Botswana president threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany

Botswana president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, has threatened to send 20,000 elephants to Germany amid a dispute over the import of hunting trophies.

DAILY POST reports that Germany’s environment ministry earlier this year raised the possibility of stricter limits on the import of hunting trophies over poaching concerns.

Masisi told Germany’s Bild that a ban on the import of hunting trophies would only impoverish Botswanans.

He argued that conservation efforts have led to an explosion in the number of elephants and that hunting is an important means to keep them in check.

Botswana banned trophy hunting in 2014 but lifted the restrictions in 2019 under pressure from local communities. The country now issues annual hunting quotas.

Herds of elephants were causing damage to property, eating crops and trampling residents, Masisi told the German paper.

“It is very easy to sit in Berlin and have an opinion about our affairs in Botswana. We are paying the price for preserving these animals for the world,” he said.

“Germans should live together with the animals, in the way you are trying to tell us to.

“This is not a joke,” said Masisi, whose country has seen its elephant population grow to some 130,000.

Botswana, home of the world’s largest elephant population, has already offered 8,000 elephants to Angola and another 500 to Mozambique, as it seeks to tackle what Masisi described as “overpopulation”.

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