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    Elephant 'Anchali' lifts a Christmas tree at its enclosure at the Zoo in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018

    Ban on Hunting Elephants in Botswana May Soon be Lifted - Reports

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    The measure to prevent elephant extinction in the country is barely five years old, but appears to already be nearing its expiry date as locals grow frustrated with a spike in the animals' numbers.

    Botswana may lift a five-year-old ban on big game hunting, which could allow tourists to shoot down elephants.

    Ministers in the country — which is home to about 130,000 elephants, a third of all of Africa's — are widely quoted as saying that "regular but limited" hunting should be made legal in order to avoid what they have described as a "growing conflict" between wildlife and humans.

    The ministers say that a boom in elephant births has been caused by the 2014 ban, which has in turn allowed an influx of the gentle giants into traditionally elephant-free areas, causing frustration among locals.

    ​"We recommend a legal framework that will enable the growth of a safari hunting industry and manage the country's elephant population within the historic range," government minister Frans Van Der Westhuizen, who has chaired a cabinet committee on the issue, is widely quoted as saying. 

    READ MORE: Poachers Left 87 Dead Elephants Stripped of Tusks in Botswana

    The issue is likely to anger environmentalists, among whom Botswana is seen as a centrepiece of international conservation efforts. Moreover, the announcement is likely to cause rumbles in the tourism industry, which has profited greatly from the increase in elephant numbers.

    In a public announcement on the policy, President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who only came into office last April declared, "I can promise you and the nation that we will consider it. A white paper will follow and it will be shared with the public. If needs be, we will give an opportunity to parliament to also interrogate it, and also allow them the space to intervene before we make a final determination."

    According to statistics from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, over the past decade the total number of elephants in Africa has dropped by around 111,000 to 415,000.

    ​Most of these elephants are originally from neighbouring countries anyway 

    Tags:
    African, Hunting, Elephant, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Africa, Botswana
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