Botswana's President Mokgweetsi Masisi has threatened to send 20,000 elephants to Germany in response to Germany's call for stricter controls on trophy hunting, a recreational activity that targets specific animals.

In a statement to the Bild newspaper, Masisi criticized the German Environment Ministry, which wants to impose restrictions on the sale of hunting equipment in order to protect the elephant population in Africa, expressing the view that this will only impoverish the people of Botswana.

130 thousand elephants live in Botswana

Pointing out that the elephant population in Botswana, where approximately 130 thousand elephants live, has exploded as a result of conservation efforts, Masisi stated that elephant herds damage property and crops and cause the death of people.

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"It is very easy to sit in Berlin and have an opinion about our issues in Botswana," Masisi said, referring to hunting as an effective method to control the elephant population.

Reminding that Botswana has already given 8 thousand elephants to Angola in order to reduce the current elephant population, Masisi stated that they could send 20 thousand elephants to Germany if they continue their activities to protect the elephant population.

Masisi emphasized that this was not a joke and that they would not accept no for an answer.

Elephant hunting in Botswana

Elephant hunting was banned in Botswana, home to about one-third of the world's elephant population, in 2014. This ban was lifted in 2019 in line with the demand of the local population following the boom in the elephant population.

The German Environment Ministry had raised an initiative to restrict the export of hunting equipment to African countries.