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    Botswana’s Pres. Masisi vows to fly 20,000 elephants to Germany

    Botswana’s president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, has threatened to send 20,000 elephants to Germany in a dispute over conservation.

    This comes following proposals in Berlin to restrict the import of hunting trophies.

    The President on Wednesday, April 3, said that Germans should try living among elephants. He claimed that an explosion in the number of the mammals roaming his country has produced a “plague”.

    Earlier this year, Germany, one of the largest importers of hunting trophies in the European Union, raised the possibility of stricter limits on imports due to poaching concerns.

    Masisi told Germany’s Bild that a ban on the import of hunting trophies would only impoverish Botswanans.

    He argued that conservation efforts have led to an explosion in the number of elephants and that hunting is an important means to keep them in check.

    Botswana banned trophy hunting in 2014 but lifted the restrictions in 2019 under pressure from local communities. The country now issues annual hunting quotas.

    Herds of elephants were causing damage to property, eating crops and trampling residents, Masisi told the German paper.

    “It is very easy to sit in Berlin and have an opinion about our affairs in Botswana. We are paying the price for preserving these animals for the world.

    Germans should live together with the animals, in the way you are trying to tell us to. This is not a joke,” said Masisi, whose country has seen its elephant population grow to some 130,000.

    Botswana, home of the world’s largest elephant population, has already offered 8,000 elephants to Angola and another 500 to Mozambique, as it seeks to tackle what Masisi described as “overpopulation”.

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