South Africa to Lift Ban on Killing Elephants

Government says culling is a 'last resort' population control option
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2008 4:40 PM CST
An elephant wanders in Tembe Elephant Park in the Northern KwaZulu Natal province in Jan 2007. South Africa will allow the culling of elephants for the first time since 1994, said a government notice...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – South Africa will lift its 1994 ban on elephant culling, sparking outrage among animal rights activists, the Guardian reports. Killing animals will remain "the option of last resort, acceptable only under strict conditions," said the environment minister. He added that managing the elephant population, which has grown to 20,000 from 8,000 since the ban was instated, "has been devilishly complex."

Animal Rights Africa denounced the decision as "bowing to pressure from private landowners and South African National Parks" and rejected the government’s “untrue contention that there are 'too many' elephants." The group  has called for international boycotts and demonstrations starting Friday, when the ban will be lifted. Contraception, relocation, and water restriction are front-line tactics for population management.