed by many people of limited education, experience and understanding of the cause and effects of their actions.

AIDS is going to cause even greater problems in Africa in the future than the 20 million or more people it has killed so far. Another 25 million in sub- Saharan Africa have it now that have not yet died and how many more will get it is unknown.
The hardest hit segment has been the urban middle class and the women, the mothers. The urban middle class was the educated segment of african society. With this segment nearly destroyed there is no foundation for any development of a modern society. Africa has not had the social taboos about sexual adventures that our society has had. The rate of transmission was astounding in the early and mid years of the AIDS crisis from an epidemiological standpoint. The biggest issue to hit Africa is hitting now, a generation or more of parentless children. Children of the street growing into adults having children with no idea how to be parents themselves. My friends who live in Africa claim this could be the end of society as they know it. Other concerns could be the abandonment of traditional (colonial) boundaries. Increases in tribal warfare, failures to recognise international treaties, breakdowns in the shaky AIDS prevention systems now in place.

When Man tries to alter the natural order of animal life the consequences can be devastation. Just because we can build a park and force animals to live in does not mean that we should do it.

Now I believe that having affluent hunters heading to africa to pay to help with the culling would be a idea than some game officer driving a jeep mounting a GP machine gun into a herd and then opening fire. I have to say also that Mugabe and his "land reforms" will be the death of the country and yes I would enjoy open season on him and his low life thugs.
But his opportunity for power was fueled by a callous disregard for any type of reforms that might have made sense by the previous regime.

Nothing I have said here is meant to be inflammatory or conflicting, only that the issues in Africa are immense and complicated.

December 30, 2004, 02:08 PM

All that you have said is true and most of it has been addressed at one time or another on other elephant/African threads. But what I am pointing out is very simple.

The simple fact of the matter is we (we being hunters and conservationists) have been telling the world that unless proper management is put into place that thousands of elephants are going to die either from starvation or they will need to be culled.

They (being bleeding heart soccer moms, animal rights activists and lefties in general) have been doing there level headed best to stop any and all conservation/mangament of elephants because they through diverisve and untrue propoganda have convinced the American public that elephants are on the brink of extinction. And that they are far too nobel an animal to be hunted by mere men.

When in fact the elephants are more numerous in southern africa now than they have been in the last 30 years. Their population is rapidily growing and outstripping the available holding capacity of the land.

The reason that the elephant population is growing at such a rapid rate are two fold. One the international ban on commercial ivory sales. A GOOD THING AND A DESPERATLEY NEEDED THING. Two there was never a proper mangement scheme put into effect to control the growing population of elephants. Or more realistically every time a logical plan to control the population has been introduced it has quickly been quashed by various bambi organizations from around the world.

Now it is to late to manage this precious resource by conventional game mangement techniques. It's time to bring in the machine guns and helicopters.

All of the various antihunting bleeding heart SOB's who've been fighting against the proper management (read hunting) of elephants need to be be rewarded for their time and trouble.

I think we should buy them all a ticket to Zimbabwe so they can accompany a kill team in on a herd of elephants and be there when all that is left standing are the new born calfs griping their dead mother's tail's then you can hand the little leftie bleeding heart a rifle and have them finish the job THEY created.

I love and respect elephants and it pains me to see them shot down by a culling team cows, calfs, bulls the whole family group has to be killed at once or you have serious trouble in the future.

ALL OF THIS COULD have been avoided if only we were allowed to manage them during the last ten years. :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

I don't understand why otherwise rational people understand this concept on nearly any other species but when you mention the word elephant their f'ing brains vapor lock...


This rant is not targeted at anyone on this site in particular this is a general public rant....Thank you for your understanding. :) :)

January 2, 2005, 04:57 PM
If one is serious about learning about elephant population cycles and the consequences of elephant overpopulation, a good introduction is given in the first part of Ron Thomson's book Mahohboh.

In addition to several decades of work in national parks and wildlife mangement organizations in Africa, Ron Thompson has a diploma in Field Ecology from the University of Rhodesia, and was Provincial Game Warden-in-Charge of Hwange National Park. I'd say he ought to know what he's about.

(The book was an interesting read, too.)

Art Eatman
January 3, 2005, 09:41 AM
While nowhere near as noticeable, we once had the same problem in the southern U.S. with alligators. Over-hunting, followed by a total ban on hunting, followed by a population explosion. Residential expansion into once-wild areas led to conflicts, and finally the public at large allowed the wildlife biologists to do what had been desired for a number of years. Now, "the system" seems to have things in reasonable balance.

What I've long seen as a major problem with the anti-hunting crowd is that they do not understand the principle of "carrying capacity" of habitat. For that matter, it's been a long struggle with the administrative types in wildlife agencies (separate from the wildlife biologists), just to get season limits in line with local populations.

Anti-hunters are dramatically concerned about the fate of any one individual animal. Hunters are concerned with the health of entire species...

I don't think it's inaccurate to say that Felix Salter and Walt Disney have been the two greatest enemies of real-world wildlife management. The "humanization" of wild animals has created a distorted picture that all too many indoor-people believe is real.


January 4, 2005, 11:48 PM
What I've long seen as a major problem with the anti-hunting crowd is that they do not understand the principle of "carrying capacity" of habitat.
I think that's true for some, but there are also people out there who understand carrying capacity but would argue the only reason the carrying capacity is "so low" is because humans have taken up the animals' original habitat and that the real solution is to remove humans from the area. Of course, these types would only advocate forcing someone else out of their home.

January 8, 2005, 07:21 PM
I'm suprised no one pointed out the other obvious part of this. Before, the countries were making money off the hunting of Elephant, and keeping them in line regarding the population size. I'd imagine that is a big chunk of change no longer available to the parks department, and the result is still the same; elephants have to be killed.

January 14, 2005, 09:18 PM
Humour me- Why don't they loosen hunting restrictions asap and make some $ in the process? As Art pointed out, it's worked here for gators, bears, deer,
mountain lions, etc. Is it simply too late?

January 15, 2005, 09:01 AM
Humour me- Why don't they loosen hunting restrictions asap and make some $ in the process? As Art pointed out, it's worked here for gators, bears, deer,


We being big game hunters, guides, professional hunters, outfitters and even park service personale have been beging, pleading and petitioning for this for the last ten years.

They being the various wildlife authroities have been reluctant to do it because of the political pressure they've recived from various anti hunting Lobbies from around the world.

And yes now it is too late.

Art Eatman
January 15, 2005, 09:28 AM
To illustrate just how bad the human side of the problem is:

About 10 or 12 years ago, National Geographic had a special on elephants. A quite knowledgeable young lady was in several of the scenes, explaining the behavior and "life style" of elephants.

The program gave time to the hunting and the advantages of the fee-splitting system with villages, and the beneficial results to habitat and populations and control of poaching.

The program closed with the young lady saying that she understood the benefits of the fee/hunting system. However, because elephants were such noble beasts, she'd rather see them become extinct than be hunted...


January 15, 2005, 09:34 AM

I remeber that program. And apparently that is the type of sensitive new age emoitional eco bable we are dealing with..

To bad for the elephants I guess.

Leaky Waders
January 17, 2005, 03:55 AM
To me, the problem with elephant hunting, is having a house big enough to display your mounts ;)

Seriously though...I think that most anti-hunters just bandwagon from cute furry beast to cute furry beast.

I like to duck hunt. I don't see anti-hunters hanging wood duck boxes. Or making/donating for hen houses. I don't see them buying duck stamps simply to support the conservation effort, regardless if they are in the States to hunt that year. I don't see them educating themselves about predators or carying capacity or the need to shoot snow geese to help other species survive...

Now...I'm not an elephant hunter...I just couldn't get into it...I mean I think I could manage the comeback call and lonesome matriarch, but damned if I'm gonna carry a sack of cork elephant decoys. More power to those who do :)



January 17, 2005, 11:05 AM
but damned if I'm gonna carry a sack of cork elephant decoys. More power to those who do

You ain't seen nothin until you've seen a Zambezi golden elephant retriever at work! Nice dogs but man do eat.. :)

January 17, 2005, 06:28 PM
It would be nice to get a hold of some video of the culling and spread it widely across the net...perhaps the PETA type boards (PITA if you prefer) and other supposed animal lover sites would be a good place to park them....including a post such as, "Here ya go folks's the fruit of your efforts". You know it will never be seen on Animal Planet or Nat'l Geo. or anywhere else.

January 18, 2005, 04:00 AM
That would be a good idea Atticus, if we were talking about logical people. The response your suggestion would receive would probably either be attacking you for showing such graphic footage without any acknowledgement of your point or would be analogous to sticking their fingers in their ears and singing. Either way you wouldn't get your point across and you'd be banned from the board.

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