The total number of elephants in Zimbabwe is more than 85,000. The country says it can cater to a maximum of 55,000. Hence, it decided to sell the balance and earn money to cater to the needs of the balance. Selling price of the elephants ranged from $13,500 to $41, 500 each and they earned $2.7 million from the sale. The animals moved to their new homes by air. The exports happened between 2012 and 2018. The money thus generated will extend support to conservation efforts for the balance elephants. Availability of water is a major obstacle in Zimbabwe. Depleting water levels in rivers and parks pose problems. Most of the parks rely on borehole water, which is a costly affair. The situation aggravates during droughts because elephants and water are inseparable. Therefore, sale of elephants to improve the economics is an acceptable option.
Lifting ban on ivory trade
The government also has ideas of generating funds from the sale of ivory. There is an international ban imposed on sale of these products. The authorities plans to insist on lifting this ban. If successful, it could bring in possibilities of still more revenue. Incidentally, other African countries like Botswana, Namibia and Zambia also want lifting of the ban on ivory trade.
Elephants posed problems for Zimbabwe
Since the number of elephants had gone beyond manageable limits, Zimbabwe put some of them up for sale. It was necessary to save them from an impending drought that hit its national parks and reserves. Moreover, the pachyderms began to encroach into human habitats. They destroyed farmlands and crops leading to man-animal conflicts. Many people lost they lives, many others suffered injuries. The worst part is that the injured were too poor and unable to afford the treatment. Hence, disposing off a portion of the excess elephants was an obvious choice. The policy is sustainable, given the ground realities.