WILDLIFE The Sad, Sad, Sad Elephant Count …

Posted by on 23. August 2014

Elephants

Mike Chase and one of his areal tools ...

Chase is an American conservation biologist and since February 2014 he counts. It’s an areal census of African elephants and he is flying over all the countries were they live – or are supposed to live. Or are gone. Disappeared, extinct. When he started, he made such a nice statement: „I hope to leave people inspired and motivated with some good news.“ But, as „The New Yorker“ wrote, „the opposite has happened.“ In a Wildlife Reserve in Ethiopia for instance, the local authorities told him about an elephant population of 300 heads; but Chase found only 36! Not enough, genetically, to survive. They will be gone in a few years. Maybe three years. But Ethiopia is basically a good country, there are evil wildlife nations farther south. Mocambique for instance, or Kenya and the Congos. There the poachers are in big business, often supported by greedy local politicians and corrupt game wardens who earn less than US$ 100 per month. If the money ever reaches them. Chase has no hope but an inkling: „I feel as though the only good I’m doing is recording the extinction of one of the most magnificent animals that ever walked the earth.“ Sorry, folks, to give you such a devastating information …

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