The Tsavo elephants
The Ford Foundation has made a grant of £70,000 for research into the elephant problem in the Tsavo National Park in Kenya, which has become acute. In recent years the number of elephants has increased rapidly to some 15,000, and the widespread destruction of trees in the park is generally attributed to them. Are they destroying the habitat? If so, what should be done? One suggestion is to cull up to 5,000 of them. In this article, based on an interview with “Africana” and reprinted by kind permission, Dr Harthoorn of the University College, Nairobi, suggests that some of the tree destruction could be the result of excessive burning, and that until the effects of keeping fire out of the Tsavo have been studied, massive killings of elephants should not be attempted.