Namibia will sell around 60 elephants to local and overseas buyers, the country’s environment ministry said. In January, the government put 170 elephants up for sale via an auction, a third of the animals has been sold.
The ministry said the elephants were being sold “due to drought and increase in elephant numbers coupled with human-elephant conflict incidences.”
Conservationists have questioned the government’s claims of human-elephant conflict. More than 100,000 people signed an online petition condemning the auction, but Namibia still put the elephants up for sale.
“We hoped to sell all 170 elephants, even if it was to a single buyer, provided they meet the requirement,” ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda told Reuters.
Muyunda said that the remaining elephants will stay in their current habitats for now. “Perhaps in future, we may run another auction if the situation dictates,” he continued.
The elephants who were sold will be taken from their home and relocated. The ministry did not name the three buyers of the elephants, where the animals will be going to or what they’ll be used for.
With international support, Namibia was able to grow its population of elephants, but now the government want to get rid of the animals, saying they’re causing problems for humans.
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