Thursday, August 5, 2021

Wildlife hunters flock to Zimbabwe as ban in Botswana starts to bite

There are fears that wildlife species such as elephants that migrate between countries like Angola Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia will continue to be under threat from hunting as a results of differences over hunting ban.

Botswana and Zambia have moved to introduce trophy hunting ban while other three member states will continue with trophy hunting.  

Botswana fears that the differences threaten the wildlife species more especially elephants.

Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Neil Fitt stated in an interview that there is a possibility that wildlife species that move freely between the five member states will be at great risk if there are countries that continue to allow hunting. 
“We cannot say this will not adversely affect wildlife species such as elephants,” said Fitt. ┬á

Fitt however praised Zambia for banning trophy hunting arguing that this will help to preserve wildlife species.
 There are fears that elephants will especially be targeted.

 Fitt said that he was meeting his counterparts from Zimbabwe and South Africa to discuss issues surrounding the issue.
“I hope that the discussion will benefit us in trying to preserve wildlife species that roam among the five countries,” added Fitt.
Reports indicates that ┬áSafari operators in Zimbabwe are predicting an increase of between 20-30 percent in revenue during this year’s trophy hunting season after Botswana banned the practice citing shrinking wildlife resources.

Botswana’s ban took effect on January 1.

Local operators say the ban has seen enthusiasts focusing on Zimbabwe.

“We are expecting between 20 to 30 percent more in revenue than in the previous hunting season because of the spillovers from the Botswana ban,” said Langton Masunda, chairperson of the Hwange-Gwayi-Dete Conservancy in Matabeleland North.
The conservancy is home to the Big Five; lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino.

Trophy hunting generated $45 million last year, and could rise to $60 million this year.
Masunda said current conditions were also ideal for hunting.

“There is water everywhere and the quality of the game has improved and so is their (game) visibility which is good for hunters,” said Masunda.

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