Namibia to sell 170 elephants

04 December 2020 | Environment

ELLANIE SMIT



WINDHOEK

Namibia has advertised 170 elephants for sale in response to the drought and an increase in animal numbers, coupled with human-elephant conflict.

These elephants are from the Omatjette, Kamanjab commercial farming, Grootfontein-Kavango and the Grootfontein-Tsumkwe areas.

This is according to an advertisement placed in local media this week by the environment ministry, inviting offers for the elephants that will be sold in family groups.

Interested parties are invited to provide the ministry with written financial offers, indicating the price per individual animal.

The ministry said it would sell the animals to anyone in Namibia or abroad that meets the strict criteria, which include quarantine facilities and a game-proof fence certificate for the property where the elephants will be kept.

“This is a tender for live animals, not trophy hunting. This bid is not particularly for international bidders only; local people can also tender,” said ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda.

Foreign buyers

For export purposes, the requirements of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) must be met, the ministry said.

Foreign buyers must also provide proof that conservation authorities in their countries will permit them to import elephants.

Offers for the elephants must be made by 29 January 2021 and successful bidders will need to cover the cost of capturing and transporting the animals, which can weigh up to 6 000 kg.

Population growth

The ministry recently said the elephant population in Namibia has increased in the last three decades, while most elephant populations in African countries have seen a decline over the same period.

Namibia’s elephant population is estimated to be between 23 663 and 24 091, with an estimated rate of population increase of 5.36%.

Not only are elephants and people competing for the same resources such as water, land and space, but illegal killing for their ivory has also become a significant threat.

Situation severely compromised

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta recently said there is a limit to how much external influence Namibia will accept over the use of its natural resources, specifically elephants.

He said the value Namibia can generate from trade in ivory is being severely compromised by the actions of animal rights groups who have influenced decisions at CITES that undermine Namibia’s conservation programmes.

At the 18th meeting of CITES held Switzerland last year, Namibia - together with Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe - proposed that they should be allowed to sell their stockpiled ivory. This proposal was rejected.

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