Killing elephants

Killing elephants Conservationist groups in Zimbabwe are in a tizzy over the plans recently announced by the government for "getting rid of surplus elephants". Peter Mundy, chief ecologist of Zimbabwe's wildlife department, has declared that the government would either sell or kill at least 5,000 pachyderms this year. The country's largest natural reserve, Hwange National Park, is allegedly being ravaged by the marauding beasts. Consequently, the region's ecology is on the brink of complete devastation. Mundy says that the park has enough vegetation to feed about 200,000 elephants, each of which consumes 300 kg of foliage daily. However, a survey conducted in November 1994 states that the elephant population in Hwange stands at 31,000 and is growing at the rate of 5 per cent a year.

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