In 2005, I traveled to South Africa to investigate claims of elephant overpopulation that were being used to justify culling. Local conservationists I collaborated with had developed an effective elephant contraceptive, but officials showed no interest in implementing it, instead spreading misinformation to defend killing elephants to sell their ivory, skin and meat commercially.
I spent many hours in Kruger National Park searching in vain for supposed ecological damage and massive herds. Other experts shared similar experiences, finding only isolated bull elephants. Long-term research indicates elephants naturally regulate their numbers when resources are limited.
Dr. Cynthia Moss, of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, who has conducted the world’s longest ongoing observation of an elephant herd for over 35 years, told me “Elephants will not eat themselves out of house and home.”
Elephants are an endangered global treasure, not mere products. Unless we value these intelligent, sensitive beings for more than their economic potential, future generations may know elephants only from pictures, not the wild. We must speak out against short-sighted exploitation and work to protect elephants for a world where our grandchildren can still experience their grace.
Hundred’s of letters were written by American school kids pleading on behalf of elephants. On the eve of South Africa’s overturning their ban on elephant culling (May 1, 2008), Kristal hand delivered the wishes of the next generation to have elephants in their future. Each letter was rolled and tied with a ribbon.