I have a healthy, increasingly justified suspicion of groups tagging themselves ”wildlife” or ”endangered” or “environmental”, more often than not poisoning their own wells as they speedily morph into profiteers at the expense of genuine need and thoughtful human presence. This is painful to report. I really love elephants. And rhinos. And all creatures great and small.
90 Elephants have been found poisoned with cyanide in Zimbabwe Wildlife Park.
With stunningly cavalier disregard for every thirsty species in Zimbabwe the poachers heavily laced water holes and the salty edges with cyanide. All manner of life, including these 90 newly discovered murdered elephants are dead from the water and its surrounds. As are and will be birds, lions…you can imagine the aftermath…….
“Park spokesperson Caroline Washaya-Moyo told NBC News that 87 corpses had been found so far, all with their tusks removed. “Industrial cyanide used in gold mining was put in remote water holes and on salty ground that the elephants like to lick after drinking the water,” she said. “The poison was killing them and they were taking the tusks.”
I wrote previously about the last Rhinos of an African preserve.
The dreaded poachers of Africa continue apace with aspects of crime novels: murderous criminals of international networks, physicians gone mad, distributors into multimillion dollar markets ~~ all tainted with stunning cruelty.
Disguised by sinister cleverness worthy paedophiles getting work in kindergartens, an outfit called Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris and making their money that way as well as setting up a Rhino “refuge”, is now charged as a major supplier of Rhino horns and Elephant tusks. They are being prosecuted, The Groenewald Gang. The head man is Dawin Groenewald, conspiring with wildlife veterinarians.
(From Rhino Conservation):
The list of suspected syndicate members is comprised of people from inside South Africa’s wildlife conservation community, which sadly, included veterinarians:
- Dawie Gorenewald – Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris
- Sariette Groenewald – Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris
- Tielman Erasmus – professional hunter
- Dr. Karel Toet – Nylstroom animal clinic and Limpopo Wildlife
- Marisa Toet – Nylstroom animal clinic and Limpopo Wildlife
- Dr. Manie du Plessis – Nylstroom animal clinic
- Marthinus Pronk
- Dewald Gouws
- Leon van der Merwe
- Paul Matomela
- Nordus Rossouw
Groenewald, proprietor of Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris, is said to be the gang’s “ringleader” – and September’s arrest was not his first brush with the law. Groenewald’s bail was R1 million (USD $144, 471).
A site with far more information about these beautiful creatures and the bastards who hunt them for their tusks is called SAVING RHINOS. I have no idea who the man is or the validity of his claims on that website, but it’s thorough, there’s a lot to read up on and I was touched by what I saw there.
You can more readily find what you trust with some easy searching for Adopt An Elephant sites. I found a splendid group about five years ago and adopted an orphaned baby elephant for a year, was sent a certificate and photos of her progress and measurements of her girth. Barring that, we can all keep them in our prayers.