Wednesday, December 21, 2016

#HumanWildlifeConflict - Tension WILL lead to retaliation...

I've just got back to my laptop after a tense night and morning.  Those of you who follow my Twitter feed will know what is going on.  The tusker, huge male bull elephant, continues to wreak havoc and spread fear.  Lives have been lost and many buildings damaged, last night three more.  Adding to the situation is the fact that last night we lost a male tiger, hit by a speeding bus overtaking on the wrong side.

There's a lot of anger in the community, anger created by sleep deprived fear.  Conservation is becoming a dirty word to these people who to many are basically bottom feeders.  As someone who spends a lot of time, often living with these "bottom feeders", I completely understand their concerns.  The warden is doing his best as is the army but it has, as always, come down to resources.  At community level the rapid response team has been mobilized and I'll be spending the next few hours frantically trying to get support to resource the team.  A vehicle is a priority but for now the Park authorities will allocate to help with the bee audio system.

Tonight is critical.  Nerves are frayed.  The bee audio system I developed will work under the right conditions which include effective crowd management and cooperation.  But fear can interrupt the process very quickly, as happened last night.

Often I think about the amount of resource, time spent and emphasis on research for new species and similar.  I see people all the time posting images of "cute animals"... I see far too much of this thing called "awareness" not followed by action.  Right now, on the ground, the "bottom feeders" are feeling it.  Retaliation becomes inevitable when it gets to a certain stage.  And wildlife decline is the result, and that leads to? Well we all know and to be honest, I'll be the first to say, from the ground, well I f...... well told you so.  There are people completely divorced from the reality of the situation.

It's a time for less politics, more reality checks and resources to be allocated where they are really needed.

Merry bloody Christmas... from the ground.