Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter

Masilo Matsapa says the elephants drive people away and threaten the cattle. Pixabay

The small town of Gobojango, 500 kilometers (310 miles) northeast of the capital, Gaborone, is fighting an increasing elephant problem. Residents say they support President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s decision to lift the ban on elephant hunting, as more than 250 of the large mammals have moved into human settlements. Masilo Matsapa says the elephants drive people away and threaten the cattle.

“They disturb our lives because we are now forced to collect our livestock early as we are afraid of the elephants,” he said. “In the cattle posts, people have deserted, it’s only empty homes. By 4 p.m., we have rounded off the animals and they are already in the corral, so that by the time the elephants come, they do not find anyone. We wake up in the morning only to find their tracks. The elephants are too many. They should be reduced.”

Horticulture farmer Shadreck Mapetla said he was forced to abandon his trade because elephants constantly invaded his farm, and the compensation for loss of crops from the government was insufficient. The only way to address the invasion of elephants is to reduce their numbers, he said.

“This is not a normal life. When our president … speaks about killing elephants, people refuse, but people want food from us in the village. Those who say they don’t want the elephants to be killed should come, take and keep them,” Mapetla said.

Local farmers’ association chairperson Davidson Mapetla led a march in 2017, calling on the government to act. He said the villages gain no benefits from the elephants, as they are not within a game reserve and do not generate income from tourism.

“The only thing that sustains our village is farming, so if we don’t get farming, then we should do away with tourism,” he said. “We want to farm. Reduce the elephants to the required numbers that the government can be able to manage. That will be wise.”

Human deaths caused by elephants have increased, as the mammals move away from their historic range into human territory. Pixabay

Human deaths caused by elephants have increased, as the mammals move away from their historic range into human territory. One family from neighboring Semolale is still mourning the death of their son, Balisi Sebudubudu, who was trampled to death by an elephant while out in the bush to look for a cow to slaughter during his brother’s funeral.

ALSO READ: Airplane Contrails- Major Cause of Global Warming, to Triple the Impact on Climate by 2050

Critics of elephant hunting

However, not everyone supports the killing of elephants as a solution to the human-wildlife conflict. Isabel Wolf-Gillespie runs programs to alert communities of ways to co-exist with elephants without killing them.

“I love people, I love elephants. My view will be that co-existence is something to strive for. I like the idea of looking for solutions that nurture co-existence,” she said. In another proposed solution, Botswana’s government has offered to give some of the elephants to neighboring countries where elephant populations are in decline. (VOA)



Bangladesh over the years show that the state has failed in its duty to protect minorities

By- Salil Gewali

If humanity is hurt, God is hurt.

Religion without compassion might give way to hatred. Compassion with a "self-interest" motive is completely irreligious. But of late, some of the religions have departed from those basic human values. Love and compassion are for only those who follow their "specific" faith. Very sadly, the religions are up as trading commodities in the world of proselytization. Better preachers attract more followers. Of course, no issue if they are not vying for their religious "supremacy". But the ground reality is utterly different. The claim for exclusive supremacy has become the first commandment --- a real bone of contention among the existing religions. In the name of religion, we have polluted our minds. we have corrupted our souls. We have also gone so much astray that God must have now shut his gateway to heaven!

Keep Reading Show less

The Aruba villa has great interiors, an outdoor facility, amazing bedrooms, clean bathrooms and huge living space.

By- Your Service

Taking out time for family has become very difficult as people are pretty busy in daily life and find very little time to spend with their loved ones. Planning a family vacation is an excellent way through which the whole family can step away from their daily life and have fun. You can find many destinations for a family vacation, but there is no place that can beat Aruba.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Flickr

Milky Way galaxy as seen from Chitkul Valley

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has for the first time spotted signs of a planet transiting a star outside of the Milky Way galaxy, opening up a new avenue to search for exoplanets at greater distances than ever before.

The possible exoplanet -- or planets outside of our Solar System -- candidate is located in the spiral galaxy Messier 51 (M51), also called the Whirlpool Galaxy because of its distinctive profile, NASA said in a statement.

Astronomers have, so far, found all other known exoplanets and exoplanet candidates in the Milky Way galaxy, almost all of them less than about 3,000 light-years from Earth.

An exoplanet in M51 would be about 28 million light-years away, meaning it would be thousands of times farther away than those in the Milky Way, NASA said.

"We are trying to open up a whole new arena for finding other worlds by searching for planet candidates at X-ray wavelengths, a strategy that makes it possible to discover them in other galaxies," said Rosanne Di Stefano of the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard and Smithsonian (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who led the study.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

The exoplanet candidate was spotted in a binary system called M51-ULS-1, located in M51. This binary system contains a black hole or neutron star orbiting a companion star with a mass about 20 times that of the Sun. The X-ray transit they found using Chandra data lasted about three hours, during which the X-ray emission decreased to zero.

Based on this and other information, the team estimates the exoplanet candidate in M51-ULS-1 would be roughly the size of Saturn and orbit the neutron star or black hole at about twice the distance of Saturn from the Sun.

The team looked for X-ray transits in three galaxies beyond the Milky Way galaxy, using both Chandra and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. Their search covered 55 systems in M51, 64 systems in Messier 101 (the "Pinwheel" galaxy), and 119 systems in Messier 104 (the "Sombrero" galaxy).

However, more data would be needed to verify the interpretation as an extragalactic exoplanet. One challenge is that the planet candidate's large orbit means it would not cross in front of its binary partner again for about 70 years, thwarting any attempts for a confirming observation for decades, NASA said.

Named in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel laureate, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, the Chandra X-ray Observatory is the world's most powerful X-ray telescope. It has eight times greater resolution and is able to detect sources more than 20-times fainter than any previous X-ray telescope.

Known to the world as Chandra (which means "moon" or "luminous" in Sanskrit), Chandrasekhar was widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the twentieth century. (IANS/JB)

Keep reading... Show less