Elephant sale moving forward (Namibia)
Ellanie Smit, The Namibian Sun
June 7, 2021
Four months after the bidding process closed, negotiations have been
completed with regards to the sale of 170 elephants from Namibia.
This was confirmed last week by environment ministry spokesperson Romeo
He told Namibian Sun the only hold-up now is for the bidders to acquire
import permits for the elephants. According to him, these permits form part
of the agreement that will be signed between the ministry and the bidders
for the sale of elephants.
Muyunda said he could not elaborate yet on which countries these bidders
are from as the agreements are not yet in place. However, he said an
agreement with a Namibian bidder is currently with the Office of the
Attorney General, and will most likely be finalised and ready to be signed
by next week.
Five bids were originally received for the elephants. The environment
ministry aims to generate at least N$13 million from the sale.
The ministry advertised the 170 elephants for sale at the beginning of
December last year and closed the bidding process on 29 January. It said
the sale was in response to an increase in the elephant population, which
had led to conflict with local communities.
The sale sparked widespread opposition, with online petitions calling for
it to be cancelled and conservationists speaking out against it.
The elephants are from the Omatjetje area (30), the Kamanjab commercial
farming area (50), the Grootfontein-Kavango cattle ranch area (60) and the
Grootfontein-Tsumkwe area (30).
The ministry said it would sell the animals to anyone in Namibia or abroad
who met its criteria, which included quarantine facilities and a game-proof
fence certificate for the property where the elephants would be kept.
International media reports have alleged that the sale is linked to
corruption and that Namibia is covering up its true elephant population
figures. The environment ministry responded that concerns raised by
international media, animal right groups, individuals and conservationists
are baseless, misleading and devoid of truth.
Proceeds from the sale will be deposited into the Game Products Trust Fund
for use on wildlife conservation and rural development projects.
Namibia’s elephant population currently stands at between 23,663 and
24,091, with an estimated rate of population increase of 5.36%.