IT’S always a sad thing to see ignorance and prejudice at work, especially when it involves cruelty – and where the perpetrators are proud of themselves. We often see dead jackal hanging over fences along farm roads, apparently to ‘warn’ other jackal that the farm is run by a tough guy and they face a similar death if they don’t clear out. That’s bad enough. But it’s far worse when the ‘victim’ is a harmless, useful aardwolf, aka maanhaarjakkals, whose chief diet is termites. Some farmers continue to believe that they take lambs but there is no scientific evidence of this and in fact the cheek teeth of an aardwolf are so small that they ‘are not capable of dealing with flesh’.  (Stuart, Chris and Tilde Field guide to mammals of South Africa) Here’s an example of the species, hanging from a farm fence on the R701 this week.

A useful, harmless aardwolf, killed and hanging on a farmer’s fence as a warning