It’s hard to believe that with the massive loss of elephants in Africa that elephant culling would still be under consideration. Yet, South Africa is debating if an elephant culling project (killing 6,000) would be a good idea in Kruger National Park. In southern African countries like Botswana and South Africa, certain areas have robust elephant herds that face overpopulation. Kruger has over 13, 000 elephants, and the ideal population would be around 7,000.
Instead of culling, conservation organizations such as Born Free recommend elephant contraception, which has been very successful in countries such as Kenya. The cost is reasonable at roughly 50 GBP per elephant, although it is obviously more expensive than culling. A far more expensive option is relocation; pilot studies in Kenya show that elephants adapt well to new surroundings as long as they have familiar herd members with them.
It is true that Kruger National Park cannot healthily support countless elephants, but seeing how elephants are now endangered, South Africa needs to think outside the box on how to control populations.