N$127k raised through ‘problem’ elephant hunt

28 April 2021 | Environment

ELLANIE SMIT



WINDHOEK

A rogue elephant that was hunted this weekend would have died a painful death if it was not killed by a professional hunter.

A total of N$127 500 was raised to hunt the problem elephant in the area between Otjiwarongo and Otavi, where the animal damaged fences on farms as well as in the Waterberg National Park.

However, professional hunter Jofie Lamprecht has denied reports that he hunted this elephant over the weekend.

Lamprecht confirmed that the animal was ethically and cleanly hunted on a permit under the guidance of a registered Namibian professional hunter from another company with his international client.

Of the proceeds raised from the hunt, N$20 000 will go to the environment ministry’s game products trust fund, while N$107 500 will go to the Platveld Farmers Association for damage caused by the elephant. All the funds were handled through a lawyer’s trust bank account and can be fully accounted for, Lamprecht said.

Relocation not possible

He added that the destruction of fences in the area, where disease-free buffalo occur, puts buffalo at risk of being infected by cattle-borne diseases.

“This is unacceptable for this valuable Namibian natural resource,” he said.

On why the elephant was not relocated instead of being put down, Lamprecht said since Namibia’s elephant population is already well above sustainable numbers in most of their ranges, moving the animal would have harmed the biodiversity and environment.

“At what cost would this elephant have been removed by darting and translocating it, and to what end?”

He stressed that the elephant bull was not collared and further said it had a car tyre stuck around its right foot.

“Abscesses had already formed and it is the opinion of several people that this tyre would not have come off unless, at great cost, the elephant was sedated and the tyre removed.”

Lamprecht said the injury to the elephant’s foot would, however, have caused the animal great pain and a prolonged suffering.

Maintaining wildlife populations

“Problem animals in Namibia will continue to occur, and we can only hope to raise revenue with these animals to cover the damage caused. We have reduced these animals’ home-range, which is us as humans’ fault, with many large mammals not being able to co-exist within the growing human range.

“We should protect what we have with animals in their wild ranges, where they belong, undisturbed by man,” Lamprecht said.

“It is our intention as hunters not to devastate wildlife populations, but to maintain to them for future generations to see the wonder and majesty of all of Africa’s species.”

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