Namibia culls elephants to ‘protect’ farmers, crops

Namibia culled 10 elephants over the past month after they moved into farming areas and destroyed crops during harvest season, according to the country’s wildlife authority.

The animals were shot after they endangered human lives in the north of the country and were marked as dangerous, Romeo Muyunda, spokesman for the ministry of environment, forestry and tourism, said on Saturday.

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He said the decision was necessary to protect farmers and their crops. The carcasses have been given as compensation to community members whose harvests have been damaged.

“Normally during this season people are terrorised by elephants. We had no choice but to be proactive,” Muyunda said, adding however that problematic elephants can only be put down if no other solution can be found.

Like several other African nations, Namibia has grappled with balancing protection for species like elephants with managing the danger they pose when they encroach on areas of human habitation.

The country has enjoyed international support for a conservation drive that has seen its elephant population grow from just over 7,500 in 1995 to 24,000 last year, according to government figures.

SOURCE: Reuters news agency

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