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Elephant poaching on the increase

Wimborne, United...
Level Contributor
24 posts
245 reviews
Elephant poaching on the increase

We have chosen to visit Botswana purely based on the countries support against elephant poaching. However I am distressed to read that poaching is now on the increase with over 80 elephants killed in recent weeks. Does anyone know if it correct that the government has disbanded the armed patrols?

If yes, Botswana will go the same way as Tanzania and see the elephant population destroyed. Along with the affluent tourist industry. Up to date information gratefully received before we make a decision regarding our holiday plans

24 replies to this topic
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
1,479 posts
31 reviews
1. Re: Elephant poaching on the increase

This is dreadful news. In particular "A senior official in the president's office, Carter Morupisi, told journalists in Botswana at the time that the "government has decided to withdraw military weapons and equipment from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks", but he did not explain why."

AND

"The government disarmed its anti-poaching units in May - a month after President Mokgweetsi Masisi was sworn into office." The question needs to be asked of the new President WHY???

https:/…world-africa-45396394

Maun, Botswana
Level Contributor
246 posts
4 reviews
2. Re: Elephant poaching on the increase

The BBC report is inaccurate as rangers not being disarmed - just having military grade weapons withdrawn not all weapons, though Botswana Defense Force continue to carry out anti-poaching.

Singapore River...
Level Contributor
6 posts
25 reviews
3. Re: Elephant poaching on the increase

The government under this new president is trying legalise trophy hunting. Like you, I only intend to visit African countries that has strong wildlife protection. I am visit Kenya this year and intended to go to Rwanda and Botswana next year. If this new government is not strong in wildlife protection, I will not go too.

Edited: 03 September 2018, 23:19
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
2,456 posts
346 reviews
4. Re: Elephant poaching on the increase

It's most unfortunate that Botswana's anti poaching patrols can no longer carry automatic weapons which means that the poachers will be freer to kill elephants. I would expect a massive slaughter of elephants. I wonder if this has anything to do with increased Chinese investment in Botswana?

Botswana
Level Contributor
54 posts
2 reviews
5. Re: Elephant poaching on the increase

Yes the report stopped short of some information...there were issues with the procurement of certain arms....which were withdrawn. Make no mistake, this issue is being taken very very seriously and not just swept under the carpet as has happened before. If you could quantify how many elephants have been saved over the decades by the anti poaching units.........this was bound to happen as elephants elsewhere are few and far between, so poachers will now focus on Botswana. The conservation effort cannot continue and improve without tourists coming...please do not let this incident put you off coming here......this would be counter productive..

Edited: 04 September 2018, 03:57
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
2,456 posts
346 reviews
6. Re: Elephant poaching on the increase

As someone who has been on 17 safaris in Africa and is planning to go on 4 next year,nobody can take this issue as seriously as I do.The big game hunters and ivory traders all want to use this incident as an excuse to say that the Botswana example is failed and thus the need to bring the hunting of endangered species back to Botswana.We simply cannot allow this to happen.The Botswana defence forces need to be allowed to use their automatic weapons again and be allowed to shoot poachers on sight.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
2,637 posts
29 reviews
7. Re: Elephant poaching on the increase

We regular contributors are quite aware of how many safaris you have done and are planning, given the constant reminders but rhetoric on a social media forum is hardly a strategy.Perhaps suggest some viable contribution to resolve the rather sickening situation.Perhaps start a fund in Kenya for the goodly people of Elephants without Borders.I am sure tour operators and others are concerned and concerted lobbying needs to be undertaken by them to put pressure on the appropriate bodies as well as others,tourists included

Wimborne, United...
Level Contributor
24 posts
245 reviews
8. Re: Elephant poaching on the increase

We leave tomorrow for a 16 day safari in Botswana. Hopefully we can get to a version of the truth in what is a complex and disheartening issue.

Botswana
Level Contributor
54 posts
2 reviews
9. Re: Elephant poaching on the increase

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF) are fully armed to the teeth with access to helicopters, vehicles etc and still have the policy to shoot on site as happened earlier this year in an attempted elephant poaching incident. They have not been disarmed, so nothing has changed!!! The disarmed unit was a NEW Department of Wildlife (DWNP) unit, that had high grade weapons which were issued questionably (apparently). The reports are misleading. All as Anton has already stated, so no need to repeat the misinformation again.

Level Contributor
9 posts
11 reviews
10. Re: Elephant poaching on the increase

I’ve been on safari in Botswana 3 times 2015-May, 2018 and have personally spent close to $100K on those trips in that time frame. I chose Botswana because of its government’s dedication to effective anti poaching strategies and ban on trophy hunting. I will not spend another dollar going to Botswana if it’s government allows this slaughter to continue. I follow Botswana government on social media and the new President Masisi is quite cozy with China which doesn’t bode well for the Botswana wildlife. The big tourism operators like Great Plains Conservation, Wilderness, Sanctuary Retreats, &Beyond etc obviously have government contacts. I’d be interested in knowing if they are working together to develop a strategy to convince this new government that wildlife is worth protecting and, if so, if the international community of travellers who love going to that special place can assist them. Tourism is one of Botswana’s top 3 industries. Money talks.

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