In the article Elephant Express (BTW, btwadmin, Sep 22, 2022) I was reassured that African elephants are still in fact considered an endangered species. However, I learned that in the Okavango Delta region of eastern Botswana, there are about 15,000 elephants which is just about the same number as the human population there. This equality in numbers has unfortunately led to conflict numerous times. Between the years 2009 and 2019, 67 people were killed by elephants with 26 left injured. These conflicts also resulted in the deaths of about 25 elephants. These encounters are a result of a lack of transportation for the people in this region. Normally, people walk long distances to school, markets, and health clinics. Elephants in these areas are common because these destinations are located between their grazing land and water source. However back in 2020, a group called Ecoexist established minibusses to transport citizens to schools and clinics. Bus routes were also established to avoid the same paths the elephants use to make their way to their food and water sources. This new transportation system has been dubbed the “Elephant Express”. Since its establishment, only one person has died as a result of an elephant encounter.
My thoughts on this are very positive. Not only did establishing the “Elephant Express” save human lives, but it saved elephant lives as well. Since it is less likely that humans and elephants would cross paths because of establishing this transportation system, it has also decreased the chance of elephant deaths caused by humans. As stated early in the article, elephants are in fact an endangered species on our planet, unfortunately. We as humans must do our best to prevent the extinction of these majestic animals and I think this is a step in the right direction. However, this method of transportation is not being established all over the continent of Africa as it already lacks the funds necessary to pay for the minibusses and drivers as well. Elephants are still being poached for their tusks which are made of valuable ivory. The greed mankind possesses has resulted in the endangerment of not just elephants but other animals as well. We must be kind and considerate of the animals we share our planet with as most of them have been here long before we have.
What else do you think should be established to save elephant lives?