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Harare to Use Elephant Size to Boost Economy

Zimbabwe is considering the mass killing of elephants, known as culling, for the first time since 1988 to reduce the 100,000 strong population of the animals. The government of Zimbabwe, which has the world’s second-largest population of elephants after neighboring Botswana, maintains that the large number of the animals is leading to destruction of habitat needed by other species and an increasing number of dangerous human-elephant interactions. Adult elephants can eat 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of vegetation a day and often strip bark from trees, killing them. The southern African nation is undergoing a review of its Parks and Wildlife Act to collate views on how to better manage its wildlife resources. “The only way to manage elephant populations by culling is to take out entire herds,” said Rob Lurie, chairman of the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association. “It’s not an easy task and would require a lot of manpower and financing to be done correctly.” Other methods of population control include contraception and translocation.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

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