Huge country threatens to send 20k elephants to Germany – ‘mind your business’

Huge country threatens to send 20k elephants to Germany – ‘mind your business’

A country in Southern Africa has threatened to send 20,000 elephants to Germany over a row about conservation.

It comes after Germany’s environment ministry suggested there should be stricter limits on importing trophies from hunting animals, with Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi claiming this would impoverish people in the country.

He added that elephant numbers have risen thanks to conservation efforts, with hunting keeping the numbers in check.

Speaking to German newspaper Bild, Mr Masisi said Germans should “live together with the animals in the way you are trying to tell us to”.

Botswana is home to a number of nature reserves, with hundreds of safari-goers visiting to see the vast African wildlife in the country.

The country is home to a third of the world’s elephant population, with more than 130,000 roaming.

Mr Masisi said the herds were causing damage to property, eating crops and trampling residents, with the number of elephants amounting to more than the space available for them to use.

Botswana has previously given neighbouring country Angola 8,000 elephants, offering hundreds more to Mozambique in the hopes of reducing the population.

“We would like to offer such a gift to Germany,” Mr Masisi said, adding that he would not take no for an answer.

Botswana’s Wildlife Minister Dumezweni Mthimkhulu last month threatened to send 10,000 elephants to London’s Hyde Park so British people could “have a taste of living alongside” them.

UK MPs voted in support of a ban on importing hunting trophies, with the pledge included in the Conservatives‘ 2019 general election manifesto.

Botswana makes significant money from rich Westerners paying thousands to shoot the animals, taking their heads or skin back home as a trophy. But the poaching has long been debated, with thousands signing petitions to ban trophy hunting.

“In some areas, there are more of these beasts than people. They are killing children who get in their path. They trample and eat farmers’ crops leaving Africans hungry,” said Botswana’s wildlife minister. Germany is the EU’s largest importer of African elephant trophies, with the environment ministry citing the “alarming loss of biological diversity” as a reason to support the stricter limits on importing trophies.

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