Zimbabwe to sell large batch of licenses to kill 500 endangered African elephants
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority spokesman Tinashe Faravo said the decline in tourism revenues due to the coronavirus pandemic was one of the main reasons for the move.
“We have a budget of about $ 25 million for our activities, which is partially derived from sport hunting, but you know that tourism is practically dead right now due to the coronavirus pandemic,” Faravo said.
The country’s authorities made such a statement just a few weeks after the African forest elephant was declared endangered.
Simiso Mlevu, a spokeswoman for the Natural Resources Management Center, a Zimbabwean environmental and human rights group, did not support the decision.
“We strongly condemn trophy hunting, a practice that incites wild animals and exacerbates conflicts between humans and wildlife,” said Mlevu.
In her opinion, more innovative and environmentally friendly measures are needed to increase the country’s budget revenues.
Zimbabwe is not the only country in the region where paid elephant hunting is allowed. In December, Namibia put 170 wild elephants up for sale due to the overwhelming number of animals in the reserves and due to the drought that has settled in the country.
The African elephant is the largest land animal on Earth. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the habitat of African elephants in equatorial Africa has been steadily declining, from 7.8 million square kilometers in 1979 to 2.6 million square kilometers in 2007. This is due to the expansion of the area of agriculture and logging.