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Namibia: Wildlife authorities kill ten elephants in human-wildlife conflict

Over the past month, wildlife authorities in Namibia have killed ten elephants after they moved into farming areas and destroyed crops during harvest season.

Speaking on the matter, Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism spokesman Romeo Muyunda detailed how the elephants were considered dangerous to human life and thus needed culling.

The authorities also claimed that due to the elephants "terrorising" rural communities, their execution was both a "proactive" and "necessary" choice.

The elephants were killed in the north of the country.

The carcasses have been given as compensation to community members whose harvests were damaged.

Image credit: National Geographic

This issue is not a new phenomenon and has been ongoing for a number of years.

A Namibian National Policy on Human-Wildlife Conflict by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) was first released in 2009 to address the human-wildlife conflict that occurs all too often between wildlife and the rural communities and farmers that share the same land.

The idea which backs the policy is although human-wildlife conflict will most likely never disappear, it can be reduced and effectively managed.

The 2009 policy aimed to reduce human-wildlife conflict from 2009-rate incidents of about 5,000 per year, to fewer than 1,000 by 2021.

A draft policy consisting of a comprehensive document outlining many steps to be taken by MET and other parties was released more recently in 2017.

It seems these steps have not contributed to much, as Namibia has seen another ten elephants perish in what is their natural home.

According to government figures, an internationally supported conservation drive has seen its elephant population grow from just over 7,500 in 1995 to 24,000 last year.


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