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Namibia | Government plan to auction off 170 elephants to private keepers draws rebukes from enviros

Despite a petition of over 100,000 signatures condemning the sale, Namibia’s Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism (MEFT) plans to finalize a controversial auction of 170 of its wild elephants on Friday, January 29. The auction has been met with sharp criticism by some conservationists who have questioned the population data and claims of human-elephant conflict that are being used to justify the sale.

MEFT has argued that the auction is necessitated by a tripling in the country’s elephant population from about 7,500 in 1995 to about 24,000 individuals today, which the ministry asserts is damaging ecosystems, increasing the incidence of conflict between pachyderms and farmers, and heightening the risk of poaching.

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