Kenya is home to World’s most iconic animals ranging from elephants, rhinoceros, giraffes, the big cats just to name but a few. Elephants and rhinoceros are among the most threatened animals because of their invaluable tusks and horns.
In Kenya, therefore, poaching is not a sport but a serious environmental crime since it poses a major threat to these essential wildlife population.
In 2013, the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) revamped its efforts in conserving these endangered species, with their vision bolstered by the enactment of the Wildlife Conservation Act.
The Act carries a life sentence or fine of KSh21 million for offenders. It appears that this act is yielding fruits, albeit sparingly. In 2020, KWS announced that Kenya’s elephant population had more than doubled in 30 years. The agency announced that elephants population had increased from 16,000 in 1989 to 34,800 by the end of 2019.
Elephants will be hunted at a price in Zimbabwe parks
With all these efforts put in place in Kenya, authorities in Zimbabwe will soon start selling rights to shoot as many as 500 elephants this year.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority Spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said that the declining tourism revenue owing to the COVID-19 pandemic was among the main reasons for the move.
But for one to obtain the right to hunt an elephant, you will have to part with some dollars.
The right to shoot an elephant will cost between $10,000 (KSh1 million) and $70,000 (KSh7.5 million) per animal, depending on its size.
The elephants will be shot in hunting concessions rather than the parks frequented by photo-safari tourists.
The money will help fund the upkeep of Zimbabwe’s national parks.
“We eat what we kill,” Farawo told CNN. “We have a budget of about $25 million for our operations which is raised — partly — through sports hunting, but you know tourism is as good as dead at the moment due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
Zimbabwe has the world’s second-biggest elephant population after the neighbouring Botswana.
Environmentalists have criticised both countries for their plans to profit from elephant hunting. Botswana is resuming hunting after a five-year ban.
“How do we fund our operations, how do we pay our men and women who spend 20 days in the bush looking after these animals?” said Tinashe Farawo in an interview with the media on April 17. “Those who are opposed to our management mechanism should instead be giving us the funding to manage better these animals.”