Botswana Threatens To Send 20,000 Elephants To Germany

The President of Botswana has threatened to send 20,000 elephants to Germany over a brewing political dispute. 

Africa Today News, New York recalls that a few weeks ago, the Ministry of Environment in Germany suggested there should be stricter limits on importing hunting trophies.

However, Botswana’s President, Mokgweetsi Masisi told German media this would only impoverish Botswanans.

According to him, elephant populations had risen due to conservation efforts and hunting was necessary to control their numbers.

Germans should “live together with the animals, in the way you are trying to tell us to”, Mr Masisi told German newspaper Bild.

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The country is home to about a third of the world’s elephant population – more than 130,000.

Herds were causing damage to property, eating crops and trampling residents, he told Bild.

Botswana has previously given 8,000 elephants to countries such as Angola, and has offered hundreds more to Mozambique, as a means of bringing the population down.

“We would like to offer such a gift to Germany,” Mr Masisi said, adding it was not a joke and he would not take no for an answer.

Botswana banned trophy hunting in 2014, but lifted the restrictions in 2019 after facing pressure from local communities.

The country now issues annual hunting quotas, saying that it provides a good source of income for the local community and that the practise is licensed and strictly controlled.

It has previously considered using elephants for pet food.

Africa Today News, New York understands that Germany is the EU’s largest importer of African elephant trophies, and hunting trophies overall, according to a 2021 report by the Humane Society International.

A spokeswoman for the environment ministry in Berlin told the AFP news agency that Botswana had not raised any concerns with Germany on the matter.

Africa Today News, New York

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