The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has said that it will consider minimising quotas for the trophy hunting of lions due to a decline in the lion population in the country.
Namibia’s lion population currently stands at 700, with the bulk of the big cats found in Etosha National Park.
The decline in the population is a result of food shortages and human wildlife conflict in conservancy areas where they are hunted.
“Yes there is a possibility that we will minimise the number of lions hunted for trophies during hunting seasons. There are only very few of them in the country left and it will be wise to do so until numbers pick up again. There have been a number of incidences where farmers have been shooting lions for attacking livestock and this is also one factor that has led to the declining number of lions in the country,” Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta said.
He added that all over the world there are only a few numbers of these cats left and that there is a need to allow the animals to reproduce in order to increase their numbers.
Shifeta also said lions play a very crucial role when it comes to tourist attraction as more tourists come to the country to see the big cats with their naked eye.
“Lions are a very important part of the tourism sector too. They are part of the animals tourists come to view. It is very important that we understand that we do not want people to hunt the lions because they are very territorial cats and do not usually attack livestock unless there is nothing for them to feed on,” he said.
The minister said that any person found in possession of lion bones will be slapped with up to N$1 million in fines or will serve a 10-year effective jail term.