President of Botswana threatens to send 20.000 elephants to Germany

President of Botswana threatens to send 20.000 elephants to Germany

Botswanan President Mokgweetsi Masisi has threatened to send 20.000 elephants to Germany as the federal republic considers stricter limits on hunting trophy imports.

Germany doesn’t realise impact of its law, says President Masisi

In an interview with German tabloid newspaper Bild, President Mokgweetsi Masisi has vowed that Botswana will send 20.000 elephants to the federal republic so that Germans can “live together with the animals, in the way you are trying to tell us to”.

Earlier this year, Greens Minister Steffi Lemke suggested that Germany should introduce stricter limits on importing hunting trophies because of concerns about poaching.

Now, the prospect of stricter import rules in Germany - the EU’s largest importer of African elephant trophies and hunting trophies overall, according to the Humane Society International - is causing concern in Botswana over how the country will manage its elephant population.

“It is very easy to sit in Berlin and have an opinion about our affairs in Botswana. We are paying the price for preserving these animals for the world,” Masisi said in his interview.

While trophy hunting was banned in Botswana in 2014, the government revoked its ban in 2019 after pressure from local communities. Since then, an annual hunting quota has been in place to manage the country’s growing elephant population.

Botswanan President says he will not take no for an answer

With a growing elephant population which has previously damaged buildings, eaten crops and injured residents, Botswana is looking to other countries for help with elephant management. 8.000 elephants have already been offered to nearby Angola and 500 to Mozambique.

“We would like to offer such a gift to Germany,” Masisi said to Bild, adding that he would “not take no for an answer”. 

A spokesperson for the German government said that Berlin was yet to be formally approached by Botswanan politicians, but recognised that Germany has a “special responsibility to do everything to ensure the import of hunting trophies is sustainable and legal”.

Thumb image credit: Villiers Steyn /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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