Westerners still dominate trophy hunting in Botswana

Up for sale: Elephant PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
Up for sale: Elephant PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES

FRANCISTOWN: Despite an outcry from animal rights organisations mainly based in the West about Botswana’s lifting of the hunting ban, Westerners flush with cash still dominate the sport in the country.

Botswana lifted the ban on elephant hunting and other wildlife species in 2019, five years after former president, Ian Khama, who was and is still a nature enthusiast, imposed it much to the chagrin of communities that live near or within wildlife areas in the country. A clamour loud engulfed Botswana after Khama - who has vast interests in the tourism industry in Botswana including in the prime tourism address of the worldwide acclaimed Chobe District - following his imposition of the hunting embargo. In fact, Khama criticised the move to lift the hunting ban that was implemented by his successor President Mokgweetsi Masisi after nationwide consultations, as nothing but a pure political move by the latter to shore up rural votes ahead of the general elections in 2019.

Khama’s detractors alleged that he was protecting his interests and those of his allies at the expense of the interests of commoners who were and are still feeling the brunt of the destruction caused by wildlife, especially elephants. There was hue and cry following the imposition of the hunting ban especially about elephants which are abundant in the country that greatly increased in numbers the aftermath of the ban.

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