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Botswana Lifts Ban on Elephant Hunting

Botswana has lifted its ban on elephant hunting in a decision that is certain to infuriate conservationists across the world. Supporters of lifting the ban say the elephant population is getting out of control and herds are destroying crops and harming farmers’ livelihoods. Former President Ian Khama banned elephant hunting in the southern African country in 2014, but the current president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, began a public review of the decision last year. Announcing the decision to overturn the ban, the government said the review found that “the number and high levels of human-elephant conflict and the consequent impact on livelihoods was increasing” and insisted elephant hunting would restart in an “ethical manner.” Botswana has the largest elephant population in Africa, with more than 135,000 roaming freely in its unfenced parks.