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Botswana Offers 20,000 Elephants to Germany Due to Import Rules

  • Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi has threatened to send 20,000 elephants to Germany.
  • The move came after Germany suggested limiting the import of hunting trophies.
  • Germans should “live with animals, as you try to tell us,” Masisi said.

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi has said he wants to send 20,000 wild elephants to Germany to challenge the country’s stance on hunting.

His comments come after Germany’s environment ministry suggested there should be limits on imports of hunting trophies due to poaching concerns, The Guardian reported.

Speaking to German media outlet Bild, Masisi, 61, said it was unfair to criticize Botswana’s hunting practices without examining the impact of elephant overpopulation on the country.

Germans should “live with animals, as you try to tell us,” he said. “This is not a joke.”

“It is very easy to sit in Berlin and have an opinion about our affairs in Botswana. We are paying the price for the preservation of these animals for the world – and even for Lemke’s party,” he said. he added, referring to German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke. of the political party The Greens.

Botswana has more than 130,000 elephants, with an increase of 6,000 each year, according to Bild. The country made trophy hunting illegal in 2014; However, the ban was lifted in 2019 due to public pressure, The Guardian reported.

Massisi told the outlet that hunting is a way to control the elephant population, which appears to be increasing in recent years.

He added that elephants often have a negative impact on the country’s citizens: they can trample people to death and destroy crops and villages, he added.

Botswana’s elephant population and the ethical issues of hunting have been debated for years.

Elephants are considered one of the deadliest species to humans due to their size and weight. As the largest land animal in existence, elephants are responsible for around 500 human deaths per year, according to BBC Wildlife Magazine.

The economic impact of hunting must also be taken into account. In 2021, Botswana officials said the country earned about $2.7 million from elephant hunting, VOA reported.

Elephants Without Borders is a Botswana-based conservation organization that has been publicly supported by Prince Harry and Meghan. He wrote on his website that recent conservation efforts have led to “increasing concern about how to manage this important population.”

But offering to give away the elephants does not seem to be an effective solution. Botswana has already tried to give 8,000 elephants to Angola and 500 to Mozambique.

Dumezweni Mthimkhulu, Botswana’s wildlife minister, said in March he wanted to send 10,000 elephants to London’s Hyde Park after the United Kingdom proposed banning hunting trophies, Metro reported.

“I want the British to have the taste of living alongside the elephants, which are invading my country. In some regions, there are more of these beasts than people,” he declared.

“They kill children in their path. They trample and eat farmers’ crops, leaving Africans hungry. They steal water from the pipes that supplies the population. They have lost their fear of humans,” he said. -he adds.

Speaking to Sky News in March, Masisi said the British ban would be “condescending” and “a resurgence of colonial conquest”.

Representatives of the Botswana government and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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