In the 80s and 90s, Zimbabwean elephant management was a magnificent illustration of how property rights and markets combine to protect and even rescue endangered species.
Since Robert Mugabe’s government turned to racist demagoguery and violence to keep in power, the elephant has suffered tremendously as property rights and markets have been shattered. Today, it is reported that
elephants are being slaughtered for food by Mugabe’s army.
The elephant is probably one of the lesser reasons to work for the downfall of this vicious dictator, who has ruined the breadbasket of Africa. Yet if its role as a “charismatic megafauna” can help, I trust the green environmental groups will join me in calling for his overthrow and the restoration of the successful policies that allowed the elephant to thrive.