An Urgent Appeal from Zimbabwe.

Jan 4th, 2008, 05:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 890
An Urgent Appeal from Zimbabwe.


Tusker (or Dustbin as he is also known), is the resident Charara elephant. With his peaceful antics of raiding bins and braais he is a legend and a great favorite of tourists and locals alike. We don't want to lose him.

There has been an attempt to relocate Tusker in the past which didnít quite go according to plan and when Johnny Rodrigues (Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force) went to National Parks Headquarters and told them what had transpired, they showed compassion for Tusker and agreed that he can remain in Kariba. They won't shoot him as long as he doesn't hurt anyone; however, there are conditions to this reprieve. It was agreed that the reason Tusker has become so habituated to humans is because people feed the wild animals. There are signs in every National Park in the country, including Kariba, prohibiting the feeding of wild animals but there are people who ignore this.

Tusker, through no fault of his own has become used to people and he has learnt that where humans are present, he will find food. We are extremely concerned about this because we have heard several stories of people feeding him and by feeding him; those people are inadvertently condemning him to death. Although he has never killed anyone, he has been classified as a "problem animal".

After his recent behavior over the 2007 Charara New Years weekend it has been decided that Tusker should be shot. This tragic event will be taking place on the 7th January, 2008.

Please fill in your name and country below to show that you are against this, if your name is a hundred (100, 200, 300) please forward your copy of the mail to the following:

Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force - [email protected]

Francis Nhema - [email protected]

Morris Mtsambiwa - [email protected]

Mr. Chimuti - [email protected]

Petition signatories.

1. Lewana Nel (Zimbabwe)
2. Anna Nel (Zimbabwe)
3. Michelle Nel (South Africa)
4. Nicole Nel (Zimbabwe)
5. Louis Nel (Zimbabwe)
6. Wendy Young (Zimbabwe)
7. Adele Baker (Zimbabwe)
8. Sheila Baker (Zimbabwe)
9. Don Baker (Zimbabwe)
10. Troy Boshoff (Zimbabwe)
11. Jean-Paul De Robillard (Zimbabwe)
12. Michelle De Robillard (Zimbabwe)
13. Trevor Dalton (Zimbabwe)
14. Justin Dalton (Zimbabwe)
15. Jennifer Wells (Zimbabwe)
16. Johnny Rodrigues (Zimbabwe)
17. Cheryl Rodrigues (Zimbabwe)
18. Shane Rodrigues (Zimbabwe)
19. Sjaan Lindsay (Zimbabwe)
20. Robin Crawford (Zimbabwe)
21. Lorraine Randall (Zimbabwe)
22. Gavin Randall (Zimbabwe)
23. Kylie Randall (Zimbabwe)
24. Matthew Wilkinson (Europe)

Please add your name and country to the list below. Or alternatively sign the petition live on here:
(You will have to register as a member to do so)

Alternately send your details and any comments to me directly,

[email protected]

I cannot stress how urgent this is. Also please forward these details to as many friends as you know in order to possibly save Tusker's life.

I will collate all names over the weekend with Johnny Rodrigues of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force.

For further information on Tusker click here:


Matt_from_England is offline  
Jan 4th, 2008, 08:04 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 702
Shall we make Dustbin Asokamala's brother?

We just saved her (atleast a temporary court order from the) from being sent to a terrible zoo in Armenia. Elephants are such sensitve and emotional animals with strong emotional bonds to life around them. Breaking this really upsets their peaceful existence and drives them to total despair.

The supreme court order in Sri Laka was quite interesting in that it was the first time a fundamental rights case was fought for an elephant.

See more about this case at or just google "save asokamala"

Mohammed is online now  
Jan 4th, 2008, 10:51 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 51
Thanks for posting the link Matt, we can't let this happen!

There is now a proper petition - only takes a minute to sign. Please go here:

Mohammed - this is great news about Asokamala! We wrote to the Sri Lankan authorities about her! Very pleased she has had a reprieve!

Mega4namaddy is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 05:21 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,391
Dustbin/Tusker was shot dead today, 24 hours ahead of the scheduled execution. Over 4000 signatures worldwide were collected.
Good bye Dustbin!

Thanks Matt for your good intentions.
matnikstym is offline  
Jan 7th, 2008, 11:40 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 702
This is very sad but an unfortunate fact that feeding wild animals is a veritable death sentence.

Not so long ago we had a case where a elephant at Yala in Sri Lanka had been fed regularly by a monk at a jungle hermitage temple and despite several attempts by wildlife enthusiasts and officials to educate the monk about the folly of his good intentions, he continued to feed the elephant. The elephant eventully started to make forays into other human settlements, park bungalows etc looking for food and was quite a handful but usually we managed to chase it away. One day it went to a wrong place, an army camp - they shot him.

Did you know that Sri Lanka defies conventional wisdom in that it is such a small island but has the highest population of wild asian elephants with about 2500 in the wild today. There were about 100,000 a 100 years ago. 175 of them died last year under tragic crcumstances, either shot, killed by vandals, hit by trains etc....!

Mohammed is online now  
Jan 7th, 2008, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 58
Is this the same elephant for which the beer is named?
cat_lover is offline  
Jan 7th, 2008, 03:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,064
Tusker is a Kenyan beer, also a quite common name for elephants. No relationship with this Zim elephant.
nyama is offline  
Jan 7th, 2008, 03:26 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 890
Thanks to everyone who supported this initiative. I have spoken with Johnny personally via phone a couple of times this weekend and in a somewhat emotional second conversation he called everyone who signed the petition a hero: he was truly touched by the worldwide response.

For full updates on the Tusker story please see the article here:

which includes a number of images taken by Johnny of Tusker recently.

Thanks for caring,

Matt_from_England is offline  
Jan 7th, 2008, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 172
Sorry to say, Tusker was killed, prior to the petition being able to do any good. He damaged some cars, ans was shot to death, while searching for food, and being terrorized by the partygoers. My prayers to him and the ele's left in Zim
suzic is offline  
Jan 7th, 2008, 05:00 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,064
The main message here should be: don't feed wild animals! Tusker was a victim of those people who don't care about this simple rule.
nyama is offline  

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