Of Dung and Beetles – Terrible Tourists

Dung Beetle

Dung Beetle – Marakele National Park

Have you been to a self drive reserve and noticed how much dung there seems to be on or near the roads? Have you also noticed the tyre tracks that very often seem to flatten the dung?

I recall many years back speaking to a a family in the Kruger National Park who made it a game to flatten as much Elephant dung as they could.

This is a terrible idea and I urge everyone to make it a habit to avoid as much dung while driving as you possibly can.

There are two reasons for this and I’ll start with the least important; Elephants have incredibly bad digestive systems, hence them having to eat so much each day. This can lead to undigested sharp sticks and thorns being hidden amongst the dung. The chances of you getting a puncture is pretty high!

The most important reason is the wildlife. Insects, great and small, all make up the ecosystem needed for the big game species to survive.

Even dung is a vital source of food for flies, dung beetles and a host of other creatures. By driving over and flattening the dung, you’re also killing countless insects and micro organisms.

The African bush is about more than the big five and a healthy respect for all of life is needed to ensure we have something to hand over to our children.

Please be vigilant and avoid the poop!