10 April 2012

Namibia: Hunter Guns Down Jumbo

Photo: The Namibian
Namibia Elephant

Windhoek — A trophy hunter shot and killed an elephant a week ago, according to the Councillor of the Daures Constituency in the Erongo Region, Ernst Katjiku.

Katjiku explained that the animal was problematic and caused fear among residents in the Ozondati area. It caused extensive damage to property.

He added that the head, tusks and hoofs were bought for N$60 000 of which N$20 000 was allocated to the Game Trust Fund and the remaining N$40 000 allocated to the Ohungu Conservancy in Ozondati.

The meat was donated to the community for consumption as many people relish elephant meat.

Human wildlife conflict has been going on for the past 20 years, according to Katjiku.

As a result, a delegation from the Erongo Region including Katjiku held their first meeting with the Minister of Environment and Tourism (MET), Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah on Wednesday last week.

Further representing the ministry was Deputy Uahekua Herunga and Deputy Director of Wildlife Management at MET, Colgar Sikopo "Our resolution was to have all elephants removed or have their number reduced from the Ozondati and surrounding areas, about 100 kilometers from Omaruru," said Katjiku.

The delegation requested that water points be established for the elephants far from homesteads and to have rangers from the ministry permanently placed in elephant-prone zones.

They also proposed that the conservancy fund for the human versus wildlife conflict scheme be increased and be made market related. They also proposed that the fund should compensate farmers N$600 for a goat if killed by wild animals.

In addition, funeral cover for human life is N$5000 which is allegedly not enough for a coffin, fuel and funeral arrangements and the delegation proposed that it be increased.

In response, Nandi-Ndaitwah reportedly confirmed that two boreholes would be completed by June this year, in addition to sending rotating staff for an office to be established in the area by June.

She added that the ministry does not offer compensation, but only assists affected people.

She told the delegation that the fund would be reviewed to see whether the fees can be increased.

Nandi-Ndaitwah also added that it would be difficult to place tracking devices on about 20 000 ele-phants in the country as they roam around and are not found at the same location all the time.

She added that the possibility of increasing quotas to conservancies to shoot elephants would be looked at.

This is when trophy hunters shoot and buy the animals and can provide the meat to the community Katjiku explained.

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