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Botswana’s Warning To Send 20,000 Elephants To Germany

The president of Botswana has warned of a potential move to relocate 20,000 elephants to Germany amidst a political disagreement.

Earlier this year, Germany’s environment ministry proposed stricter regulations on importing hunting trophies, sparking tension.

Botswana’s president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, argued that this stance would only worsen the situation for Botswanans. He emphasized that the elephant population had surged due to conservation efforts, and hunting played a role in maintaining balance.

Addressing the German newspaper Bild, Mr. Masisi urged Germans to “coexist with the animals, as you are advocating.”

Botswana is home to over 130,000 elephants, approximately a third of the global population. However, the increasing herds have led to property damage, crop consumption, and endangerment to residents, as outlined by Mr. Masisi to Bild.

In efforts to manage the population, Botswana has previously gifted 8,000 elephants to countries like Angola and offered hundreds to Mozambique.

“We would extend such a gesture to Germany,” stated Mr. Masisi, asserting the seriousness of the proposal.

Although Botswana had prohibited trophy hunting in 2014, it reinstated quotas in 2019, citing benefits to local communities and strict regulation of the practice.

According to a 2021 report by Humane Society International, Germany tops the EU’s list of African elephant trophy importers.

In response, a spokeswoman from Berlin’s environment ministry stated that Botswana had not formally raised concerns with Germany.

She emphasized Germany’s commitment to sustainable and legal trophy import practices amid biodiversity concerns.

Several nations, including Australia, France, and Belgium, have banned the hunting trophy trade. In the UK, MPs voted in March to support a trophy import ban, aligning with the Conservative Party’s 2019 manifesto pledge. However, the legislation requires further scrutiny before enactment.

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