Why did Botswana threaten Germany with elephants?

The story of conservation vs survival explained | AFP

Over 130,000 jumbos!

Botswana is home to about a third of the world's elephant population. | AFP

Jumbo population explosion:

Botswana's elephant population is a lot more than what it has space for -- causing man-animal conflict. | AFP


Elephant herds attack human settlements eating crops and trampling residents. Children often fall victim to such raids. | AFP

Controlled culling/ killing for sport?

To bring the elephant population under control Botswana let rich foreigners hunt animals on its soil for money. | AFP

Pay, kill and take home!

They let the Western hunters take back the skin or head of their hunts as trophies. | AFP

Giving away jumbos, not a new idea:

FYI, has previously given 8,000 elephants to neighbouring Angola, and several hundred to Mozambique. | AFP

The bigger picture:

Botswana and other southern African countries make a lot of money from rich Westerners who pay thousands of dollars for a permit to shoot an animal and then take its head or skin back home as a trophy. | AFP

Red flag:

However, conservation groups argue that the "cruel" practice promoting poaching needs to be banned. | AFP

The counter-argument:

However, the African nations maintain that the money thus earned is used for development works as well as for conservation activities. They say illegal poaching is in no way part of the equation. | AFP

Why Deutschland matters:

According to reports, Germany is the EU's largest importer of African elephant trophies, and hunting trophies overall. | AFP

What Germany said:

So when Germany's environment ministry earlier this year vouched for stricter limits on importing hunting trophies, Botswana was aggrieved. | AFP

The reaction:

This prompted Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi to threaten Germany with sending 20,000 elephants to the EU country. | Official Facebook page