The land-based animal on this planet is ultimately fighting a Nick Jonas John Stamos Wearing Jonas Brothers Shirt losing battle with humankind. And yet entirely befitting of an animal with such a highly developed sensibility, a deep-rooted sense of family and, yes. Park officials from the Uganda Wildlife Authority with whom I tried to discuss the incident were reluctant to talk about it or any of the recent killings by elephants in the area, and the elephant and other wildlife stocks of Queen Elizabeth National Park are only just now beginning to recover from years of virtually unchecked poaching and habitat destruction.
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Tom Okello, the chief game warden at the park (and no relation to my driver), and Margaret Driciru, Queen Elizabeth’s chief veterinarian, each told me that they weren’t aware of the attack in Kyambura. When I mentioned it to the executive director of the wildlife authority, Moses Mapesa, upon my initial arrival in the capital city, Kampala, he eventually admitted that it did happen, but he claimed that it was not nearly as recent as reported. ‘‘That was 14 years ago,’’ he said. ‘‘We have seen aggressive behavior from elephants, but that’s a story of the past.’’
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Kyambura did look, upon our arrival, much like every other small Ugandan farming community I’d passed through on my visit. Lush fields of banana trees, millet and maize framed a small town center of pastel-colored single-story cement buildings with corrugated tin roofs. People sat on stoops out front in the available shade. Bicyclers bore preposterously outsize loads of bananas, firewood and five-gallon water jugs on their fenders and handlebars. Contrary to what I had read, the bicycle traffic along the road in and out of Kyambura didn’t seem impaired in the slightest.
This fabric of elephant society, Bradshaw and her colleagues concluded, had effectively been frayed by years of habitat loss and poaching, along with systematic culling by government agencies to control elephant numbers and translocations of herds to different habitats. The number of older matriarchs and female caregivers (or ‘‘allomothers’’) had drastically fallen, as had the number of elder bulls, who play a Nick Jonas John Stamos Wearing Jonas Brothers Shirt significant role in keeping younger males in line.