Zimbabwe will start selling hunting rights for 500 elephants this year. Tinashe Farawo, a spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, told CNN on Thursday that due to the diminished tourism revenue last year, the country is moving forward with the decision as a source of profit.
In response, Simiso Mlevu, a spokeswoman for the Center for Natural Resource Governance, shared with CNN that the decision was “appalling,” commenting, “We strongly condemn trophy hunting — a practice that agitates wild animals and escalates human-wildlife conflicts. Contrary to government arguments that trophy hunting is meant to assist with conservation, the practice is motivated by greed, and often the money is not even accounted for. There is a need for more innovative and eco-friendly measures to improve revenue generation from photo-safaris and tourism in general.”
Trophy hunting is still a pressing issue not just in Zimbabwe but in neighboring Namibia and other African nations. The Independent reports that the right to hunt a single elephant goes for anywhere between $10,000 and $70,000. The money raised is said to be used for Zimbabwe’s national parks upkeep.
Only one month ago, The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced that both species of elephants found in Africa are now listed as endangered.