Stop Botswana Selling Licenses To Kill Elephants At $39,000 A Head

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Botswana has auctioned off permits that will allow hunters to kill elephants for some $39,000 a head, infuriating environmentalists and animal lovers around the globe.

The pricey permit system will allow hunters to kill 70 elephants.

The permit auction was arranged by Auction It Ltd. on behalf of the government on Friday in packages of 10 elephants, according to a document viewed by Bloomberg. The packages are purchased by expedition operators which then sell them to trophy hunters at a profit. Most trophy hunters in southern Africa come from the U.S., according to Bloomberg.

All but one of the packages have been sold, Bloomberg reported.

African conservationist organizations that wanted to bid on the permits and not shoot the elephants were banned from participating, The Independent reported.

The EMS Foundation in Africa, which battles to protect elephants among its many projects, tweeted afterwards: “Shame on you, President Masisi – we will not forget.”

The government has set a quota for killing a total of 272 of the animals this year. Foreign hunters will be allowed to shoot 202 of those, and export trophies.