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Why Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany: 'It's not a joke' |  world

Why Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany: 'It's not a joke' | world

The elephant was photographed in Botswana in September 2019 – Photograph: Monirul Bhuiyan/AFP

Can you imagine 20,000 elephants walking through a park in Germany?

Well, on Tuesday (2), the President of Botswana threatened to send so many animals to the European country over the conservation controversy.

The story began at the beginning of this year, when the German Ministry of the Environment proposed regulating the import of trophies from hunting animals.

This prompted the President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi, to respond and say through the German media that such a decision would only lead to the impoverishment of his country.

Masisi explained that due to conservation efforts, the number of elephants has increased significantly, so hunting them helps maintain the ecological balance.

Masisi explained to the German newspaper Bild: “Germans must live with animals the way they ask us to. And I am not kidding.”

Botswana has nearly a third of the world's elephant population – about 130,000 – which is far more than its space.

According to the African President, herds of elephants cause damage to property, eat farmers’ crops, and trample residents.

In recent months, Botswana donates 8,000 elephants to Angola He offered another hundred to Mozambique, with the idea of ​​reducing the number of these animals in his country.

“We would like to give the same gift to Germany,” Masisi explained. “I will not take no for an answer.”

Hunting ban

Animal rights groups say poaching — hunting an animal for its head or skin as a trophy — is cruel and should be banned.

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Germany is the EU country that imports the largest number of hunting trophies, according to a 2021 report by Humane Society International.

Botswana banned hunting in 2014 but lifted restrictions in 2019 under pressure from many local residents.

The country then issued a series of annual hunting limits, noting that it is a good source of money for the local economy, and that it discourages hunting of wild animals, which is banned in the country.

Botswana has already considered using elephants as pet food.

A spokeswoman for the Environment Ministry in Berlin told AFP news agency that Botswana had not officially raised any concerns with Germany over the issue.

“In light of the alarming loss of biodiversity, we have a special responsibility to do everything we can to ensure that the import of hunting trophies is sustainable and legal,” he said.

The spokeswoman said the ministry was still holding talks with African countries affected by the import rules, including Botswana.

Australia, France and Belgium are among the countries that have banned the trade in hunting trophies.

In March, the British Parliament voted to ban the import of hunting trophies, but the regulation must be reviewed before it becomes law.

Botswana, along with its neighbors Zimbabwe and Namibia, has also claimed that it should be allowed to sell its reserves of ivory, a substance extracted from the tusks of animals such as elephants, in order to make money from the growing numbers of this species.

But East African countries, as well as animal rights groups, opposed the idea, saying it would encourage poaching.

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