Namibia sells 57 wild elephants through auction

Elephants walking through Bwabata National Park in Namibia. REUTERS
Elephants walking through Bwabata National Park in Namibia. REUTERS

Namibia has sold 57 wild elephants through auction, an official said on Wednesday.

The sale will raise 5.9 million Namibian dollars (400,000 U.S. dollars), Environment Ministry spokesman Romeo Muyunda said.

The elephants sold were among 170 put on tender in December 2020.

“A total of 15 elephants will be captured and remain in Namibia while 42 will be exported out of Namibia,” Muyunda said.

“The capturing will start this month, to be conducted by Namibian registered game capture operators and supervised by the ministry’s officials,” he said.

Muyunda said the aim of the auction was to reduce elephant numbers in specified areas to minimize human-elephant conflicts, which have become persistent and led to deaths, extensive property damage, and disruption of people’s livelihoods.

“The funds generated through this auction will be transferred into the Game Product Trust Fund to be reinvested in the conservation of Namibia’s wild animals, including in community conservancies. Particularly the funds will be used for human-wildlife conflict management, wildlife management among others,” he said in an update on the auction.