Lions and Elephants wild in Nebraska?

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
Sod off
Bad idea.

It is a very misguided proposal, if well-meaning.

The reason African megafauna are close to extinction are the following:

Africa is the poorest continent on earth, and is pretty unstable politically. The illegal trade in rare animals (either alive or as "products") is very lucrative. Animal protection laws can't be enforced due to weak/corrupt government. In addition, subsistence farming is the norm and is generally done using methods that render the land unusable after a while, causing people to move to other areas. Drought and conflict also cause people to leave otherwise productive land. Animals that have large ranges like elephants and big cats have their territory invaded by squatters/refugees/settlers who kill them as pests and to sell them to dealers in animal products.

Moving the animals themselves ignores the problems in Africa that are causing the animals to be endangered in the first place. Poverty and political instability are the cause. THAT is what needs to be remedied, not putting elephants in Nebraska. Of course it IS easier to do that than feed and clothe millions of people... :rolleyes:


macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2002
mac_head101 said:

Not a very good idea, IMHO. Introducing non-native animals into other places can have some really adverse affects... remember the cane toads and gypsy moths? Seriously, if you want lions and elephants, go to africa. :rolleyes:
Wow, is that one of the stupidest things I ever heard. One species is endangered because its hunted and its ecology is being torn down, so lets transplant it somewhere else and destroy the natural ecology there?

And I might ad, what exactly is the point of saving a species if its not in its natural home. If you want to save wildlife, you ahve to save the entire ecology in which they live. You can't pick and choose particular species.

And I don't think they'd adapt to well to the varying seasons, etc. I mean, I don't think african animals will take too well to 2 feet of snow, plants they're bodies aren't designed to digest, and possibly new diseases.

My favorite part of the article is that they talk about how they could succeed because saber tooth cats and mastadons used to live in the americas. Hello! Those animals are dead, and have been for a long time (and I'm not sure, but I think saber tooth cats lived farther south anyway). The ecology has totally changed since then (there was a lot more megafauna back then, like giant elk, etc). Lions succeed in part because they can stealthily get close to a huge herd. America doesn't have herds that big anymore. The Lions would probably be dead in a year if left to their own devices.

There's no a single part of this idea that makes any sense.
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