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Going Rogue

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Going Rogue

New York Times

An Elephant Crackup?


Published: October 8, 2006

Since the early 1990’s, for example, young male elephants in Pilanesberg National Park and the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve in South Africa have been killing rhinoceroses; this abnormal behavior, according to a 2001 study in the journal Pachyderm, has been reported in ‘‘a number of reserves’’ in the region. In July of last year, officials in Pilanesberg shot three young male elephants who were responsible for the killings of 63 rhinos, as well as attacks on people in safari vehicles. In Addo Elephant National Park, also in South Africa, up to 90 percent of male elephant deaths are now attributable to other male elephants, compared with a rate of 6 percent in more stable elephant communities.



Orphan elephants go on the rampage

  • 20 July 1996 by Eddie Koch
  • Magazine issue 2039


LIKE children, young elephants need discipline if they are to grow up as responsible members of society. Wildlife biologists say that orphan bull elephants in South Africa’s Pilanesberg Game Reserve have turned delinquent because they have never been taken in hand by their elders.

Rogue elephants have become a serious problem in Pilanesberg, a small wildlife reserve about 250 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg. Earlier this month, a young bull charged a group of tourists on a photo-safari. The next day the same elephant attacked and killed a professional hunter who had been sent to shoot it. These are not isolated incidents. Two years ago another tourist was attacked, chased out of his battered car, and trampled to death in the reserve.

Humans are not the only victims: in the past three years, 19 white rhinoceroses have been gored to death by elephants in Pilanesberg.


Nearly ten years ago, I heard a Dr. James Dobson commercial on the car radio. He said that his favorite animal was a dog. His second favorite was an elephant.

He said that he was alarmed at the rogue behavior recently displayed in young bull elephants. They seemed to delight in pushing over the white rhinos and even goring them to death. They had even been known to kill one another.

In over 100 years of record keeping in Africa, there had never been recorded incidents of such antisocial behavior.

Mr. Dobson said authorities were very disturbed. After much analysis, they determined the cause.

A number of years ago, attempts were made by the Park Managers to thin the herd population. In so doing, they killed off most of the old males. It is the nature of the old males to keep decorum in the herd. Old males will punish younger males that display bad behavior. It is even common for an old male to banish a younger male from the others for a while until they learn better.

Park officials found that if they brought in an old male into a herd with young wild bulls, they old bull restored calmness to the herd almost immediately.

At this point, Mr. Dobson began to talk about the importance of a father in the home and his influence on his sons. He made a powerful point. I am not sure how his 2-minute “Father’s Day” radio commercial ended, because my minded wandered off to another level before he finished.

Many of us have lived long enough to see rogue behavior among those that are ‘in church’. When I see saints or preachers go wacko, say stupid things, or do stupid things, I become spiritually frightened.

It is endangerment at an alarming level. We expect attacks from others outside the herd, but not from the inside.

I even remember asking about a certain young preacher one time, because his conduct and doctrine caused all my warning lights to blink. I enquired, “Who’s his pastor?” Normally, a pastor would have corrected the problem. But this person recognized no one as his pastor.

Preacher or Saint, every one of us has made it this far because we were willing to hear instruction in righteousness. Always receive it willingly and humbly.

If you have a man of God in your life that will guide the flock in the fear and admonition of the Lord, there is safety in your world.

Behavior unbecoming the people of God cannot be ignored. Doctrines that lead the church back to the world cannot be tolerated. The goring and killing of others with slander and defamation has no place in the Kingdom.

The trashing of standards and the discard of convictions is a sad day. It has God’s full attention. It should have ours as well.

I pray you have a pastor that is willing to TAKE the oversight. To speak up and say, “It’s Not Happening Here!”

May your pastor not be a hireling, but a ‘Father in Israel’. May he bring peace to your corner of the world.

What we need are some more ‘old-time’ Pentecostal pastors that will preach what needs to be preached and are not afraid.

May you always thank God for your pastor, even if the one he corrects is you.

Pray for your man of God!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 13, 2010 at 1:54 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Awesome post!

    Lani Ellingsworth

    April 13, 2010 at 2:04 pm

  2. I’m with you. Some pastors don’t recognize the danger signals. When some receive too much opposition in trying to hold the line, they become discouraged and back off. These blogs are so valuable.

    Marian June Davis

    April 13, 2010 at 2:04 pm

  3. This is a great example of the need for the mature unfluence and advice.

    Marian June Davis

    April 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm

  4. Very good elder. My old pastor sure whipped up on me and I am glad for it.

    Bobby Ikerd

    April 14, 2010 at 2:48 pm

  5. very good illustrations and truth for today!

    James D Mullins

    April 14, 2010 at 4:32 pm

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