THE NECESSARY PREDATOR
Several years ago, in an admirable effort to preserve its magnificent wildlife and, more than incidentally, to foster a tourist business based on it, Kenya set aside the huge Tsavo National Park as a wildlife preserve. Hunting was prohibited, and poachers—who were killing an estimated 1,000 elephants a year—were effectively suppressed. Unhappily, this policy has resulted in an uncontrolled increase in the elephant population, with the result that the Tsavo, a pleasant region of doum palms and baobabs along the rivers and of dry nyika scrub forest elsewhere, is in danger of turning into near desert. In brief, the elephants, which rip small plants and grasses out by the roots, are eating themselves out of board and baobab.
A. P. Achieng, Secretary to the Kenya Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife, blames the excessive pachyderm population on misguided overprotection, adding that it is an understandable, though erroneous, response to slaughter elsewhere. "There is a sort of park mystique," Mr. Achieng told the East African Standard, "in which we try to place nature under a protective spell, a sort of white man's expiatory juju magic, to compensate for all the sins we have committed against nature in the past."
Mr. Achieng recommends periodic cropping of the elephant population through controlled hunting. It seems harsh, but such programs have proved successful in neighboring Uganda and Tanzania. And once again it demonstrates that where man is the only effective predator against a species, it upsets the balance of nature to remove him totally from that role.
For several months now the American Contract Bridge League has been offering S&H Green Stamps to its tournament winners. The stamps are redeemaable directly for ACBL merchandise (trophies, cards, duplicate boards, books, records, etc.), or they may be lumped with stamps picked up in the local supermarket and applied toward merchandise in the S&H catalog. Members are generally pleased, but one views with misgivings the possibility that the plan might spread, say, to tournament golf. Under the ACBL system Gary Player would have been the recipient of 18 million green stamps, or 15,000 books of green stamps, for his win in the World Series of Golf. Jack Nicklaus would have earned, to date, 53,280,000 stamps, or everything in the catalog from teacups to trips to Bermuda almost four times over. There may be something to be said after all for what one bridge writer has referred to as "the good old cash."
The empty-saddled bronc bucked wildly through the ring as the bugler played taps. All eyes were focused on the unusual sight, and the audience of 5,000 sat silent.
The scene was the Farm Show Arena in Harrisburg, Pa., where a rodeo was being held. The Rodeo Cowboys Association was mourning—rodeo style—the death of one of the greatest rodeo performers of all time, Bill Linderman, who was killed in the plane crash in Utah.
The usual sports-luncheon diet of overcooked chicken and half-baked clich�s was off the menu when Tulsa Football Coach Glenn Dobbs addressed the Kansas City Byline Club the other noon. "Good sportsmanship," Dobbs started, "is one of the most overrated things around. If you spend a lot of time on sportsmanship, you're going to spend a lot of time losing.