Botswana: Two Hunters Surrender Licences to Wildlife Department

Gaborone — Following an incident in which a collared elephant was shot in NG3, the two hunters involved, Mr Michael Lee Potter and Mr Kevin Sharp have voluntarily surrendered their professional hunting licences to the licensing authority, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks.

A press release from the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism states that after engaging the relevant authorities, it was resolved that the period of the surrender of Mr Potter's license will indefinite while Mr Sharp's license will be surrendered for a period of three years with immediate effect.

In addition, the two hunters will replace the destroyed collar.

This follows reports received by the environment ministry that a collared male elephant was shot and killed on November 24, in the controlled hunting area NG3.

In a separate press release the ministry states that the controlled area where the animal was hunted was issued with an elephant-hunting quota and the license to hunt was obtained from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks.

The release states that Mr Potter, a professional hunter and Mr Sharp, a citizen hunting license holder claimed to have encountered several bull elephants in the thick bushes, North of Dobe Border Post.

"They allege that one of the bulls approached them and they shot at it. The professional hunter claimed that the collar was not visible as the elephant was in a full-frontal position. Once the animal was down, they realised it had a collar on it placed for research purposes," states the release.

In accordance the hunting guidelines, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks officer escorted the hunting group.

Although this was a legal hunt, the release states, the killing of the collared elephant is regrettable, and investigations by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks are at an advanced stage with a view to understanding exactly what transpired.

"We do not condone the shooting of collared animals and will take all the necessary measures to ensure that this does not occur again. Killing of collard animals is not permitted under any circumstances and appropriate measures shall be taken against transgressors including revocation of their licenses. We urge hunters to adhere to the hunting guidelines, their code of conduct and ensure that ethical hunting is practiced at all times," states the press release.

Source : BOPA

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