Botswana Wants To Send 20,000 Elephants To Germany: ‘To Roam Free And Show Us How They Live’

Botswana Wants To Send 20,000 Elephants To Germany: ‘To Roam Free And Show Us How They Live’
Botswana Wants To Send 20,000 Elephants To Germany: ‘To Roam Free And Show Us How They Live’

“After decades” of successfully protecting the species, Botswana now faces an “overpopulation” of elephants and sees the animals as a “resource” and controlled hunting as a way of “sustainable use” of this resource.

As Environment Minister Steffi Lemke, 56, a member of the Green Party, won’t hear of it, officials in several African countries are complaining and saying they sense “racist tendencies” in Lemke’s approach.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi, 61, says if German officials know better, they should show how to live with elephants without hunting, he says. And he made an offer: “20,000 wild elephants for Germany. It’s not a joke,” Masisi told Bild.

The African president says that such a donation is not unusual! Botswana, which now has more than 130,000 elephants with an estimated increase of 6,000 a year, has already given 8,000 animals from the Kavango-Zambezi transboundary protected area to Angola, while Mozambique has yet to raise its quota. “And we would like to make such an offer to the Federal Republic of Germany. We don’t take no for an answer,” Masisi emphasized.

He said he was “very serious” about the gift and recalled that it was serious how people in his country were trampled by elephants, crops destroyed and villages devastated. Hunting is a means of controlling elephant populations in one country, Botswana, which offers 40 percent of its territory for wildlife in reserves.

That’s enough, believes Masisi, who points out that Lemke and the Greens “don’t have the animals in their yard”, but they could change that! With one condition: “We want our elephants to roam free. The German weather is bad enough for them.”

The fact that the Germans want, in Lemke’s voice, to ban the import of trophies promotes poverty and poaching: “It’s very easy to sit in Berlin and have an opinion about our business in Botswana. We pay the price for keeping these animals for the world, and even for Lemke’s peace of mind.”

After a meeting with Lemke in Berlin, Botswana’s environment minister fumed: “The Greens look down on us,” he said, and spoke of “fundamentalists acting ideologically.”

“If you like them so much, then please accept this gift from us. You should live with the animals as you are trying to tell us,” says President Masisi, who once again invites the Green Party minister to take a look at wildlife protection in Botswana. Because, he says, his country is doing more “than any other country in the world” in this regard.

The Botswana president’s stance comes after Namibian Environment Minister Pohamba Shifeta sent a letter of protest to Lemke, stressing that trophy hunting takes place strictly according to internationally recognized standards and is an important part of the wildlife conservation strategy.

“If Germany wants to make it impossible for us to hunt trophies, this is an illegal, neo-colonial interference that goes against the international legal situation. In fact, we can’t imagine Germany doing that to us. Our countries are friends. If you want to protect the animals, you have to allow controlled hunting,” said Shifeta.

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The article is in Romanian

Tags: Botswana Send Elephants Germany Roam Free Show Live


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