A South African province that is home to thousands of elephants is planning a birth control campaign to prevent a population explosion that could threaten plants and wildlife.
Unlike other parts of Africa where elephant stocks have dwindled to dangerously low levels due to poaching and a loss of habitat, South Africa has seen its populations steadily grow through conservation.
KwaZulu-Natal province, in the south-east, is planning to inject elephant cows with a vaccine to block sperm reception.
"Slowing the growth rate will allow time to be gained to achieve other biodiversity objectives without having to cull the elephants," said Catharine Hanekom, an ecologist for Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.
South Africa, which had just over 100 elephants nearly a century ago, now has more than 20,000, studies have found.