Zimbabwe has sold over 100 million elephants worth 2.7 million dollars to China and Dubai in recent years, in order to avoid raising the population of smugglers on their territory, AFP reports.
“We have nearly 84,000 elephants in our territory, with a capacity of hosting 50,000 copies. We believe in the sustainable use of resources, so we sold some elephants to take care of the others,” said the spokesperson Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Management Agency, Tinashe Farawo.
According to local media, 97 elephants were sold between 2012 and 2018 (93 of which reached zoos in China and four in Dubai) at a price of between 13,500 and 41,500 dollars per copy.
Zimbabwean authorities have been complaining for many years of the exponential growth in the number of elephants in their parks, a phenomenon that generates cohabitation problems with the human population. Tinashe Farawo says 200 people have died in the past five years due to incidents of elephants and at least 70,000 hectares of crops have been destroyed by elephants.
At a summit last week, leaders from four states in southern Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe) have called for a relaxation of ban on trade in ivory in order to better manage population growth pachidermi in certain regions.
However, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) statistics, the population of African elephants has fallen by almost 111,000 copies in the last decade to 415,000 copies, mainly due to ivory poaching.