The management of Zimbabwe’s elephant population, which is estimated to be well over 80 thousand, has been a topical issue globally in recent years.
The southern African country says it has a carrying capacity of around 50 thousand jumbos, and is planning to sell elephant hunting rights as part of efforts to depopulate its national parks.
Animal rights groups however, have criticised the country for its decision to cull its elephant herd.
Amid the fierce contestations, Environment, Water and Climate Minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso
Ndlovu says the depopulation plans will go ahead as planned.
“A lot of noise is coming from people who have no genuine interest in the conservation that is taking place in Zimbabwe. We are trying to reduce the numbers. We have to discuss at policy level. Options are on the table including culling. We haven’t made a decision on that”, he said.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Professional Guides Association Chairperson, Rob Lurie said elephant
population management is a mammoth task.
“It’s a big animal, it eats a lot, it wanders a lot and does not stay in one place, so the next best tool is the harvesting of it by culling.”
He said the process was a success in South Africa, adding that public emotion should not be used when addressing such issues, but a scientific approach should be adopted.