Irreversible genetic pollution

Lions, rhinos and cheetahs are among the wild species at risk of irreversible “genetic pollution” that could have a damaging effect on the continent’s wildlife, due to breeding experiments carried out in South Africa, scientists also warn. Game farmers can use artificial insemination and genetic manipulation to obtain animals with special characteristics, for example faster or larger ones, or of a different colour. According to a recent report published in the South African Journal of Science, novel trophy animals are increasingly being bred, including freakishly-coloured varieties such as the black impala, golden wildebeest and pure-white springbok. Some hunters pay more to bag such unusual trophies.

Presumably, the South African government should know that we can’t continue treating our delicate ecological systems as commodities. Nature isn’t ours to exploit as we wish and animals’ well-being must be respected.