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Botswana Threatens To Send 20,000 Elephants To Germany

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In a political spat, the president of Botswana has threatened to transfer 20,000 elephants to Germany.

Germany’s environment ministry proposed earlier this year that import restrictions be tightened with regard to hunting trophies.

According to Mokgweetsi Masisi, the president of Botswana, this will only make the country’s citizens poorer. He claimed that because of conservation efforts, the number of elephants had skyrocketed, and hunting had kept them in check. Masisi told the German daily Bild that Germans should “live together with the animals, in the way you are trying to tell us to.”

Over 130,000 elephants, or roughly one-third of the global elephant population, live in Botswana. Trophy hunting was outlawed in Botswana in 2014; but, in response to local community demand, the ban was lifted in 2019.

He told Bild that herds were trampling people, consuming crops, and causing property damage. In an effort to reduce the population, Botswana has sent 8,000 elephants to nations like Angola and has promised Mozambique hundreds more. Masisi stated, “We would like to offer such a gift to Germany,” making it clear that this was no jest and that he would not accept no.

The nation currently sets annual shooting limits, claiming that hunting is a licensed and well regulated activity that benefits the local economy.

According to a Humane Society International analysis from 2021, hunting trophies in general and African elephant trophies in particular are the biggest imports into Germany, EU’s largest hunting trophies importer.

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