Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

THE PRESERVATION OF AFRICAN ELEPHANTS.

of

FROM time to time during until, in many portions of the last few years there have Africa, they will be totally exappeared in the “Times' and terminated. other English papers letters

In South Africa the case was dealing with the subject of somewhat different. Almost the probable eventual extinc- up to the Zambesi may be tion of the African elephant. called a white man's country, Most of these urge that some

and south of that river Eurosteps should be taken to pre- peans are to a great extent vent it, but scarcely any practi- directly responsible for the cal suggestions have been made. extermination elephants. Some propose

that “sanctu- North of the Zambesi, the aries” should be formed, in number shot by Europeans is Somaliland or elsewhere, with trifling when compared with the object of preserving ele- the quantities destroyed by phants. All unite in deploring natives. the fact that the African ele To prevent wholesale slaughphant is being killed for its ter, in the present condition of ivory, and seem to be of opinion affairs in tropical Africa, is that its slaughter can be pre- impossible, except in extremely vented by legislation in Eng- restricted districts. There is land.

probably no portion of the There is evident in most of country which we have a better such correspondence a certain hold upon, and in which natives want of knowledge on the part are more under control, than of the writers as to the real the British Central Africa Prostate of the case. In some in- tectorate. Yet even within this stances it is apparently assumed comparatively small area it is that the elephant is being found difficult to prevent the directly exterminated by Euro- indiscriminate killing of elepeans, and that heavy licences phants by natives. Africans and fees would secure the de- seldom inform against one ansired object.

other in matters of this kind, The actual fact is, that the and in spite of all regulations African native throughout the and precautions it not unfrecontinent, since the introduction quently happens that elephants of firearms, urged on by the are killed even close to Governhigh value of ivory in European ment stations without knowmarkets, has slaughtered ele- ledge of the fact reaching offiphants wherever he could find cial ears till long afterwards, if them, regardless of size or of at all. sex; and so long as ivory of all When, therefore, it is found descriptions is a valuable trade so difficult to take this matter article, elephants will continue in hand, in a portion of Africa to be indiscriminately killed, which is now comparatively full

Sandwich, “on the other side Lockhart, Moore, Hawthorne, of the Styx,” is made to swear and Boyle; the Letters of because the champagne was not Thackeray and Disraeli, among iced, and the ghostly innkeeper the number; and there are “shook his head very sadly countless “women who have and said, “No ices here, no kept a diary.” Has not Mark ices here.'' Nor should we Twain insisted on “The Diary neglect his faculty for land- of Adam and Eve"? scape painting: “Great banks To “men who have kept a of cloud lying along the south- diary” we owe a deep debt of west; all the rest clear. Not gratitude. They take us behind even the highest leaves of the the scenes of character and trees moving,

Snowberries achievement. They carry on seen against the azaleas with the apostolic succession of extheir leaves all red. Hill of perience. Pepys was the friend Stonyley under the sunset. of Evelyn.

sunset. of Evelyn. Swift in his youth Song of the redbreast remind- might have seen Evelyn in his ing us of Cornish's lines, quoted age; Walpole in his boyhood in the Christian Year' for might have beheld Swift. Walthe twenty-first Sunday after pole wrote for the Berrys. The Trinity.”

Berrys lived to know both JohnFrom Pepys to Grant-Duff son and Robinson.

son and Robinson. Grant-Duff what distance! yet these records his meeting with the diaries bridge it over. Our latter. The continuity of life cursory pictures have been only thus popularises the uniformvignettes, and we have perforce ity of nature,—“ Vitai lampada omitted many—Defoe's Tour,' tradunt." Speaker Onslow, Eckermann,

W. SICHEL.

THE PRESERVATION OF AFRICAN ELEPHANTS.

FROM time to time during until, in many portions of the last few years there have Africa, they will be totally exappeared in the Times' and terminated. other English papers letters In South Africa the case was dealing with the subject of somewhat different. Almost the probable eventual extinc- up to the Zambesi may be tion of the African elephant. called a white man's country, Most of these urge that some

and south of that river Eurosteps should be taken to pre- peans are to a great extent vent it, but scarcely any practi- directly responsible for the cal suggestions have been made. extermination of elephants. Some propose

that sanctu- North of the Zambesi, the aries” should be formed, in number shot by Europeans is Somaliland or elsewhere, with trifling when compared with the object of preserving ele- the quantities destroyed by phants. All unite in deploring natives. the fact that the African ele To prevent wholesale slaughphant is being killed for its ter, in the present condition of ivory, and seem to be of opinion affairs in tropical Africa, is that its slaughter can be pre- impossible, except in extremely vented by legislation in Eng- restricted districts. There is land.

probably no portion of the There is evident in most of country which we have a better such correspondence à certain hold upon, and in which natives want of knowledge on the part are more under control, than of the writers as to the real the British Central Africa Prostate of the case. In some in- tectorate. Yet even within this stances it is apparently assumed comparatively small area it is that the elephant is being found difficult to prevent the directly exterminated by Euro- indiscriminate killing of elepeans, and that heavy licences phants by natives. Africans and fees would secure the de- seldom inform against one ansired object.

other in matters of this kind, The actual fact is, that the and in spite of all regulations African native throughout the and precautions it not unfrecontinent, since the introduction quently happens that elephants of firearms, urged on by the are killed even close to Governhigh value of ivory in European ment stations without knowmarkets, has slaughtered ele- ledge of the fact reaching offiphants wherever he could find cial ears till long afterwards, if them, regardless of size or of at all. sex; and so long as ivory of all When, therefore, it is found descriptions is a valuable trade so difficult to take this matter article, elephants will continue in hand, in a portion of Africa to be indiscriminately killed, which is now comparatively full

of Government stations, it may that before long a large herd readily be surmised that there will become established there. is a very poor chance of our While, however, such preserves being able to protect in any are interesting, it would be way elephants throughout thou- futile to suppose that they can sands of square miles which are have any appreciable effect practically free from control. with regard to the main ques

With regard to sanctuaries, tion of preventing the wholeNature has provided, in certain sale slaughter of elephants in parts of Africa, sanctuaries bet Africa. ter than any we could form in “ Sanctuaries of reasonable Somaliland, which accomplish extent, moreover, are very exmore than any artificial sanc- pensive affairs—that is, if game tuary could do. Vast portions within their limits is to be of the Congo basin, dense forest thoroughly protected. To procountry, are practically a natu- claim a district a sanctuary is ral sanctuary, and elephants of no avail unless the necessary will, no doubt, continue to be measures are taken to effectufairly plentiful in that part of ally guard against molestation Africa long after they have by natives or Europeans. been exterminated from more Now that the recent successhealthy and open parts. ful campaign on the Nile has

There would be no great dif- assured the speedy development ficulty experienced in forming of the Sudan, Khartoum will sanctuaries of quite limited doubtless become before long a areas, —- dots on the map of market for large quantities of Africa,- provided funds were ivory from the Equatorial proforthcoming for the necessary vinces, Bahr el Ghazal, Wadai, (heavy) expenditure. There is, Darfur, and the regions west indeed, such a sanctuary within and south of Abyssinia ; and it a few miles of Port Elizabeth becomes increasingly necessary in South Africa, in the Knysna that some practical steps be forest, where a large herd of taken throughout Africa with elephants are protected and a view to a proper system for roam unmolested, 1500 miles the protection of small eledistant from the nearest spot phants, and especially of the where any other wild elephants females. If we really wish are found. In the British Cen- honestly to take in hand this tral Africa Protectorate there question, some course must be is a district, the Shiré adopted more far - reaching in river, known as the “Elephant its effects than the establishMarsh,” which up to 1889 was ment of a few small preserves, frequented by large numbers of or parks, here and there in the elephants. This has now been more civilised parts of the conformed into a game sanctuary; tinent. We must, in fact, go the elephants which left it in to the root of the matter. It 1889 (or the remnants of the would not be possible, nor herds) are now again commenc would it be at all desirable, to ing to return, and it is hoped do away with the value of

on

ivory throughout the world, to many cow tusks exceed 12 lb. make it worthless. The mak- in weight; and one result of ing of the ivory trade a Gov- this prohibition would be, that ernment monopoly, moreover, in course of time, as soon as the in this or that portion of the news had spread throughout continent, in itself has little or tropical Africa that small tusks no effect on the general ques were no longer of any value, tion. Any country to be newly neither cow elephants nor underdeveloped must have exports— sized beasts would be shot for and there are very few ready- their ivory. It might be expedimade articles of export in Cen- ent even to go a step further,tral Africa. Ivory is the chief to make it a criminal offence to of these, and upon this alone be in possession of tusks under many districts have for genera- 14 lb. in weight. tions past depended for their There can, I think, be little imports. West Africa has palm- doubt that if such a course were oil, rubber, and other staple pro- agreed upon and carried out, ducts. South and North Africa the result would be that the have many exports, but ivory present indiscriminate slaughter has hitherto been almost the of small elephants and cows only export of Central Africa. would before long cease. It would therefore not be ad Unanimous agreement would visable to put an end to that be necessary.

It would have trade or to make it a worthless little effect for only one or two one until, at any rate, there is Powers to prohibit the export something to take its place. If of small ivory: the inevitable repossible, it would obviously be sult would be, that small tusks, far better to so regulate it that which at present reach a market it may become a permanent through such territories, would trade. There is, I think, a way find a new channel through terriin which it would be possible to tories of other Powers who might prevent the slaughter of small have no prohibition in force, and elephants, and to regulate the thus the trade of the prohibiting ivory trade in such a manner Powers would suffer to the gain that it will not eventually be- of others. It would be essential come extinct.

that such agreement should be If all the Powers and States universal throughout the conholding territory in Africa would tinent of Africa. agree to strictly prohibit the ex Whether it will ever be found port of tusks under a certain possible to catch and tame weight—say 14 lb.—or portions African elephants and to make of such tusks), and would faith- them of practical use, as in fully carry out such agreement, India, seems doubtful: not that all small ivory would become the African elephant, when valueless to the owners. The caught, would prove more diffiAfrican does not like to waste cult to tame than the Indian, his powder – he would soon but because, owing to the very cease slaughtering the small different conditions prevailing and undersized elephants. Not in Africa, it would probably be

« AnteriorContinuar »