The environment ministry says it expects to generate N$5.9 million from an auction in which 57 elephants were sold.
According to the ministry’s spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda, 37 elephants have already been captured, while the remaining 20 will be caught pending Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) permits.
Of the 37 that have been captured, 15 will remain in Namibia, and 22 will be exported to be announced at the end of the tender process.
According to journalist John Gobler who was arrested in Gobabis while attempting to take pictures of the elephants on a private farm, some of the elephants will be exported to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
“The 15 elephants that remain in Namibia were captured from Omatjete area, Erongo region and already supplied Naankuse as a successful bidder. The 22 elephants meant for one of the export destinations were captured from Kamanjab commercial farming area in the Kunene region and supplied to G.H Odendaal as one of the successful bidders,” said Muyunda.
He further said that the elephants are currently safely kept in a quarantine facility waiting to be exported. Family herds were captured.
The ministry said that from the N$5.9 million it expects to pocket from the auction, N$4.4 million has already been paid to the Game Product Trust Fund.
The 57 elephants form part of 170 offered in a tender advertised on 3 December 2020 and closed on 29 January 2021.
Of the 170, 30 are from Omatjete, 50 from Kamanjab-commercial farming area, 60 from Grootfontein-Kavango cattle ranch and 30 from Grootfontein-Tsumkwe.
“With this auction, we intend to reduce elephant numbers in specified areas to minimize human-elephant conflicts, which has become persistent, leading to extensive damages to properties, life losses and a disruption of people’s livelihoods,” Muyunda said.
The ministry said it intends to reinvest the funds made from the sale of the elephants into the conservation and management of wildlife resources and rural development, including in community conservancies.
“The funds will be used for human-wildlife conflict management, management of National Parks, species conservation, wildlife protection and law enforcement, community-based natural resources management and rural development.”