Zimbabwe selling rights to hunt 'endangered' elephants in hope of raising money

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Zimbabwe is selling rights to hunt elephants.
Zimbabwe is selling rights to hunt elephants.
File/News24
  • Zimbabwe is selling rights for people to kill up to 500 elephants.
  • This would be to raise public revenue.
  • A single elephant could cost up to $10 000.


Zimbabwe is selling rights to shoot up to 500 elephants this year to generate public revenue, the country's wildlife agency said Monday, weeks after the animals were listed as endangered.

Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesperson Tinashe Farawo told AFP elephant hunting was allowed during the country's April to October rainy season.

He said revenues from the controversial activity would be particularly important this year due to the economic setbacks of coronavirus.

"We got authority to hunt a maximum of 500 elephants and that's how we make money," Farawo explained, noting that a single elephant hunt could cost up to $10 000."

Hunters "require more assisting personnel like trackers, protective hunters and chefs," he added.

"All this will be paid for and means more for revenue."

But conservation groups have voiced concern over hunting animals increasingly threatened with extinction.

The Swiss-based International Union for Conservation of Nature last month listed the African savanna elephant as "endangered" and the African forest elephant as "critically endangered", citing population declines due to poaching and loss of habitat.

Both species had previously been treated as a single category and listed as "vulnerable".

"Poaching has continued unabated despite trophy hunting under the guise of funding conservation," said Simiso Mlevu, spokeswoman for the Zimbabwe-based Centre for Natural Resource Governance.

Mlevu also argued that hunters usually targeted large and healthy animals, leaving smaller, less aesthetically pleasing specimens that were less attractive to tourists.

Despite dwindling population numbers, Zimbabwe is faced with a surplus of elephants - estimated at around 84 000 for a carrying capacity of 50 000.

Recurrent droughts have added to the strain of overburdened national parks, forcing the pachyderms to seek food and water further afield.

Some encroach upon populated areas in the process, destroying crops and occasionally killing people who cross their path.

Farawo defended the decision to continue issuing hunting permits, noting that the practice has been going on since 1991 and there was "no need to make noise about it".

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When and why would you have your or your partner's sperm count checked?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
That's an unnecessary procedure
17% - 937 votes
As soon as we decide to start a family
7% - 417 votes
Only if we're struggling to conceive
76% - 4290 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.36
-1.7%
Rand - Pound
19.81
-0.7%
Rand - Euro
17.03
-1.6%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.74
-1.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-2.0%
Gold
1,763.59
-0.5%
Silver
25.77
-0.5%
Palladium
2,471.00
-0.8%
Platinum
1,038.50
-2.3%
Brent Crude
73.08
-1.8%
Top 40
59,504
-1.5%
Resource 10
60,958
-1.7%
Industrial 25
87,956
-1.3%
Financial 15
12,995
-2.0%
All Share
65,635
-1.4%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo