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Botswana Has Lifted Its Ban On Elephant Hunting

Botswana Has Lifted Its Ban On Elephant Hunting

Botswana has lifted its ban on elephant hunting, naming "growing conflict" between humans and animals as the reason, according to the BBC.

The ban was imposed in 2014, but critics said that it was causing problems to small farmers and to other people who benefited from hunting.

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Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

The decision for the lifting of the ban is down to Botswana's booming elephant population.

The country is home to 130,000 elephants, which is the largest amount anywhere in the world. Last June, President Mokgweetsi Masisi set up a committee to review the ban.

In a statement, the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism said: "The number and high levels of human-elephant conflict and the consequent impact on livelihoods was increasing."

They added: "Predators appear to have increased and were causing a lot of damage as they kill livestock in large numbers."

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Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

The move has already sparked backlash from conservationists as Botswana currently has a great international reputation for conservation efforts.

Pro Wildlife tweeted: "Disappointing decision by to lift hunting ban and to lift the suspension for - this bloody sport is , outdated, unethical and often undermining."

But the ministry has insisted lifting the ban will ensure that the "reinstatement of hunting is done in an orderly and ethical manner".

Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

The controversial decision is also partly due to how far the elephants tend to travel. Climate change has expanded that range, and apparently, elephants can be destructive when they encroach onto farmland, destroying crops and even sometimes killing people due to their size.

Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

The move comes amid international campaigns to ban ivory sales and manage illegal poaching.

The management of elephants is controversial and divisive internationally. While elephant numbers have increased in some areas, like Botswana, where the number has tripled since 1991, the general population of elephants across Africa has fallen by about 111,000 to 415,000, mostly due to poaching for ivory, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: climate change, elephants

Marianne Eloise

Marianne writes about TV, film and internet culture for Nylon, VICE, The Guardian, Vulture, Time Out and more. She was previously a staff writer at Dazed.

 

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