Angry at criticism, Botswana president threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany

Angry at criticism, Botswana president threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany
Angry at criticism, Botswana president threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany
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The date of publishing:

04/02/2024 23:51

PHOTO: Shutterstock

The president of Botswana threatened to transfer up to 20,000 elephants to Germany, irritated by Berlin’s criticism of animal hunting and the export of trophies, reports News.ro.

Germans have to “live with the animals because they are trying to dictate to us,” Botswana’s leader, Mokgweetsi Masisi, told German daily Bild.

“It’s not a joke,” he added of his offer to relocate 20,000 pachyderms to the northern European country. “We would like to give this gift to Germany,” Masisi said, adding that he “will not take no for an answer.”

Botswana, a landlocked country in southern Africa, is home to the world’s largest elephant population of about 130,000, with which coexistence is often difficult, according to the president, who cited attacks on people, villages and crops.

Criticism from Germany’s environment ministry, led by environmentalists, targets elephant hunting trophies enjoyed by wealthy Western customers.

At the beginning of this year, the ministry mentioned the possibility of stricter limits for the import of these trophies, due to poaching problems.

“Within the EU, we are having discussions with a view to extending the mandatory import permit (…) for other hunting trophies from protected animals,” a ministry spokeswoman told AFP on Tuesday. As Germany is one of the biggest importers of hunting trophies in the EU, it has “a special responsibility” in this regard, she added.

Regarding the “gift” expected by President Masisi, the German Ministry of the Environment replied that “Botswana has not yet contacted” Berlin on this issue.

In 2019, Botswana lifted a total ban on hunting, introduced five years earlier to reverse the decline in elephant and other species. The lifting of the ban angered environmentalists. Commercial hunting is also an important source of local income. Since then, Botswana has decided each year on a quota of animals that can be hunted. Also, last year, the country offered 8,000 elephants to Angola, and in 2022 it offered 500 animals to Mozambique.

Publisher: MB

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The article is in Romanian

Tags: Angry criticism Botswana president threatens send elephants Germany

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