Botswana elephant hunting hit the headlines once again as the country just announced the start of the hunting season. President Ian Khama banned the practice in 2014 but restrictions lifted in 2019. Of course, along came the coronavirus pandemic, which spared the lives of some elephants in 2020. However additional permits were issued this year.
Botswana elephant hunting season opens
In November last year, some good news about Botswana’s elephants arrived. We reported that the elephants in Botswana “may reduce through an agreement with Angola, allowing elephant migration.” Increasing numbers meant that Angola, with a devasted population of the animals, hope that they naturally start migrating their way. Many people held onto the hope that if the elephants move away naturally, that the numbers in Botswana might be curtailed without hunting them.
Botswana elephant hunting brings an extremely sensitive subject. The government argues that their burgeoning population causes deforestation that impacts other wildlife. Additionally, human/animal conflict rises. So, controlling numbers through the sale of permits reduces the population. At the same time, it brings employment. And a lot of conservationists who believe that hunting is a management tool, think it’s way better than broad culls. Meanwhile, opposing people think all animals should live freely without ending up as trophies.
Controlled hunting is still just blood-lust killing, critics think
With one of the largest populations of elephants in Botswana, elephant hunting attracts many hunters from overseas. Controlled hunting means that, unlike poachers, animals taken off are selected. Naturally, the proceeds and the meat harvested trickle down to the local people. However, poaching seems indiscriminate and kills animals of all sexes and ages. Additionally, the poached animals are often left to rot after the removal of the tusks. Thus, only the poachers benefit from it.
Botswana elephant hunting obviously receives a lot of critics who hate that elephants die at the hands of humans. In fact, critics lump hunters and poachers into the same category. RFI Africa reported that this year, even more animals die. With 187 licenses carried over from last year, a further 100 licenses came this year. The report notes that it seems unfortunate. After all, the “International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed African savannah elephants as endangered,” That news came along last month.
Botswana opens elephant hunting season. Absolutely heartbreaking, especially with African savannah elephant's move from "threatened species" to endangered a few weeks ago. https://t.co/fMy9oBdWVy
— Global Elephants (@GlobalElephants) April 12, 2021
On Twitter, reactions all came from those who oppose hunting, so far. One person tweeted, “Oh my God how is this even possible? What is wrong with people? How is killing an endangered wild animal a solution to anything. This is NOT a sport. Let’s be sure to give it its rightful name: murder.” Perhaps African conservationists gave up trying to explain their pro-hunting stance that favors Botswana elephant hunting.
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