Elephants on pill trample family values

Any proponent of sound conservative family values could have told them how it would end. In a world first, wild elephants were introduced to the Pill. Now, six months later, the bold experiment has gone disastrously wrong. Elephant society is falling apart.

After six months of intervention in South Africa's Kruger National Park, the resulting possibilities of elephantine free love have proved a social disaster. On offer was jumbo-sized birth control. The result was social and sexual mayhem.

It has been discovered that specially-designed hormone implants, the park's pioneering instrument of population control, leave females permanently on heat and create rampaging bulls, trapped in a state of perpetual - and dangerous - sexual excitement.

"The bulls want to constantly mate with the females," complained Douw Grobler, the Kruger Park vet responsible.

Female elephants usually on heat just two days in every 17 weeks, had been hot for an entire six months at a time. Dr Grobler said the cows were being constantly harassed. Wherever they went, a long line of bulls trailed behind them.

"At one stage there were eight bulls around one cow," he added. "This is unacceptable."

The oestrogen implants, injected into sedated females, work along the same lines as the pill in women. They have achieved their contraceptive aim. In six months no cow has become pregnant despite the unflagging - not to say embarrassing - attention of the bulls.

But families have broken down. In the explosive sexual atmosphere, responsibilities are forgotten. Two baby elephants have gone missing and are presumed dead. Dr Grobler and his staff believe they strayed from home because their mothers were permanently distracted.

The elephant pill's unforeseen effects will encourage critics who condemned the controversial programme from the start as an extravagant waste of money, driven by human sentimentality.

Rural development groups argued elephants should be free to have as many calves as they pleased, and to expand their families to the size God intended. Rural African communities could then kill and eat the surplus.

Mr Grobler admitted yesterday that the programme was motivated by a sentimental desire to create a painless method of population control which would keep herds small, happy and well cared for. The idea of simply letting populations explode and culling later he said was considered "barbaric" by some.

Mr Grobler now acknowledges the Kruger was misguided. Unwanted pregnancies have been prevented but the social cost has been too high a price to pay.

Yesterday he said the programme was been shelved, and the behaviour of elephants closely watched to ensure it returned to normal. Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail, was unavailable for comment last night.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
News
news
News
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living