Botswana

Botswana gives leaders stools made from elephant feet

 

Botswana

President Mokgweetsi Masisi handed over the stools made from elephant feet to his counterparts from Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia

Stools made from elephant feet have been presented to three African leaders by their host in Botswana during a meeting on the future of the mammals.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi handed over the gifts, covered in a blue patterned cloth, to his counterparts from Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The countries, along with South Africa, are calling for the ban on the sale of ivory to be lifted.

They argue that money from the trade can be used for conservation projects.

Elephant poaching is a big issue across Africa and some estimates say 30,000 are killed every year. There are thought to be 450,000 left.

Although culling some of the Botswana’s elephants has been removed as an option there is strong rural support for lifting the hunting ban, which matters in an election year.

Critics, however, say it would put off rich tourists who provide the country’s second largest source of foreign income from tourism.

Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe allow hunting and are backing a request for Cites, which governs the trade in endangered species, to allow ivory stockpile sales to fund elephant conservation.

Those opposed to the trade say that a limited one-off sale a decade ago led to this recent and devastating spike in poaching.

Source: BBC

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