Namibia‘s Environment Ministry is going to put at least 170 elephants on sale in order to curb what it has described as overcrowding in the face of drought-causing food scarcity in the habitats of the animals.
The ministry has in the past complained that it was finding it hard to check the increase in the number of elephants due to pressure from international conservation agencies. But on Wednesday, the government said it has now resolved to sell the animals in family groups and they would be exported according to international law.
“Due to drought and an increase in elephant numbers, coupled with human-elephant conflict incidences, a need has been identified to reduce these populations,” a statement from the ministry read.
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Clashes usually ensue between farmers who farms the animals damage and conservation officials who are finding it hard to keep the animals under control.
Interested buyers of these Namibian elephants must make their bids by January 29. If they are successful, bidders will cover the cost of capturing and transporting the animals.
Generally, Africa’s elephant population is fast declining and thus, the pressure on Namibia to maintain its elephant population has been a consequence. But another souther African county, Botswana, and its lax wildlife rules have been singled out for widespread condemnation.
The southern African state has the world’s largest elephant population.
In February, Botswana announced that it will be holding its first major auction of licenses for trophy elephant hunters. Interested bidders were expected to put down a refundable deposit of $18,300.
Last year, President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s government lifted the blanket ban placed in 2014 to protect the decline in the population of wild animals. The lifting of the hunting ban was met with mixed reactions with praises from local communities and derision from conservationists.
Masisi’s government strongly defended the decision to lift the ban, observing that the elephant population would not be in jeopardy.