President Masisi’s Threatens To Send 20,000 Elephants to Germany

Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi has issued a stern warning to Germany amid a conservation dispute, threatening to relocate 20,000 elephants to the European nation.

The conflict stems from Germany’s proposed imposition of stricter limits on the importation of hunting trophies earlier this year, a move that has sparked outrage in Botswana. President Masisi condemned the proposal, arguing that it would adversely affect the livelihoods of his country’s citizens.

Highlighting Botswana’s successful conservation efforts, President Masisi emphasized that elephant populations had surged as a result. He asserted that controlled hunting was essential for managing elephant numbers and preventing ecological imbalance.

Addressing the German public through Bild newspaper, President Masisi urged them to embrace coexistence with wildlife, as they were advocating for Botswana to do. He emphasized the seriousness of the matter, underscoring the importance of finding a mutually beneficial resolution.

Botswana, renowned for hosting over a third of the world’s elephant population, grapples with the challenges posed by its thriving elephant herds, exceeding 130,000 in number and outstripping available habitat.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi revealed to Bild the profound impact of the burgeoning elephant population, citing instances of property damage, crop consumption, and human-wildlife conflict.

In an effort to manage the elephant numbers, Botswana has previously donated 8,000 elephants to Angola and extended offers to Mozambique for additional assistance.

Expressing a firm resolve, President Masisi proposed gifting hundreds of elephants to Germany, emphasizing his determination to find a solution to the pressing issue.

Botswana’s stance on trophy hunting has evolved over the years, with a ban imposed in 2014 and subsequently lifted in 2019 in response to community demands and conservation needs.

Botswana has adopted an approach of issuing annual hunting quotas, asserting that it offers a sustainable source of income for local communities while maintaining strict regulation and licensing.

According to a 2021 report by the Humane Society International, Germany stands as the European Union’s leading importer of African elephant trophies and hunting trophies overall.

Responding to Botswana’s remarks, a spokeswoman for the environment ministry in Berlin informed the AFP news agency that there had been no formal communication from Botswana expressing concerns regarding the matter.

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