Arming Farmers is Not the Answer to the Human Elephant Conflict

Policymakers cursed with a lack of original thinking, especially with the possibility of elections in the offing, resort to knee jerk reactions to long standing problems rather than seek informed advice and have the patience to wait for success. This, of course, is unrealistic in this day and age of politics where ideology has long been suppressed to the individual ambitions of the elected representatives of the people. That vote, that ever necessary tick on a ballot sheet, is vital for the perpetuation of personal power. Once that is “purchased”, then damn the promises made and any vestige of ethical principle that may have prompted them, that is until the whole self-serving cycle comes around again; back to a time of political pledges and of damning the future for immediate need.

In February 2023, having for decades and decades, made the wild elephant the bogeyman of crop depredation, the authorities finally admitted that the damage they did to crops and cultivations was of a much smaller percentage than that done by other, much smaller wild creatures – birds and animals – both with a much less significant physical presence than elephants. And so peacocks, monkeys, giant squirrels, porcupines and wild boar were taken off the protected list and farmers are authorized to use any measures necessary to tackle the problem.

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