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Save the Charismatic Megafauna
National Review Online, by Jonah Goldberg

Original Article

Posted By:Drive, 1/8/2013 12:01:13 PM

The news that an entire family of elephants was slaughtered by poachers in Kenya is depressing. I’m a big squish when it comes to charismatic megafauna, the technical term for really awesome big animals: tigers, whales, dolphins, elephants, lions etc. But I’m also a conservative in the purest sense of the word. The conservation of these creatures is its own reward. They speak to our place in the universe, the majesty of God’s creation, the imagination of children, and countless other intangible factors that resonate from the Bible to literature to our own childhoods.

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: dvc, 1/8/2013 1:31:43 PM     (No. 9105270)

Complex, confusing issue. Elephants overpopulate parts of South Africa, causing serious damage to the ecology, I have seen this in person. In other areas, they are threatened by poachers, while in others they trample farmer´s food plots. Tons of legal ivory is burned rather than sold in legal channels, which sadly increases the market value of a dead elephant.

Tigers are struggling in most places, primarily due to poachers who are mostly desperately poor with little other economic chance due to poor economies - often due to socialist/communist leaders.

Extremely complex, no simple solutions.



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Reply 2 - Posted by: crimea river, 1/8/2013 4:24:59 PM     (No. 9105646)

African poaching operations are now high tech similar to Central American drug cartels. The animals are often spotted at night from the air using infra-red and night vision gear. If it´s a herd, the poachers will land, shoot many animals, sever the tusks or horns, and depart by air before morning.
Track the planes or helicopters and you´ll catch the poachers, but be prepared for a fire-fight.



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