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'It's an interesting way of doing things': Namibia to put 170 wild elephants up for sale

Namibia is putting 170 wild elephants up for sale to curb rising populations that are under press...
Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

22.05 4 Dec 2020


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'It's an interesting way of do...

'It's an interesting way of doing things': Namibia to put 170 wild elephants up for sale

Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

22.05 4 Dec 2020


Share this article


Namibia is putting 170 wild elephants up for sale to curb rising populations that are under pressure due to drought and territorial conflict with humans.

The state-owned daily New Era newspaper carried an advertisement this week for the sale of the "high value" animals.

It said that the elephants would be sold "due to drought and increase in elephant numbers coupled with human-elephant conflict incidences".

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There are approximately 28,000 elephants living in the African country.

Speaking to The Hard Shoulder, wildlife expert Éanna Ní Lamhna said the number of elephants in Namibia "has increased enormously" in the last 20 years.

She said: "In 1990, they only had 5,000 of them and now they have 28,000 of them because of conservation efforts, the herds have increased.

"If you think that one elephant can eat 300kg of vegetation every single day, you wouldn't fancy a herd of elephants coming onto your farm and gobbling all your crops.

"Elephants need huge amounts of habitat and vast, undisturbed regions are where they need to be.

"Because of population increase and more different land use and land management, there's not enough space for the elephants so as a consequence of this, the elephants are in conflict with the farmers.

Ms Ní Lamhna said that like when deer are culled in Phoenix Park in Dublin due to overpopulation, so too were elephants killed in Namibia.

However, due to the vulnerable nature of the species, this was heavily criticised and so Namibia came up with the idea to sell the animals.

She said that the plan is for the elephants to be sold to another country where there is a national park or reserve where they can roam.

She added: "Taking these wild elephants and putting them into some other country's park will be a change for them and it certainly is an interesting way of doing things."

Main image: Elephants stand at a waterhole in Etosha National Park in Namibia. Photo: Oliver Berg/dpa

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