THE Government of Namibia plans to sell 170 elephants at auction.
According to the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, And Tourism, the sale is planned to amongst others minimise human-wildlife conflict situations.
The persistent drought and a steady increase in elephant numbers have increased the frequency of human-wildlife conflict situations significantly.
The MEFT stated that the auction of the wild animals will be open to any person in Namibia or from abroad who could meet the strict criteria that would form part of the conditions of sale. Some of the criteria include adequate quarantine facilities and the possession of a game-proof fence certificate for the property where the animals will be kept once bought by bidders.
Foreign buyers must also provide proof that the conservation authorities in their countries of origin will permit them to import elephants bought at the auction.
Namibia, like several countries, is trying to strike a fine balance between protecting high-value wildlife species like elephants and rhinos, while managing the danger they pose when they encroach on areas of human habitation.
The MEFT argues that the sale and export of live animals would raise much-needed funds to improve other conservation efforts and the protection of endangered species.
In a similar move during October this year, the MEFT put 70 female and 30 male buffalos from Waterberg Plateau Park up for sale in a bid to ease pressure on grazing areas.