Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany

Vicki Jaron, Babylon and Beyond / Getty Images

Vicki Jaron, Babylon and Beyond / Getty Images

INTERNATIONAL – Although Berlin criticized the poaching of pachyderms and the export of trophies practiced by Botswana, the president of the African country was particularly annoyed. He threatened to exchange 20,000 elephants with Germany.

The Germans must “Live with animals when they try to command us”Botswana's President Mokwetsi Masisi said in comments to a German daily. Build Published online on Tuesday. “This is no joke”He told about his opportunity to resettle 20,000 pachyderms in the northern European country.

“We want to give this gift to Germany”Mokgweetsi Masisi said, he added “Won't take no for an answer”.

Botswana, a landlocked country in southern Africa, is home to the world's largest population of elephants, about 130,000, according to the president, who cited attacks on people, villages and crops that often make coexistence difficult.

Critics of Germany's environment ministry, led by an environmental expert, have targeted elephant poaching trophies for wealthy Western clients. Earlier this year the ministry raised the possibility of more strict restrictions on the import of these trophies due to poaching problems.

The “Botswana has not yet contacted”

“Within the EU, we are holding discussions with the aim of extending the import permit requirement (…) to hunting trophies of other protected animals”, a ministry spokesman told AFP on Tuesday, April 2. In this regard, Germany is one of the largest importers of hunting trophies in the European Union “A Special Responsibility”She added.

About “gift” Expected by President Masisi, the German Environment Ministry noted “Botswana has not yet contacted” With him about it.

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In 2019, Botswana lifted a total ban on hunting introduced five years ago to reverse declining populations of elephants and other species. The lifting has sparked outrage among environmentalists. Commercial hunting is also an important source of local income.

Since then, Botswana has decided on game quotas every year. The country provided 8,000 elephants to Angola last year and 500 elephants to Mozambique in 2022.

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