Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZimParks) spokesman Tinashe Phrawo told Al Jazeera that when it comes to elephants in this country, we have a large population of them.
Herd of Elephants (File Photo)
The population of elephants is declining rapidly in the continent of Africa, but this is not the case in Zimbabwe. According to Zimbabwean officials, according to the last elephant census in 2014, there are between one lakh and 84,000 elephants in the country. Whereas the country has the capacity to keep only 45,000 elephants. Given the increasing number of elephants, the government has started considering mass killing of them in recent weeks. Zimbabwe has done this once in 1988, in order to protect the country’s flora along with other wildlife.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZimParks) spokesman Tinashe Phrawo told Al Jazeera that when it comes to elephants in this country, we have a large population of them. Officials say that the increasing population of elephants poses a threat to other animals. Because of these, the habitats of other animals are destroyed. Apart from this, dozens of people have also died in recent years due to encounters between humans and animals. There is also an increase in this. Faravo said that due to elephants, vultures are no longer able to breed on trees, because elephants have a habit of uprooting trees.
The law of the land allows the mass killing of animals
Tinashe Farawo said that the plan to kill the elephants is in the preliminary stage and a final decision has not been taken yet. But emphasized that such mass killings are permitted under Zimbabwean laws. But the Center for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG), an environmental and human rights watchdog that documents poaching in Zimbabwe, has opposed the plan. A CNRG spokesperson said that due to the mass killings, the species of elephants could be endangered. He said that this is just the beginning. Very soon we may have to travel to other countries to see elephants.
Elephant population is declining
Earlier this year, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed the African wild elephant as critically endangered and the African savannah elephant as endangered. It said the increase in poaching and damage to the habitat of elephants is responsible for their declining numbers. According to the latest estimates by the Switzerland-based group, the number of African wild elephants has declined by more than 86 percent over a period of 31 years. On the other hand, there has been a 60 percent decline in the number of savanna elephants in the last one century.
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