The Zimbabwean government has sold closely one hundred elephants to Dubai and China. These elephants were sold over a period of six years at a whopping $2,700,000.
The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority disclosed this. They said the elephants were overcrowding national parks and posed a risk to human life. Already, these elephants were encroaching into human settlements and were destroying crops.
Its spokesman, Tinashe Farawo further explained that:
“We have eighty-four thousand elephants against a carrying capacity of fifty thousand”. “We believe in the sustainable use of resources, so we sell a few elephants to take care of the rest.
Farawo added that two hundred lives had been lost due to the “human-and-animal conflict” in the past five years. And at least seven thousand hectares of the crops have been destroyed by elephants.
He stressed that the animal’s natural habitat has been depleted by climate change. Even more, recurrent droughts have added to the strain on the overburdened national parks. These factors have caused the pachyderms to seek food and water further afield.
The spokesman noted that the money derived from the legal sales was allocated to anti-poaching projects, conservation work, research, and welfare.
According to the Zimbabwe Chronicle newspaper, ninety-three elephants were safely airlifted to parks in China and four to Dubai between 2012 and 2018. Furthermore, it stated that each animal was sold within a price range of $13,500 and $41,500.
Zimbabwe, alongside Botswana, Zambia, and Namibia, has called for a global ban on elephant ivory trade to be relaxed. This is due to the growing number of elephants in some regions.
However, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has revealed that over the past decade, the population of elephants across Africa has fallen by about one hundred and eleven thousand (111,000). The reason for this reduction is due largely to poaching for ivory.