Tusker article

Old Jan 7th, 2008, 11:03 PM
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Tusker article

Here is a link to an article about the death of Tusker:
Diamantina is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2008, 01:19 AM
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What a terrible sad, sad story, where in the world was the manager of Charara camp? How can they allow such drinking and terrible behaviour in a wildlife area. Now this animal had to pay yet again because of humans. Hope you will post a follow up that the people at the new years party were arrested or just banned from ANY wildlife area. To be honest to have a party to such a level is saying that the people there were not interested in the wildlife. I wish we can do the same to those people and I will laugh in their faces while they suffer. I wish for each and every single one of them, the worst possible 2008 - don't think they will read something like fodors but I believe my negative thoughts will reach them.
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 02:18 AM
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As so often, a problem with the media that is telling only half of the story.

The story started years ago when people began to feed Tusker. Tusker became habituated to humans, associating them with food. Without that habituation he certainly never had approached that party.

There are hundreds (even thousands) of such New Year parties in the bush each year, all without harm to the animals.

If you want to condemn someone, then condemn the people who started that feeding years ago.
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 09:55 PM
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sorry nyama but the only thing i agree with in your response is that the blame must go to the people who first started feeding Tusker, but that was long ago and a situation like that cannot be reversed unfortunately.

as for the rest of your post i do not agree. i agree with rafikimilly.
where were the "managers"?

safari camps are "littered" with "party animals" who can't just enjoy the peace and quiet of their surroundings and feel just because they are on vacation they have to overdo everything and drink in excess. this is compounded by managers who encourage and partake in this unruly behaviour and ruin the bush experience for everybody within earshot. have come across several managers in my travels who should surely join the AA (and i don't mean the roadside assitance company)

again i have to point fingers at the management, if they were aware of a very habituated elephant then they should go out of their way to avoid human contact and warn people off and NOT let these idiots go and pull his tail and throw bottles at the elephant.

do you have any idea how tolerant this poor animal must have been to allow that sort of behavior and not trample everybody in sight? i hope that the cars he trampled were not insured and that the owners have incurred some sort of financial loss. the behaviour of these so called "wlidlife lovers" is disgraceful and i hope in some bizarre way that their lives are made miserable by this event.

question is: how many humans do you know that would allow their hair to be pulled, bottles to be thrown at them and spotlights shone in their faces and not retaliate?

as for the "infection" which prevented the relocation - rubbish, Zim parks don't have the money, a bullet is much cheaper...

shame on all who defend the actions of these barbarians!
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 11:52 PM
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rafikimilly and cantona7 I could not have put it better myself, every time I think people in this world cannot stoop any lower.....they manage to do so.
Agree fully that the entire blame goes on the humans in this case, and anyone who attempts to defend this should have been trampled themselves.
As for thousands of new years parties in the bush, I agree also, where on earth were the managers of this place - joining in? I would throw myself in front of the maniacs throwing the bottles before I let them behave this way and cause this on an innocent animal...it gives me chills to even imagine what this creature must have felt like during the ordeal.
It is comforting to know that there are at least some people who share my love of creatures and disgust for many 'humans' if we can call this bunch that, lets hope my negative and vicious thoughts reach them as well.
emeraldblaze is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2008, 01:49 AM
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If I may step in here to add my views on the above:

As you know I produce Safaritalk and work in my best voluntary capacity with some grass root African NGOs, one of which is The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force and Johnny Rodrigues.

Firstly I just want to clarify the point made by Cantona7 - "as for the "infection" which prevented the relocation - rubbish, Zim parks don't have the money, a bullet is much cheaper..."

Johnny Rodrigues is independent from the Zim govt and Nat Parks board and knows Tusker very well: there has been in the past an unsuccessful attempt to relocate Tusker, the report of which can be seen here:


In this instance, news of Tuskers pending fate was received on Saturday and thus we franticly tried to galvanise support. In fact a wildlife translocation company had agreed to cover all costs and logistics for another relocation attempt.

You'll know that of all those signatures, at least a thousand were submitted to the Nat Parks Board on Sunday morning, and the online petition that Safaritalk collated gathered over 1800 signatures before news came through of his shooting, 24 hours early. This petition is online, though closed, but at least you can see the depth of feeling:


The unannounced decision to kill Tusker 24 hours early was taken without the knowledge of anyone assoc with the ZCTF.

Johnny Rodrigues stated to me:

"Last year, National Parks, in partnership with Lake Harvest Fisheries (Kariba) built a new crocodile farm near Charara as a commercial venture and it was authorized that 100 elephants per year will be shot in the Kariba area to feed the crocodiles."

Also if I can direct your attention to this news report:

Parks Authority to Produce Biltong From Elephant Meat


ZCTF claims the Parks Board estimate of 100,000 elephants in Zim is vastly inflated in order to justify the cull whilst it is believed there are +/- 30,000 in reality.

I am covering the full Tusker story on Safaritalk here:


which will be updated regularly, including further lines of action against the Nat Parks Board etc.

To round off, to quote Johnny Rodrigues whom I spoke with via phone over the weekend:

"I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to all you wonderful people who made such a monumental effort to help us to try and save Tusker's life by signing the petition. I am so very sorry we failed - I feel that I've let the whole world down. I had no idea the authorities were going to shoot him ahead of schedule. If they had kept to their word, I am confident we would have been able to save him with the amount of support we had from all of you."

Please feel free to contact me - [email protected] for any further clarification.

Best, Matthew Wilkinson - www.safaritalk.net / The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force.

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Old Jan 9th, 2008, 08:27 AM
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Huge apology for my statement about Zim Parks etc and well done to all those who tried to help. I too (you may have noticed) get very worked up when animals suffer due to human stupidity.

my stance on the safari hooligans has not changed one bit and i wish some of them had the guts to comment, doubt it though as they'll be too busy degrading something else instead!

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