EXPEDITION TO ANGOLA TO SAVE THE GIANT SABLE

prmjk at nt.sait.edu.au prmjk at nt.sait.edu.au
Tue Aug 7 12:23:37 EST 1990


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I *********   THE ANTELOPE KING, FINALLY VANQUISHED?    **********  I
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The Giant Sable Antelope of Angola, Hippotragus niger variani, could
be extinct.  Restricted to a the Luando Reserve of Angola, it numbered
no more than 2000 when its status was estimated in 1972.

Since then, it has been caught in the crossfire between Angola's warring
factions, MPLA in the north and UNITA in the south.

Of all the great animals of Africa, the Giant Sable is surely the
unknown king.  Not only is it the noblest and most beautiful of
the antelope, but it is a formidable adversary for man and beast alike.
Its aggression is born of the narrow niche it has had to compete for
throughout evolutionary time; it has never been numerous.

Some quotes from travellers through Africa give some idea of the Sable
Antelope:

"The sable is generally thought of as the most spectacular of the
antelopes.  With their necks arched, their heads high and their
manes tossing in the breeze, there is a rare distinction about the
sable."

"They seem to know their own superiority and other antelopes give way
when a sable approaches a water hole.  Should they ignore its presence,
a quick sideways shake of the great head soon shows who is the master."

"The long, curved horns are well adapted to sweep a lion from the
back and probably this accounts for lions so seldom attacking them."

"A whole pride of lions had encircled a solitary male sable, but did
not quite dare to come closer because he turned against each of the
approaching predators and attacked it.  Finally, the sable rushed at
full speed towards a lioness who fled from him.  Thus he broke through
the encirclement and escaped."


            ******  SETTLEMENT IN ANGOLA  *******

It is possible that a settlement could be reached in Angola within the
next year or so.  The balance of power in the region has altered:
South Africa has withdrawn from Namibia, Cuban troops are withdrawing,
the Soviet Union and the United States have established a new relationship.
The new circumstances, globally as well as regionally will bring
substantial pressure for an agreement between the warring factions.



        ******   EXPEDITION TO ANGOLA   ******

It is imperative that an expedition be taken to Angola as soon as it
becomes safe enough.  The purpose of this exercise will be to make
an assessment of the status of the Giant Sable Antelope as well as
of many of the other rare and endangered species that occur there.
The knowledge gained will enable an immediate response by wildlife
authorities all over the world to save those remaining populations.



        ******   MOUNTING THE EXPEDITION   ******

The time now should be used to organize and fund the Expedition to
Angola, so that it can be ready to leave at relatively short notice.
Since many of the Zoologists and Biologists who are experts in the
required fields are either American or South African (neither country
without apparent prejudice to all Angolans), I believe Australia
to be an ideal neutral country from which to organize such a venture.

The proposed composition of the group is: leader, game census expert, sable
biologist, interpreter (Portuguese), woodland ecologist (probably
Botanist), photographer, local guides and wildlife officers.



               ******   OPPORTUNITY   ******

This is a wonderful opportunity for a large company or organization to
associate itself with the project by sponsoring the Giant Sable Expedition.
Indeed, a documentary film of the expedition would make outstanding
wildlife footage.

I am appealing to all the lovers of wildlife out there to advize me
and to contact me with ideas on how we can fund and mount this
project.  Please write to me personally, using Email or ordinary
mail.  I will send you a pamphlet describing the project which you
can show to your tycoon friends.


Dr. Michael Kokkinn (Zoologist)             EMAIL:
School of Pharmacy                           Overseas -   PRMJK at NT.SAIT.EDU.AU
South Australian Institute of Technology     Australia -  PRMJK at NT.SAIT.EDU.AU
North Terrace                               PHONE:
Adelaide                                      (08) 236 2641  (office CB4-38)
South Australia                               (08) 236 2391  (secretary RB3)
5001                                        + 61 8 236 2391  (from overseas)
                                            FACSIMILE: (08) 232 3805
DATE: Mon. 7th Aug. 1990         "The essential cannot be seen with the eyes."
TIME: 5.30 p.m.                                        The Little Prince



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