Elephant contraception worth it: conservationist

Elephant contraception worth it: conservationist

Photo by Gallo Images

Giving contraceptives to elephants is “worth doing”, a Zimbabwean conservationist said on Friday.

“It works in South Africa. It’s a tried and tested method. It costs around US8 per elephant and has to be redone every five years,” said Johnny Rodrigues of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force. “It is worth doing it. If Zimbabwe had to take that route, we can find the funds.” Zimbabwe’s elephant population is under the spotlight as the authorities press on with a controversial plan to export baby elephants from Hwange National Park to raise money.

State media argued that this would control the elephant population in the southern African country.

A parliamentary committee recommended the use of contraceptives for elephants to slow the population growth rate, the private Newsday reported earlier this week.

Government says the number of elephants in Zimbabwe could be as high as 85,000, more than double the figure thought to be sustainable. Some conservationists doubt that figure, pointing out that up to 20,000 elephants have been poached recently.

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