South Africa to allow killing of elephants for first time since 1994 to control population

Elephants at a watering hole in Tembe Elephant Park in the Northern KwaZulu Natal province in Jan 2007. South Africa will allow the culling of elephants for the first time since 1994, said a government notice Monday, Feb, 25, 2008. Denis Farrell, The Associated Press

AP

Elephants at a watering hole in Tembe Elephant Park in the Northern KwaZulu Natal province in Jan 2007. South Africa will allow the culling of elephants for the first time since 1994, said a government notice Monday, Feb, 25, 2008. Denis Farrell, The Associated Press

By The Associated Press

PRETORIA, South Africa – South Africa said it will allow elephants to be killed to control their population, reversing a 1994 ban and immediately drawing criticism from animal rights activists.

In a government statement given to reporters Monday, killing elephants is described as one way of managing growing populations.

The government in 1994 banned culling the elephant population, but since then, the number of the giant beasts in the country has ballooned from 8,000 to more than 20,000. The new policy becomes official Friday.

Animal rights defenders threatened to call for tourist boycotts and protests and to take legal action against the measure.

Elephants at a watering hole in Tembe Elephant Park in the Northern KwaZulu Natal province in Jan 2007. South Africa will allow the culling of elephants for the first time since 1994, said a government notice Monday, Feb, 25, 2008.