Botswana president: Europeans care more about elephants than people

    WORLD  21 April 2024 - 22:00

    The Guardian carries an article about Westerners who see elephants as pets, Caliber.Az reprints the article.

    Many Europeans value the lives of elephants more than those of the people who live around them, the president of Botswana has said, amid tensions over potential trophy hunting import bans.

    Botswana recently threatened to send 30,000 elephants to the UK and Germany after both countries proposed stricter controls on hunting trophies. The country’s president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, said it would help people to understand human-wildlife conflict – which is among the primary threats to the species – including the experiences of subsistence farmers affected by crop-raiding by the animals.

    Speaking to the Guardian on April 17, Masisi said: “I get the sense that they [Europeans] think these elephants are pets. I get the sense that many think these elephants are human beings, and a majority would perceive the value of these elephants as superior to human life in Botswana.

    “Why don’t you for a moment experience living with them? That’s why this offer was made to yourselves to have them in Hyde Park,” he said.

    Masisi’s comments come amid heightened tensions between anti-trophy activists in Europe and Africa and those who say that regulated hunting is helpful for elephant conservation in some cases: allowing tourists to kill a small number of animals for thousands of dollars can provide livelihoods for local people and ensure habitats are not converted for agriculture.

    The UK government has committed to delivering a ban on the import of hunting trophies. A ban almost passed last year but was scuppered in the Lords after it had passed all Commons stages.

    While trophy hunting has provoked widespread revulsion from the British public and celebrity campaigners, using it as part of broader conservation strategies has been shown to help wildlife and tackle poaching. Masisi said Botswana, home of the world’s largest elephant population, allowed trophy hunting by democratic choice and said European countries telling his country how to manage its elephant population should provide alternatives to hunting.

    “We are only human beings. Those Europeans, if they lived among elephants like we do, they would respond exactly the same way. Perhaps they might be more brutal, because they have a much stronger gun culture than we do,” he said.

    Human-wildlife conflict is on the rise in many parts of Africa, and threatening some species with extinction. Dozens of people are thought to be killed by elephants every year across the continent, with thousands of instances of crop-raiding and other forms of conflict.

    “Imagine … you try to gather your goats at night, when you stumble upon an elephant and it charges. You cannot outrun an elephant,” he said. “You get squashed like when you squash potato when you mash it. I’m trying to use an expression so those who eat fish and chips or mashed potatoes might understand. It’s pretty dreary,” Masisi said.

    Masisi said he hoped that celebrity anti-trophy campaigners would spend time with communities affected by human-wildlife conflict to properly understand the problems elephants can cause.

    “I’m not faulting them for being famous and being celebrities. We respect them, we love them. But not at the expense of our lives.”

    Caliber.Az

    Subscribe to our Telegram channel


Read also

Musk reveals "tough problem" battling Russian jamming efforts on Starlink Amid Ukraine war

25 May 2024 - 12:06

US introduces legislation proposing sanctions against Georgia

25 May 2024 - 09:52

Ukraine aid from Russian assets moving forward in G-7 draft

25 May 2024 - 10:42

NATO summit to be held in Hague in 2025

24 May 2024 - 20:52

Israel ordered to immediately halt Rafah offensive by top UN court

24 May 2024 - 19:12

French president, Arab ministers to meet over situation in Gaza

24 May 2024 - 19:27
ADVERTS
Video
Latest news

    Musk reveals "tough problem" battling Russian jamming efforts on Starlink

    Amid Ukraine war

    25 May 2024 - 12:06

    King Charles III expresses hope for continued UK-Azerbaijan collaboration on key global matters

    25 May 2024 - 11:58

    Azerbaijani Army's engineering units excel in combat training sessions

    25 May 2024 - 11:56

    Media: Pashinyan considered imposing state of emergency

    25 May 2024 - 11:44

    Türkiye achieves 5 million cubic meters per day in Black Sea gas production

    25 May 2024 - 11:32

    Chinese trucks to transit through Azerbaijan

    Middle Corridor gains momentum

    25 May 2024 - 11:21

    Media: Armenian PM's helicopter makes emergency landing

    25 May 2024 - 11:12

    NATO forming network of cyber labs along Russia's borders - Foreign Ministry

    25 May 2024 - 11:07

    Russia downs three Ukrainian drones over Belgorod, Kursk regions

    25 May 2024 - 10:54

    Ukraine aid from Russian assets moving forward in G-7 draft

    25 May 2024 - 10:42

    Another migration caravan left for Azerbaijan’s Shusha

    PHOTO

    25 May 2024 - 10:28

    Erdogan greenlights revisions to Azerbaijan-Türkiye trade agreement

    25 May 2024 - 10:16

    Armenia detains alleged "mayors" of formerly occupied Azerbaijani towns

    25 May 2024 - 10:13

    Azerbaijan increases reconstruction budget for liberated territories by 27%

    25 May 2024 - 10:04

    US introduces legislation proposing sanctions against Georgia

    25 May 2024 - 09:52

    Armenian border guards secure delimited section of border with Azerbaijan

    Pashinyan addresses to nation

    25 May 2024 - 09:40

    Azerbaijan boosts defence, national security budget by 11%

    25 May 2024 - 09:28

    Amid regional tension & domestic opposition, Armenia returns occupied villages to Azerbaijan after 30 years

    Historic handover sets stage for peace talks

    25 May 2024 - 09:17

    Azerbaijani Parliament issues formal protest to Czech Republic

    25 May 2024 - 09:07

    Bhutan turns to "Gross National Happiness 2.0" as crisis deepens

    25 May 2024 - 09:07

    Replicator drones already being delivered

    Pentagon says

    25 May 2024 - 07:03

    Juneau inventor wants to bring ocean energy to your outlets

    25 May 2024 - 05:04

    European Commission president backs Polish, Greek calls for EU air defense shield

    25 May 2024 - 03:05

    Korea invents new fuel we don’t know about in US

    goodbye to refueling gasoline

    25 May 2024 - 01:03

    Why US semiconductor export controls backfire?

    24 May 2024 - 23:00

    COP29 presidency hosts international diplomatic corps in Lachin

    Climate Action Dialogue event

    24 May 2024 - 22:36

    US delegation visits Lachin, Shusha, applauds reconstruction efforts

    PHOTO

    24 May 2024 - 21:04

    NATO summit to be held in Hague in 2025

    24 May 2024 - 20:52

    Turkish president calls for UN reform amid global crises

    24 May 2024 - 20:39

    Azerbaijani, German top diplomats focus on peace process between Baku, Yerevan

    24 May 2024 - 20:24

    Armenian premier to address the nation

    24 May 2024 - 20:24

    Russian FM remains vague on reasons for ambassador's recall from Armenia

    24 May 2024 - 20:12

    Hungarian water quality control technology to be implemented in Azerbaijan

    24 May 2024 - 19:57

    Six new enterprises set to launch in Aghdam industrial park by year-end

    24 May 2024 - 19:42

    French president, Arab ministers to meet over situation in Gaza

    24 May 2024 - 19:27

    Israel ordered to immediately halt Rafah offensive by top UN court

    24 May 2024 - 19:12

    French Ambassador provides insights on Lachin visit, COP29 cooperation

    24 May 2024 - 19:01

    Armenia's aggression against Azerbaijan exposed

    Unmasking double standards/VIDEO

    24 May 2024 - 18:55

    Armenian PM skips out CIS event in Turkmenistan

    24 May 2024 - 18:50

    Azerbaijani, Moldovan interior ministries elevate cooperation to new level

    24 May 2024 - 18:38

All news