In a very bizarre update, Zimbabwe has sold rights for hunters to shoot up to almost 500 elephants in the country. The elephants in Zimbabwe are already endangered and could risk the country having few or less elephants.
The country says that it is selling rights to shoot up to 500 elephants this year to generate public revenue, the country’s wildlife agency said Monday, weeks after the animals were listed as endangered.
Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesman Tinashe Farawo said elephant hunting was allowed during the country’s April to October rainy season.
He said revenues from the controversial activity would be particularly important this year due to the economic setbacks of coronavirus.
Hunters “require more assisting personnel like trackers, protective hunters and chefs,” he added.
“All this will be paid for and means more for revenue.”
What are Wildlife Conservation Groups in Zimbabwe Saying?
With the elephants facing extinction in the country, conservation groups have voiced concern over hunting of the elephants.
The Swiss-based International Union for Conservation of Nature last month listed the African savanna elephant as “endangered” and the African forest elephant as “critically endangered”, citing population declines due to poaching and loss of habitat.
Both species had previously been treated as a single category and listed as “vulnerable”.
“Poaching has continued unabated despite trophy hunting under the guise of funding conservation,” said Simiso Mlevu, spokeswoman for the Zimbabwe-based Centre for Natural Resource Governance.
Mlevu also argued that hunters usually targeted large and healthy animals, leaving smaller, less aesthetically pleasing specimens that were less attractive to tourists.
Despite dwindling population numbers, Zimbabwe is faced with a surplus of elephants — estimated at around 84,000 for a carrying capacity of 50,000.
Recurrent droughts have added to the strain of overburdened national parks, forcing the pachyderms to seek food and water further afield.
Some encroach upon populated areas in the process, destroying crops and occasionally killing people who cross their path.
Farawo defended the decision to continue issuing hunting permits, noting that the practice has been going on since 1991 and there was “no need to make noise about it”.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.