30 November 2011

Namibia: Jumbo Sized Meal for Gam Residents

Photo: The Namibian
Namibia Elephant

Windhoek — Gam residents in the Otjozondjupa have been feasting on meat from a trophy hunted elephant over the past two days.

This was possible through the Ondjou Conservancy, which availed the elephant on request from conservancy members.

According to the chairperson of the Ondjou Conservancy, Jonas Kauheva, the conservancy allocates elephants for trophy hunting, through which the conservancy derives income, as well as at least two elephants for "own use", as requested by conservancy members.

At least 300 Gam residents each got a chunk of elephant meat, which lasted them for at least two days. Kauheva would not say how old the bull elephant that was killed by trophy hunters was.

Conservancy members asked that the elephant be slaughtered for "own use" or consumption but mostly children ate the meat, compared to adults.

"You see some people are Christians and do not eat this meat, also because of its smell," Kauheva said. Some residents confirmed Kauheva's statement that they do not eat elephant meat.

"I don't like elephant meat! An elephant is supposed to be conserved," said Zohunda Marenga, a resident of Gam. Another resident, Kauna Tuahuku, said he does not eat elephant meat because he is a Christian.

"We must not eat such animals. Some scriptures in the Bible say we must not eat such animals as elephants, warthogs and ostriches," Tuahuku said without elaborating.

Some members of the community reportedly believe that elephant meat is "made out of a lot of different meat, including human meat". Occasionally, conservancy members also benefit from the meat of oryx, eland and kudu.

The conservancy chairperson said the conservancy is doing well, although they have incidences of human, wildlife conflict, (HWC). The Ondjou Conservancy paid out N$52 000 for HWC, from the N$60 000 it received from the Game Product Trust, through the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.

Predators such as wild dog, hyena, leopard, caracal and jackal killed 300 livestock.

The conservancy was launched in 2007.

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