Botswana’s Warning: 20,000 Elephants Could Be Sent to Germany

Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi has made a bold suggestion that he may send 20,000 elephants to Germany as a response to a dispute over conservation practices.

This comes after Germany proposed restrictions on importing hunting trophies. Masisi criticized the lack of understanding from Germany regarding Botswana’s issue of elephant overpopulation, which currently stands at around 130,000. This surge in population has resulted in significant conflicts between humans and elephants, leading to crop destruction and property damage.

Germany, a major importer of hunting trophies in the EU, is looking to tighten restrictions to combat poaching, a decision that has angered Botswana. Masisi’s comments in the German newspaper Bild highlight his challenge to Germany to experience the challenges of living with elephants as Botswana does. He frames this as a global conservation responsibility that Botswana must bear.

Despite reintroducing trophy hunting in 2019 to manage elephant numbers, Masisi argues that proposed import bans would have negative financial implications for Botswana. The German environment ministry, on the other hand, has stated that discussions are ongoing with affected African countries, including Botswana, to ensure that hunting trophy imports are sustainable and legal, with a focus on enhancing species protection.