Zimbabwe’s wildlife agency has on Wednesday said that the country has sold 100 elephants to China and Dubai for a total price of 2.7 million dollars in a space of six years, citing the move to have been attributed by overpopulation.

According to the country’s Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesperson, Tinashe Farawo, the elephants were overcrowding national parks, encroaching into human settlements, destroying crops and also posing as a threat to human life.

“We have 84,000 elephants against a carrying capacity of 50,000,” he told AFP.

“We believe in sustainable use of resources, so we sell a few elephants to take care of the rest.”

Farawo said 200 people have died in “human-and-animal conflict” in the past five years, “and at least 7,000 hectares of crop have been destroyed by elephants”.

The animals’ natural habitat has been depleted by climate change.

The money from the legal sales was allocated to anti-poaching projects, conservation work, research and welfare.

According to the Zimbabwe Chronicle newspaper, 93 elephants were safely airlifted to parks in China and four to Dubai between 2012 and 2018. They were sold in a price range of between $13,500 and $41,500 each.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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