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Phillip Marchant
 
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Why kill the elephant?

16 January 2014, 09:14

Along with many others, I am appalled and utterly astounded by the entirely questionable response by SANparks official William Mabasa, to the criminally stupid actions of one Jans de Klerk.
The former's statements that he has 'no regrets' about killing the elephant, speaks volumes as to his dubious character (and obvious qualifications for the position he holds), for which game ranger would not feel a trite more than mere regret, when one as magnificent as this is required to be euthanased? 
His other two incriminations "the animal would have been put down irrespective as it unusually aggressive - our rangers reported that the same elephant bull had been involved in previous fights with other dominant bulls since it has been in musth phase", and "the video seems to suggest that there was an opportunity for the tourists to escape the attack, but of course when you are directly involved in a situation like that, reason is not a factor but instinct", display both his pitiful lack of knowledge of the animals in his care, and the human specie. I need not speak of why elephants do as they do whilst in musth (for everyone except perhaps bra Willie knows), but surely even he must know that the instintive human response to such danger is to flee? The hapless animal sounded many warnings to the hero de Klerk, who very nearly caused the death of his girl friend through his Darwin-like bravado, and provided at least a half dozen opportunities for it's tormentors to move to safety, before it had had enough.
Does this make the animal 'aggressive', or infinitely patient, I wonder? If such behaviour calls for a death sentence, then we'd all better get to KNP before there's nothing left on four legs to see, for surely any elephant, or indeed any such animal would react in the same way? 
My point is two-fold; firstly that the SANparks officials should be brought to explain their actions (and their apparent lack of 'regret'), and secondly for person de Klerk to be charged with criminal negligence (a) for putting his partners life at risk, and (b) that through his consumate idiocy he has caused the death of a magnificent beast, who did no wrong. That animal was the property of the peoples of South Africa, and he should be made to answer to why he blatantly flouted the rules of the 'Park, with tragic result. He should face the full might of the law, and I cannot yet understand why he walks free, as though nothing has happened.
Clearly the fatal bullets might have been better served pointed in other directions.     

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