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Botswana plans to issue licences to hunt 294 elephants during the opening of this year’s hunting season in April.
According to the national park director responsible for issuing the licences, Kabelo Senyatso, they will be sold to safari companies operating in the East African country and through then made available to international trophy hunters.
The upcoming hunting season in the African country runs from April 3 to September 13.
Last December, Botswana issued licences for the killing of 83 elephants. The proceeds from licence sales are to be used for animal welfare.
The country has one of the largest elephant populations in the world. Its decision to lift a ban on elephant hunting in 2019 sparked international outrage among animal rights activists.
While activists question the benefits of such killings, hunters defend them by pointing to the benefits for the local human population.
According to the German Hunting Association, the elephant density per square kilometre in Botswana statistically represents 1.2 elephants, which have to share water and land with people dependent on agriculture. Botswana has a good reputation for both nature and animal conservation.
While the number of elephants is declining in many regions of Africa, in Botswana elephant numbers have actually risen from about 50,000 in 1991 to over 130,000 today - almost a third of Africa’s total elephant population - according to official figures.
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14/01/2022
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