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Man vs. Elephant: The Last Stand

An eminent and emotionally charged race against time to save a herd of 40 elephants from being slaughtered in 14 days challenges us all to confront our values regarding life, conservation, and the profound decisions we must make when human and animal worlds collide.

In the heart of South Africa, a heart-wrenching tragedy unfolds, presenting a stark question that weighs heavily on my heart: Whose life holds more value? This dilemma isn't just a distant issue but a clarion call for urgent intervention that echoes my core values as a journalist, mother, entrepreneur, philanthropist, humanitarian, feminist, and environmental advocate.

The problem at hand began innocuously enough, with a property owner in a remote part of South Africa acquiring elephants as pets. Without the foresight to manage their breeding through contraception, the elephant population grew, and these majestic creatures, living in their natural habitat, now find themselves labeled as threats by the very hands that invited them. It's a poignant illustration of how human encroachment on natural territories often leads to conflict. Amidst this, we must remember, elephants are endangered species, making their killing not only a moral failure but a legal quandary, particularly in other regions where such acts are prohibited.

However, the solution to this looming crisis is neither simple nor cheap. Relocation, while humane, presents significant logistical challenges and risks to the elephants' survival. This is not just about a single herd; the approach taken could set a precedent for how similar situations are handled across the region. Without swift and compassionate intervention, the grim reality we will never see in the TV, is these innocent elephants including young calves, will be slaughtered. They will be lured together and gunned down as they desperately scramble for survival —an act that would not only be a loss of life but a blow to our collective conscience.

The proposed culling of the family of approximately 40 elephants is a desperate and misguided attempt to address human-wildlife conflict. This issue strikes a chord with me, not only because elephants symbolize wisdom and strength but also because of their deep emotional capacities and social bonds, mirroring the very essence of the communities I strive to protect and uplift.

My visit to a South African Safari in 2017 with my family, where elephants are protected in their natural habitat

Why should we care? Because the commercial use and symbolic meaning of elephants clash with their critical plight in South Africa. As a member of a community service organization that honors elephants for their strength, wisdom, and endurance, it's heartbreaking to feel powerless in saving them. Despite their presence in our homes and hearts, many don't realize their risk of extinction. 

This is more than an environmental issue; it's a test of our humanity. It reflects on our broader relationship with nature—fraught with conflict yet ripe with potential for harmony. As a society, we stand at a crossroads, deciding whether to prioritize convenience over the sanctity of life.

Join me in this urgent plea for the elephants' right to live, embodying our shared responsibility to care for all beings sharing this earth. Their lives, intertwined with ours, call for actions that honor their existence and ensure a future where natural majesty is preserved not just in memory but as a testament to our collective will to foster a just, compassionate world.

Watch the full interview on iWomanTV or Mojo Streaming

Cathleen Trigg-Jones

Founder Board Member

Mojo Streaming

Award-Winning Journalist, Philanthropist, Humanitarian, Feminist, Entrepreneur, Environmental Advocate and Mother of Four.

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