Photo by Craig Baerwaldt via Flickr Creative Commons
The CEO of GoDaddy, Bob Parsons, filmed himself killing an elephant in Zimbabwe. As if that weren't bad enough, he actually states that shooting it is rewarding. Yes. Rewarding. In fact he states, "Of everything I do, this is the most rewarding." Why? Because the elephant is a so-called "problem elephant" or one that has had conflicts with farmers. Well, guess what, Bob, there are alternatives for dealing with elephants when they clash with farmers other than shooting them dead. Here are three far smarter and less violent ideas that we can point out faster than you can reload. MNN points us to the personal blog of Parsons, where he writes, "I spend a few weeks in Zimbabwe each year helping the farmers deal with problem elephants. The people there have very little, many die each year from starvation and one of the problems they have is the elephants, of which there are thousands and thousands, that trash many of their fields destroying the crops."
Except, there are alternatives that many activist groups are working to help spread.
1) Bee Hive Fences
Elephants hate bees. In fact, they have a special call to alert one another when they encounter bees. That's why University of Oxford studied the impact of using a fence with a motion activated sound machine that mimics the buzzing sound of a hive of angry bees. When elephants heard it, they headed off in another direction. The results of the pilot test are amazing, showing 86% fewer successful crop raids by elephants, and 150 fewer elephants even attempting a raid as compared to other farms in the control group.
Bob - if you want to help do something really rewarding, donate some time and/or money to getting more of these fences installed.
2) Early Warning About Approaching Elephants Via Cell Phone
Mobile phones are already assisting wildlife conservation efforts on a wide range of projects. Save the Elephants in Kenya is using GPS/GSM collars to track elephants in the area in order to help keep humans and elephants from clashing. Mobile devices -- specifically push-to-talk technology -- allows communication among people to tell farmers and ranchers to take proactive steps against possible damage to their crops from the animals. Farmers can then take non-violent approaches to warding off elephants including the one listed below...
3) A Little Chili Powder Up The Trunk
The UN Food and Agriculture Administration recommends using chili pepper. The spice repels the pachyderms. TreeHugger Matt wrote last year, "Firing ping pong balls filled with a highly concentrated chili solution at them will send a bull elephant running for cover. The so-called Mhiripiri Bomber gun will stop elephants out to 50 yards, without causing permanent damage to the endangered animals. Other, less dramatic but equally effective ways to combat elephants, which are highlighted in a new online toolkit, include making bricks out of elephant dung and chili powder and then lighting them on fire at the edge of fields, as well as simply planting whole fields of chili peppers at the edge of other crops."
Bob, instead of firing bullets, fire pepper-filled ping pong balls.
Here is the video of Parson's badly thought out exploits, but be warned, it's graphic.
Follow Jaymi on Twitter for more stories like this
More on Elephants
Elephants Cooperate With One Another As Well As Apes Do
Rare Sumatran Elephant Dies After Week-Long Standoff in Indonesia
Liberia has Lost 95 Percent of its Elephants to Poachers