Elephant shooting at Sonjo

A group of eight bulls recently ventured outside the Udzungwa Mountains National Park boundaries, potentially to raid crops. Two of the males were tuskless (see photo). Park rangers herded the group back toward the park. Though the exact circumstances are not clear, it later transpired that one of the bulls had been shot. This bull collapsed not far inside the forest and did not survive, and its meat was taken by people, its tusks and tail confiscated by the park. We did not witness this event first-hand, and are awaiting further details.

What we fear is that this kind of event will not reconcile people and elephants, nor deter elephants from crossing park boundaries into farms. For example, what colleagues in and around Amboseli National Park, Kenya are finding is that some crop-raiders may not be habitual at all (rather they are one-off), and therefore that “problem animal control” as a management tool may be largely ineffective.

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