By Kelly Frost
Up to 40 African Elephants would roam a 5,000-acre sanctuary in Tehama County under a proposal being put forth by the CEO of the Oakland Zoo. North State Public Radio Reporter Kelly Frost has more.
Dr. Joel Parrott says that African Elephants are in a crisis. A population of one point two million in 1980 has dwindled down to 450,000 in 2012, mostly due to poachers looking for Ivory. Parrott says the elephants are disappearing at a rate of 96 per day. Parrott, who spoke before the Tehama County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, and then at Shasta College Tuesday night says they are now in the environmental impact review process. He says the impact will be minimal, and even less than it would be if the area were used for grazing cattle.
Parrott: “They just aren’t as harsh on the environment as running range cattle. With that it just helps on both erosion and grazing and plus the big difference is when they run range cattle that’s where they’re getting their food. We’re going to completely supplement their food with hay and brows. So they won’t depend on the grasses that are growing there for their own nutrition”.
Parrott says Tehama County was chosen because the climate is so much like the elephants natural habitat in Africa. It could still be several years before the final permits are granted. Parrott says they will begin with just three to five elephants and eventually let the herd grow to 40. Audifile.