Who wants their very own elephant?
The southwest African country of Namibia will be auctioning off 170 “high value” wild elephants to domestic and international bidders, the southern African country’s environmental ministry announced this week.
All potential elephant owners will have to meet strict criteria including quarantine facilities and a game-proof fence certificate for the property where the elephants will be kept, according to CNN. “Foreign buyers must also provide proof that conservation authorities in their countries will permit them to export elephants to their countries.”
A raise in human-elephant conflict is the motivation for the sale, according to an advertisement in the state-owned daily New Era, according to CNN.
Namibia’s elephants are among a number of species facing risk of extinction due to poaching, illegal wildlife trade and ecological factors.”
The move comes during a severe drought and increased human/wildlife contact in a country that has been hailed for its conservation efforts.
The country’s elephant population “jumped from about 7,500 in 1995 to 24,000 in 2019,” according to CNN. The country previously sold 1,000 animals from national parks, including 500 buffaloes, in 2019.