Namibia is putting 170 live elephants up for sale to curb rising tusker populations under pressure from drought and territorial conflict with humans. An advertisement for the sale of 170 “high value” elephants was advertised by a state-owned daily newspaper. The ministry says the elephants are being sold “due to drought and increase in elephant numbers coupled with human-elephant conflict incidences.”
The ministry of environment, forestry, and tourism will auction the animals to anyone in Namibia or abroad who could meet the strict criteria, which include quarantine facilities and a game-proof fence certificate for the property where the elephants will be kept. Foreign buyers must also provide proof that conservation authorities in their countries will permit them to export elephants to their countries. Southern African country is home to some 28,000 elephants. The government-backed the policy of selling live animals after being criticized for shooting elephants to control overpopulation. The elephant population had dwindled to about 5,000 animals at independence in 1990, but increased phenomenally thanks to a globally-lauded conservation program.