Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Zimbabwe weighs cost of too many elephants

A HERD of elephants hobbles past a cluster of acacia trees to a water-hole deep in Zimbabwe's vast Hwange game reserve, attracted by the drone of generators pumping water round the clock into the pool.
With the elephant population ballooning, wildlife authorities have resorted to using 45 generators, each consuming 200 litres of diesel a week from June to November, to ensure the animals can get water.
The strategy appears to be working. So far this year 17 elephants have died in the area due to the extreme heat and lack of water, compared with 77 last year.
"The elephants drink close to 90 per cent of all the water (pumped) here," said Edwin Makuwe, an ecologist with the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority,
"I think elephants now know that when they hear an engine running, chances are that there is water close by."
But the water, while life-preserving, might be running against the flow of nature.
Continued:  http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/zimbabwe-weighs-cost-of-too-many-elephants/story-e6frg6so-1226503295716

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