Botswana, home to nearly one-third of Africa's elephants, mulls lifting hunting ban

Botswana, home to nearly one-third of Africa's elephants, mulls lifting hunting ban
© Getty Images

Botswana is reportedly considering lifting a years-long ban on the hunting of elephants.

The country, which is home to nearly one-third of Africa’s elephants, may lift a ban on big game hunting and introduce “regular but limited” culling of the animals.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lawmakers in the country argue that elephants have been causing problems for farmers and say that the population is significantly larger than the 130,000 estimated by conservationists, according to Reuters.

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi appointed a committee last June to review a 2014 hunting ban put in place by his predecessor.

The committee gave its recommendation to Masisi on Thursday, according to Reuters. The president is expected to make a decision on the committee’s recommendation after reviewing it with his cabinet.

“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,” committee chair Frans Van Der Westhuizen said.

In September, Botswana was the site of what is believed to be one of the biggest elephant slaughters in recent years.

The tusks of nearly 90 elephants were found in the months preceding in what conservationists described as a “poaching frenzy.”

The Masisi government, which demilitarized the nation’s anti-poaching unit, pushed back on the findings at the time, calling them “false and misleading.”