Elephants On The Chopping Block In Botswana

For the last five years, there has been a ban on hunting elephants in Botswana. However, due to the increase of conflicts between humans and these enormous animals, the country has chosen to lift the ban.

Currently, around 130,000 elephants are residing in Botswana. That equals out to be close to one-third of the continent’s elephant population. As a means to deter poaching, the ban was set in place in 2014.

Though tourists that are visiting the country love to see the elephants, the locals aren’t as happy. For some time now, they have been complaining of the animals damaging crops as well as affecting their all-around way of living.

In a Facebook post, the environment ministry was saying that predators of the elephants make them seek shelter close to citizens. Doing so causes them to interfere with livestock, killing them.

Elephants Are Back On The Hunting Chopping Block In The Country Of Botswana

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List, the African elephant remains vulnerable. As their natural habitats continue to shrink, their herds continue to move closer and closer to human living areas.

Besides killing livestock, the animals are destroying water supplies and raiding crops. The elephants are even injuring and killing people!

Last June, there was a cabinet sub-committee in place in Botswana to go over the ban on hunting. Those inline speaking to the committee were folks from the community, NGOs, operators of tourism, and the local authorities.

At the beginning of 2019, Botswana ministers were able to recommend the lifting of the ban. It would allow for the canning of elephant meant as a means of food for pets. However, if there is no protection in place, conservationists were warning of possible extinction.

Before the colonization of those from Europe, scientists believe there may have been upwards to 20 million elephants in Africa. In 1979, there were 1.3 million elephants in the nation.