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Europeans care more about elephants than people, says Botswana president

  • April 19, 2024
  • 2 min read
Europeans care more about elephants than people, says Botswana president

Western countries value elephants more than people and see them as pets, according to Mokgweetsi Masisi. His government have threatened to send as many as 30,000 elephants to Germany and the UK to highlight the dangers the animals pose.

The comments from the Botswana president comes amid tension following the potential of trophy hunting import bans. The president made the threat after Germany and the UK floated the possibility of stricter controls on hunting trophies. The president said that it would help Europeans understand the conflict between humans and wildlife, among the biggest threat to the species. That includes the experiences of farmers who see their crops raided by the large mammals.

“I get the sense that they [Europeans] think these elephants are pets,” he told The Guardian. “I get the sense that many think these elephants are human beings, and a majority would perceive the value of these elephants as superior to human life in Botswana. Why don’t you for a moment experience living with them? That’s why this offer was made to yourselves to have them in Hyde Park.”

These comments come amid raised tension between anti-trophy activists in Europe and Africa and those who say that regulated hunting can be good for helping in conservation in some cases. Tourists are often allowed to kill a small amount of animals for thousands of dollars, providing livelihoods to local people and ensuring that habitats are not destroyed or converted to agriculture or for other purposes.

The UK government however has maintained its commitment to a ban on the import of hunting trophies. A ban almost passed last year but failed in the Lords after passing all Commons stages.

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