The president of Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany

The president of Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany
The president of Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany

The president of Botswana has threatened to transfer up to 20,000 elephants to Germany, irritated by Berlin’s criticism of pachyderm hunting and the export of trophies, which he claims his country uses to regulate the number of these animals, reports AFP.

Elephants in BotswanaPhoto: Dr P. Marazzi / Sciencephoto / Profimedia Images

The Germans must “live with the animals, because they are trying to dictate to us”, said the president of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi, in comments for the German daily newspaper Bild published online on Tuesday, quotes. “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.

The article is in Romanian

Tags: president Botswana threatens send elephants Germany


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