Zimbabwe has put its wild animals up for sale in efforts to save the beasts from the devastating drought that has hit the country.
The country’s Parks and Wildlife Management Authority asked members of the public “with the capacity to acquire and manage wildlife” – and enough land to hold the animals – to get in touch to register an interest.
There have been no details yet on what animals are on offer or how much they would cost, but the southern African country’s 10 national parks are famed for their huge populations of elephants, lions, rhinos’ leopards and buffalos.
The drought that has hit the Southern Africa region has left more than 4 million Zimbabweans in need of aid, and has also hit the crops the Zimbabweans rely on for food and export earnings, from maize to tobacco.
Selling the animals would give some of them a new home and ease financial pressure on the parks authority, which says it receives little government funding and struggles to get by on what it earns through hunting and tourism.
“In light of the drought … Parks and Wildlife Management Authority intends to destock its parks estates through selling some of the wildlife,” the authority said in a statement.
Parks authority spokeswoman Caroline Washaya-Moyo would not say whether the animals could be exported or how many it wanted to sell.
“We do not have a target. The number of animals depends on the bids we receive,” she said.