SEP 16, 2016 8:05 AM PDT

A South African National Park is Killing Local Animals in Response to Drought

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

South Africa’s largest national wildlife park is having to make a tough decision that would leave animal-lovers cringing amid a substantial drought, which is affecting the food and water sources of not only the people in the region, but also for the wildlife inhabiting it.
 
A report from The Guardian notes that Kruger park rangers are expected to slaughter at least 350 hippos and buffaloes in the drought-affected region to reduce the amount of animals that are expected to starve to death as a result of the lack of resources. This decision is being called a "humane" way to deal with the problem.
 

A hippo stands on a dry patch of land just at dawn.

 Image Credit: Chobe National Park/Wikipedia

Unfortunately for the animals, it doesn’t look like this drought will be coming to an end any time soon, so this might be the only way to prevent long-term suffering for the animals. This is a drought that may continue down the line for weeks or even months to come and has been dubbed the worst drought to hit the area in over three decades.
 
“We do not call it a cull. We call it an offtake. It’s a management tool and we want to understand what impact it will have. Our aim is to have sustainable usage [of resources] and populations,” said South African National Park spokesperson Isaac Phaahla. “We don’t want the animals dying of hunger and rotting on the ground. We are trying to be humane in the way the animals die.”

Unfortunately, these creatures devour so much vegetation in the area, that there's not a whole lot left, and because there hasn't really been much rain, most of that vegetation is expected to die anyways, leaving them with nothing to munch on.
 
The current population figures for these species are at around 8,000 for hippos and 47,000 for buffaloes, which is reportedly an all-time high for both species and aren’t sustainable with the current supply of limited life-essential resources, so it comes down more to population control than conservation in the eyes of the national park.
 
The meat from the deceased animals won’t be wasted however. It will probably be used to feed those in the communities that are suffering from poverty and can’t afford to feed themselves amongst this food and water shortage.
 
As you can imagine, the food shortages have led to price gouging, and is making it increasingly difficult to feed the people who can’t afford to buy food at the adjusted prices.
 
Source: The Guardian, USA Today

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
AUG 21, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Growing Cannabis Indoors is Not Eco Friendly
AUG 21, 2020
Growing Cannabis Indoors is Not Eco Friendly
Indoor cannabis cultivation is considered to produce the highest quality cannabis available, but the elephant in the roo ...
AUG 27, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
Understanding How Animals Make Seasonal Adaptations
AUG 27, 2020
Understanding How Animals Make Seasonal Adaptations
Some animals don't need a new wardrobe to change with the seasons, and scientists have now learned more about how they d ...
SEP 24, 2020
Plants & Animals
High Arctic Polar Bears are Temporarily Benefitting from Climate Change
SEP 24, 2020
High Arctic Polar Bears are Temporarily Benefitting from Climate Change
For the past few decades, polar bears have been harbingers of climate change. However, not every polar bear subpopu ...
NOV 18, 2020
Health & Medicine
Rising Temperatures May Increase Tick-Borne Diseases in Humans
NOV 18, 2020
Rising Temperatures May Increase Tick-Borne Diseases in Humans
New research presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene warns that climate ...
JAN 12, 2021
Earth & The Environment
What will become of the sharks?
JAN 12, 2021
What will become of the sharks?
What will be the future of sharks? These animals that have been around for 450 million years are in danger, threatened b ...
JAN 19, 2021
Plants & Animals
How Seagrasses Can Remove Plastic From the Ocean
JAN 19, 2021
How Seagrasses Can Remove Plastic From the Ocean
Plastic pollution in the ocean is a major problem, from the great Pacifici Garbage Patch to the micro plastics that have ...
Loading Comments...