?quien es mas macho?
first of all, did you know that elephants are far from an endangered species in south africa, zimbabwe and botswana? i didn't, before i read into this whole brouhaha, but it's true. the best logical analogy i might draw from closer experience would be the deer population here in new england, where an absence of natural predators and other long-gone curbs to their fecundity has them on the verge of permanently upsetting the natural balance of the ecosystem through sheer weight of numbers. (you read a lot about things like lyme disease, but not always that its the ubiquity of the deer that all these deer ticks are riding to their place in the lymelight, and, yeah, ok, that's a bad pun...) in the case of the elephants, it's not hard to imagine the impact on other wildlife who are being eaten out of sustenance by the voracious and vegetation-hoovering pachyderms, and a little digging uncovers ample evidence that something needs to be done to protect both human and animal foodstuffs. (they do tend to trample, too).
any animal activist not a complete hypocrite has to acknowledge that mitigating elephant population explosion and responsible utilization of the natural resource (meat, ivory, etc.) are not "inhumane" in this context. those villagers in the go daddy hats do not always eat well, and nobody living in a central-heated, central-plumbed palace dining on their supermarket bounty should have a whole lot of criticism toward how these people eke out their living. however, here's where me and the hunter ethos have to diverge:
wired online has a recent story on an intrepid bunch of thrill-seeking do-gooders who have the macho angle on bull elephant killing all figured out. shoot the intelligent and otherwise innocent monsters of deforestation? that's for pussies. these folks head out into the back country with elephant tranqs, portable cranes, and some of the most massive medical instruments ever needed to be invented, to do nasty things to the private parts on the biggest bulls they can find. no, these folks aren't pansies hiding behind the point of a gun. these folks are zeroing in with bang sticks full of etorphine. these folks are then maneuvering and inserting 5 foot long intubation tubes and hoisting those multi-ton masses of elephant flesh up on makeshift cranes. these folks are then wrangling 3 foot long laparoscopes to mess around with monster cutting tools and stainless steel sutures in hopes of cutting off the next generation of elephants between the twinkle in their father's eye, and the, um, more passionate embrace of their no-longer-to-be mother.
THAT's macho. guns? they're for little people without imagination or panache.
PETA et al. should stop their sissy whining and turn this into the testosterone contest it should always have been. want to impress? you know what you have to do.