One of the more fascinating tidbits of information I picked up last month in Africa is the following paragraph from the Zambia Wildlife Act of 1998, which creates and outlines the duties of a new semi-private Authority that is slated to take over Zambia's National Parks and Game Management Areas next year (See DATELINE: AFRICA for more details): "If The Authority is satisfied that any wild animal within a National Park should be hunted for the better preservation of other animal life, or for other good and sufficient reason, it may direct the Director-General to issue a permit to any person authorizing that person.... to hunt the animal within the national park." Wow...! Is Zambia preparing to be the first country in Africa to allow hunters to carry out culling missions in National Parks? Hunters have long eyed the huge buffalo, elephant and other animal culls in places like South Africa's Kruger National Park and made the perfectly sensible argument that allowing hunters to do the shooting would immensely enrich the conservation coffers down that way. Mind you, I personally do not think there is sufficient discipline (or enough wildlife) in Zambia right now to even think about opening the national parks there to hunting of any sort. Moreover, I spoke with some officials in Zambia who said the above language doesn't mean there is any serious consideration of that anyway. Others, though, do attach huge importance to the above paragraph and, depending on their leanings, either deplore it as a mistake or celebrate it as an opening toward vast new hunting opportunities. For certain, this is a subject that is going to come up again. Stay tuned.