Home » Scores of elephants killed in Botswana amid poaching surge

Scores of elephants killed in Botswana amid poaching surge

by Marko Florentino
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But Chris Thouless, research director at the Elephant Crisis Fund, cautioned that the high proportion of carcasses could be a natural phenomenon.

He said: “This data is not inconsistent with a higher mortality rate from poaching, but is not strong evidence for it.”

Botswana has the largest elephant population in Africa and experts say statistics indicate that its population of about 130,000, is still, at this moment, stable.

Hunting was banned in Botswana for the last five years of former President Ian Khama’s second term of office which ended in 2018, but returned following the election of his former ally and deputy, President Mokgweetsi Masisi in 2018.

The relationship between the two men deteriorated and Mr Khama now lives in exile in South Africa, and there are concerns about the present government’s apparent “lack of commitment” to Botswana’s wildlife.

“Shortly after the transition, tensions mounted as it became clear that Masisi was not to be Khama’s puppet, and he also denied the former president his demands for special privileges such as a larger staff  and the appointment of his brother Tshekedi Khama as vice president,” said Christopher Vandome, Senior Research Fellow at Chatham House’s Africa Programme.

“Masisi has backtracked on a lot of Khama’s conservation policy and efforts in a further attempt to distance himself from the former president.”

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