Botswana has officially lifted the ban on elephant hunting on Wednesday, saying that the rising population of the animals destroys the livelihoods of farmers.
Ian Khama, the president of Botswana back in 2014 and a keen environmentalist, introduced the prohibition on elephant hunting in the southern African country.
However, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) lawmakers have been lobbying to overturn the ban for years, noting how the population of elephants increases at an alarming rate, almost at a level that is unmanageable for them.
President Mokgweetsi Masisi took over Khama’s reign last year and a public review on the ongoing problem began five months after.
The cabinet committee review found that “the number and high levels of human-elephant conflict and the consequent impact on livelihoods was increasing.”
“The general consensus from those consulted was that the hunting ban should be lifted,” the statement added.
Thus, the environment ministry stated the decision of Botswana to lift the hunting suspension.
Botswana currently holds the largest elephant population in Africa, with more than 135,000 of them roaming freely in wide open spaces. Experts believe the number of the animals had tripled over the last 30 years and there could now be more than 160,000 of them.
However, elephant population in other areas of Africa has fallen by about 111,000 to 415,000, because of poaching for ivory, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Zimbabwe claimed they sold nearly 100 elephants to China and Dubai for a total of $2.7 million over the past six years, because of overpopulation.
– Zimbabwe captures more baby elephants for export to Chinese zoos
– Southern African leaders seek ways to manage elephant populations
– Animal campaigners fight to keep nuisance elephant from the death penalty in South Africa