I was struck by this image
Kruger National Park, South Africa. A view of an elephant fetus from a culled female
and its caption. What is a culled female?
verb [ trans. ] (usu. be culled)
• reduce the population of (a wild animal) by selective slaughter : he sees culling deer as a necessity | [as n. ] ( culling) elephant culling.
As you might imagine, it is a highly controversial topic.
Here is brief take on the issues in Kruger National Park:
On one hand, the increased South African population of elephants is a good thing. It means that conservation efforts are working and poaching for ivory is on the decline. On the other hand, the repopulation has been so dramatic that it threatens other species.
In fact, since culling was brought to a stop in 1994 the elephant population in Kruger National Park has nearly doubled (from 7,000 to 13,000).
(according to a 2005 article on the BBC’s website)
Culling is also an issue in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. Here the issue is not elephants (naturally), but elk. The reason being that biologists believe the elk population is decimating new growth aspen trees and willows.
I won’t go into my opinion about this matter, but I will say this – it does remind me of the ‘old lady who swallowed the fly’. You know the song, she swallowed the spider to catch the fly, I don’t know why she swallowed the fly…etc)
(maybe we should start a new version “she culled the elk to save the trees, I don’t know why she culled the elk…)