Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany

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Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany

YEREVAN, APRIL 3, ARMENPRESS. The president of Botswana has threatened to send 20,000 elephants to Germany in a dispute over conservation. Earlier this year, Germany's environment ministry suggested there should be stricter limits on importing hunting trophies, BBC reports.

Botswana's President Mokgweetsi Masisi told German media this would only impoverish people in his country. He said elephant numbers had exploded as a result of conservation efforts, and hunting helped keep them in check, according to the report.

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

Botswana is home to about a third of the world's elephant population - over 130,000 - more than it has space for. Herds were causing damage to property, eating crops and trampling residents, Masisi said. Botswana has previously given 8,000 elephants to neighbouring Angola, and has offered hundreds more to Mozambique, as a means of bringing the population down, BBC adds.

"We would like to offer such a gift to Germany," the President said, adding that he would not take no for an answer.

Germany is the EU's largest importer of African elephant trophies, and hunting trophies overall, BBC says citing a 2021 report by the Humane Society International. Australia, France and Belgium are among countries that have banned the trade in hunting trophies.

Botswana now issues annual hunting quotas, saying that it provides a good source of income for local people, so they are less tempted to poach wild animals, and that it is licensed and strictly controlled.


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