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Last Updated: Thursday May 01 2008 06:43 GMT

Elephant cull allowed after ban


A ban on killing elephants in South Africa has been lifted.

It's been illegal to kill the animals for the past 13 years, but since then their numbers have more than doubled from about 8,000 to 20,000.

Now the South African government says the elephant population needs to be controlled to protect other wildlife.

It says the giant creatures will only be killed if other ways of controlling them don't work, but animal rights groups want the ban reintroduced.

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In some parts of South Africa, people have complained that the animals are dangerous, and that they eat crops and drink people's water.

But campaigners are going to court to try to get the ban renewed as they say killing the elephants is not a practical solution.

Other ways of controlling elephant numbers include improving the animals' enclosures, moving them to other locations and giving them medicine to stop them having more babies.