Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Belgian Congo Elephants 1955



On the back of the photo:
African elephants, being trained to haul out lumber, are driven down to the Ituri river at Epelu, Belgian Congo, by native riders. The trainers, who are government employes, chant haunting songs as they ride. Some of the elephants are sold to representatives of American zoos and circuses who go to the Congo to negotiate the deals. 

'I really wish ar folks would get their fact's right and quit accusing zoo's an circus's of "depleting" and "destroying" wildlife by capturing and taking animals out of the "wild"(what ever that is in their narrow minds.)  That was so long ago, and it barely caused a ripple in factual animal numbers.'

5 comments:

John Herriott said...

Oviously there is a glut of elephants in Africa in that there natural habitat can not even support them, so it would seem that the more elephants they can export the more relief from t6he remaining. Why the are considered "endangered specie" is beyond me. We have no breeding program for this specie as we do for Asian elephants who are sufferijng in their natural habitat aws well. I cannot understand why they cannot give a shot of rompom or some other anathesia and wihile these with tusks can be sawed off. Then they would not have poachers and the financial rewards to the Gogv. would be substasnnial and everybody would be happy.? Guess I just do not understand.

Wade G. Burck said...

John,
The issue with exporting, and rightfully so, is that the captive situation they were brought to was often pretty poor. Not always, but often. They started breeding Asian elephants because you could not import them anymore, most often because of what I mentioned above. African's could still be imported, often in great number's like the Arthur Jones fiasco, and there was not a need to bred them. If the elephants were "farm raised"(as well as other species like rhino's) cutting off the tusks would be a good source of revenue. But the "wild" elephant's need their tusk's for defense as well as foraging. Additionally, and most importantly, the folks who go on a "photo safari" and want to take pictures of the elephants would not be too pleased with only having "tuskless" elephants to photograph. Destroying hundreds of ton's of confiscated, illegally poached ivory is what is insane, and I have studied both sides of the issue, but it makes no sense to me at all, why the practice continues. Insanity for sure.

Wade

Dan Koehl said...

Gentlemen, in this article, I make a brief review on captive elephants elephant breeding, while in the end of that blog, I give some opinons that associate to your discussion.

I compeltely agree with John Herriot, except for the fact that technically, you can not avoid poaching with such measurements. The blood supported part of a tusk from an asian elephant grows out in the tusks, as well as with africans. I have been told in Kerala, from people with a good statistical knowledge, that most Indian elephant experts count the distance from the eye, to the place where the tusk comes out of the skin, and use this distance on the exposed tusk, as to whow long the pulp normally is. This seems to be good measurement as to how long the pulp is on male tusk grow out. this is also the reason why large parts of the tusks and the cranium is removed with chainsaws, from poached elephants. Contrary from rhinos, we cant cut away the tusks of wild elephants, without jeapardizing their life.

Wade G. Burck said...

Dan,
That measurement from the eye to the gum line has been a rule of thumb for decades. I assumed John knew that, and when I referred to "tuskless" elephants I was intending to infer elephants with half or part of their tusks cut off. I really think that would raise havoc with the photo safari set. In the case of African's they have that fabulous "big bull tusk record" museum and monitoring system. Cutting of the tusks would pretty much slough that.

Wade

Dan Koehl said...

In fact, I understood that you know this, I just saw the risk that a reader of this thread may misunderstand., so I just wanted to discuss that object e little further. Now I see i forgot the link to article I mentioned,so here ti comes:(and like I said, its pretty long, its in the last parts where I express opinions, that you may like...

http://dankoehl.blogspot.se/2012/02/elephant-captive-breeding-history-and.html