MAY 22, 2019 4:55 PM PDT

Botswana Nixes Elephant Hunting Ban

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

In what would appear to be an exceedingly-controversial decision, Botswana’s Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism announced Wednesday that the nation’s government would lift an existing ban on elephant hunting.

Image Credit: Pixabay

According to the Ministry, the number of wild elephants in Botswana has nearly tripled in the last 30 years or so, resulting in an unmanageable amount of conflicts between humans and elephants and an uptick in the number of challenges faced by farmers.

“The Government of Botswana has taken a decision to lift the hunting suspension,” the Ministry said. “Since its imposition, the hunting suspension has become a topical subject in the country … The general consensus from those consulted was that the hunting ban should be lifted.”

Related: Here's what makes an elephant's trunk so amazing

The Ministry justified its decision by elucidating that elephants are primarily responsible for trampling farmers’ crops and that the hunting ban allowed the number of livestock-attacking predators to increase, both of which tend to have an adverse impact on farmers’ livelihoods. 

Those problems aside, there are two sides to every story. Elephants have long been victimized by hunters and animal poachers alike, namely because their valuable ivory tusks can generate significant revenue on the black market. That said, many conservationists would argue that the ban’s end puts a new target on Botswana’s elephants and opens the floodgates for the ivory trade.

Botswana sports one of (if not the) largest elephant populations in the world, and this is mostly because elephants can thrive there without hunters plinking at them. On the other hand, conservationists now fear that the lift on the hunting ban could drive those numbers down significantly.

Elephant populations continue to dwindle in other parts of Africa besides Botswana, and so it’s particularly heartbreaking to see one of the animals’ protected areas become an active hunting zone. It remains to be seen how elephant hunting will be regulated, if at all, and what it might spell out for local elephant populations in the long-term.

Source: Ministry of Environment, National Resources Conservation and Tourism, UPI, Phys.org

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JAN 21, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
A Practical Reason Why Cats Love Catnip
JAN 21, 2021
A Practical Reason Why Cats Love Catnip
Cats love catnip and silver vine; the cat-attracting plants are treats that make cats excited and happy. Big cats also f ...
JAN 23, 2021
Microbiology
Host Vouchering & How Can It Improve Pandemic Response
JAN 23, 2021
Host Vouchering & How Can It Improve Pandemic Response
About a year ago, I wrote about the virus that would come to be known as SARS-CoV-2 for the first time. And while we've ...
FEB 10, 2021
Plants & Animals
Is the Nano-Chameleon the World's Smallest Reptile Species?
FEB 10, 2021
Is the Nano-Chameleon the World's Smallest Reptile Species?
Say “hello!” to the nano-chameleon, a top contender for the world’s smallest reptile. According to the ...
MAR 09, 2021
Plants & Animals
Sea Slug Shows Extreme Case of Regeneration
MAR 09, 2021
Sea Slug Shows Extreme Case of Regeneration
Some of the most interesting—and possibly strangest—scientific discoveries happen by accident. According to ...
MAR 29, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Just discovered, already endangered
MAR 29, 2021
Just discovered, already endangered
Research published recently in Zootaxa details the finding of two species of screech owls that live in the Amazon and At ...
MAR 31, 2021
Plants & Animals
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
MAR 31, 2021
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
Beachgoers are certainly not fond of jellyfish in the water, but seeing hundreds of them wash ashore is an interesting a ...
Loading Comments...