Elephants can no longer wander as free as they did because humankind started destroying their presences across the African continent. Botswana government has recently resumed the hunting ban, including elephant hunting.
Many animal lovers attacked the Botswana authorities, so just 400 licenses for elephant hunting will be issued annually, but it’s hardly enough to make a serious impact because the elephant population is as high as 135 000. Elephant numbers and the management of the species is one of the most emotive environmental issues of our times, second only to rhino poaching in its potential to generate outrage.
Big game hunters killed tens of thousands African elephants in the 19th century. Populations only began recovering when the government implemented the conservation measures. However, the animals will always be cooped up by fences, roads and urban concentrations, with their normal ranges drastically curtailed.
Elephants can wreak destruction of habitat. The other species can suffer to the point of becoming locally extinct because natural habitats are destroyed or changed by elephants.
Culling elephants was considered an acceptable management tool for a long time – not pleasant to do, but thought to be the price of ensuring continued biodiversity.
In the past 30 years, elephant populations may have tripled in Botswana, and they have affected not only vegetation but also threatened the livelihoods of people in rural areas. This is not a simple problem and it’s not easy to answer.