ZIMBABWE will sell the rights to shoot elephants for up to $70k each in a controversial bid to raise money
Zimbabwe will allow trophy hunters who are willing to pay up to $70,000 per elephant to shoot as many as 500 this year. The move comes in a bid to raise money after Covid caused tourism revenue to plummet.
Tinashe Farawo, a spokesman for the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, told CNN: “We eat what we kill. 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’s elephant population is more than 100,000 and hunters will be charged between $10,000 and $70,000 depending on the size of the elephant.
Authorities say that the intention is to raise money to sustain the national parks which the government currently cannot afford.
The program is also seen as a way of controlling the elephant population that has disturbed towns and farms surrounding national parks. Damage has included crop destruction and occasional fatalities when the elephants encounter people.