Wildlife authorities in Namibia killed ten elephants over the past month after they moved into farming areas and destroyed crops during harvest season.
The animals were shot after they supposedly endangered human lives in the north of the country, said Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism spokesman Romeo Muyunda on Saturday.
He said the decision was necessary to protect farmers and their crops. The dead elephant bodies have been given as compensation to community members whose harvests have been damaged.
“Normally during this season, people are terrorized by elephants. We had no choice but to be proactive,” Muyunda said, adding that elephants can only be put down if no other solution can be found.
Like a number of other African nations, Namibia has struggled with balancing the protection of elephants and the danger they pose when they come into places where people live.
The country has gotten international support to conserve elephants. With that help the elephant population grew from 7,500 in 1995 to 24,000 last year, according to government figures.