Botswana Threatens To Send 20,000 Elephants To Germany Amid Standoff

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi was quoted by Bild as saying on Tuesday that more restrictions on hunting would reduce the nation to penury due to an explosion in the number of elephants.
Botswana has threatened to send 20,000 elephants to Germany amid a standoff
Botswana has threatened to send 20,000 elephants to Germany amid a standoffREPRESENTATIVE

Botswana, a landlocked Central Southern African nation threatened to send 20,000 elephants to Germany, amid an ongoing row over the ‘import of hunting trophies’.

Escalating matters amid the dispute which began earlier this year when the German environment ministry suggested imposing strict limits on the import of hunting trophies citing poaching concerns. According to a report by the Humane Society International, Germany is the is the largest importer of African elephant trophies in the European Union.

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi was quoted by Bild as saying on Tuesday that more restrictions on hunting would reduce the nation to penury due to an explosion in the number of elephants.

Speaking to the German daily, he said that Germans should “live together with the animals, in the way you are trying to tell us to”. “This is not a joke,” added Masis.

The elephant population in Botswana has seen a massive rise due to conservation and this has led to an increase in human-animal conflicts.

Botswana is home to 1,30,000 elephants which account for a third of the total population of the  mammoths in the world. Recently, there has been a sharp spike in elephant herds trampling people and destroying homes and crops.

Masisi’s government decided to lift the ban on trophy hunting imposed five years earlier amid pressure from the local communities to come up with a solution for the problem.

To deal with the “overpopulation” Botswana had earlier offered to send 8,000 elephants to Angola and 500 to Mozambique. Masisi said that he would “like to offer such a gift to Germany” and “not take no for an answer”.

Criticizing the German government for seeking to ban the import of trophies, he said, “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.”

“We want our elephants to roam freely. The German weather is bad enough for them. If you like them so much, then please accept this gift from us,” the Botswana president added.

Botswana had “not yet contacted them on this matter”, Politico reported citing the German environment ministry. Steffi Lemke, the environment minister, indicated her willingness to accept Botswana's invitation for inspecting wildlife protection should the opportunity arise.

In March, Botswana had threatened to send 10,000 elephants to London’s Hyde Park to protest a potential ban on safari hunters importing trophies.

Botswana has threatened to send 20,000 elephants to Germany amid a standoff
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