Jürgen Keil
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End of the Thars on Table Mountain

On June, 1 2004 I received the following letter from my friend Jasmine in South Africa. I want to tell everybody what happened to the "humane" government in South Africa, what cruelity and what act of shere violence happened in the so called 'modern' society. Now it's up to you to tell everybody about it. Now read what they wrote:

A letter by Jasmin

Dear friends,

After repeated efforts to get the 'full story' of what is happening to the tahrs, I finally received this email, by the ex-chairperson of the 'Friends of the Tahrs'. I intended to re-word it, in order to convey the mere facts (here summarised, leaving out many details of this protracted story) without the grief and rage of the writer - but I can't, because every time I think of it, my own emotions get in the way, and I feel sick to my core at what was allowed to happen to these harmless and sacred Tibetan mountain goats on our sacred mountain... (despite offers from India to take them, as they are an endangered species in their native land).

So here is where it's at.

A letter by Kate Wadee

Dear All

Just thought that I would let you know the predictably sad news that 109 tahrs have been shot dead. SA National Parks think that this represents about 95% of the tahr population but are continuing to search and destroy using helicopters. The mountain is full of carcasses. There has been quite a public outcry but nothing could stop these dreadful people. The govt even passed a new law giving these "conservation authorities" carte blanche to do what they like to any "alien species". (the Biodiversity Act, which meant that any legal challenge to prevent the killing was a lost cause). They have lost all humanity.

There was a detailed plan in place, deliberately not involving our organisation to defuse 'controversy', and money to pay for it, for as many as possible to be captured - and somewhere for them to go (with the animals sterilised and the area secured by fencing). All that was needed was a permit, which was refused by SANparks' friends at Western Cape Nature Conservation (the current boss of that, David Daitz, was the first boss of the CPNP who started the anti alien witchhunt in the first place). Their lawyer told them that if they saved any tahr, that that opened the floodgates for others to legally challenge other animal culling or extermination in all the other national parks. So, the frightened and vicious little men went out and killed the tahrs. The NSPCA were quite happy as they were given a little, carefully staged demonstration of the killing of 4 animals which was done by professional marksmen in a flat area at close range. However as for the rest, who knows but them of their suffering. There have been reports of carcasses found with bullet wounds through the jaw. Shooting wasn't favoured initially by SANparks' own vets on the grounds of wounding, so you can imagine what has happened. You can also perhaps imagine what this lethal carnage has cost - more, probably, than would have been needed to save most of their lives. It's also now reported that Daitz, now that almost all are dead, is saying he would give a permit, but was concerned that 'predators may scale the fence of any tahr enclosure and kill the poor animals'....there is no end to this utterly repellent sophistry and duplicity even in death.

I wrote a little epitaph for the tahr for all of those like myself who, over the 68 years that the tahr graced the high slopes of our mountain, came to appreciate and respect the beauty and dignity of these most agile of climbers - "The Tahr 1936-2004: 'may the spirit of these gentle creatures guide you safely home'".

Thank you for your support and words of encouragement.
Kind regards
Kate (Jeanne) Wadee