Why are elephants seen as a problem species?



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    The CEO of GoDaddy.com, Bob Parsons, notoriously used the phrase “problem elephants” in a video that shows him hunting and shooting a bull elephant in Zimbabwe.  According to Parsons, the elephant belonged to a herd responsible for damaging local crops and houses.   He later told CBS News that “elephants are not endangered and probably there are too many of them.” 

    However, Parsons statement underestimates how corrupt the Zimbabwean government is. The chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, Johnny Rodrigues, told an AOL News correspondent that “the government deliberately inflates the number of elephants so they can allot a certain number to be killed.”  It benefits the government to do so because elephant hunting attracts income used to run the national parks.  

    What’s more, traumatized elephants (those whose family members have fallen victim to human attacks) remember humans and attack in return.  This is likely the reason why elephants are sometimes seen as a problem species.

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