Elephant Hunting Ban In Botswana Lifted by Maxim Sindall
As CM1 and CM2 TGS students visited Botswana, we explored the issue of animal hunting. One of the things we focused on was the influx of African Elephants in Botswana, and how a hunting ban on the animal has caused overpopulation. Around 130,000 elephants roam Botswana, which is creating human-elephant conflict.
The original elephant hunting ban was initiated in 2014 by President Ian Khama and it was created to decrease elephant hunting and poaching. However, Mr. Khama was replaced by elected Mokgweetsi Masisi in April of 2018. The new leadership had eyes on changing existing regulations, including the elephant hunting ban.
In its final stages of approval, the ban is being lifted due to the increasing conflict by human settlements and elephants. As the both the human and elephants populations grow, there is a increased demand for more food and therefore more land. Recently, the expanding population of elephants have been spilling into human settlements and farms. This conflict damaged property, especially farms, and has killed people across communities. It has been suggested that the lifting of the ban is a way for President Masisi to gain rural votes in the upcoming presidential election.
The reaction to the lifting of the ban has been positive for hunting safari camps, who lost their jobs due to the ban in 2014. However, conservationists have found that this may tamper with Botswana’s reputation as being a luxury safari destination. As this debate continues, the public will surely weigh in on the ban and its effect on the country.