Namibia’s government plans to auction off some of the wildlife living in its national parks because of the severe drought affecting the southwest African nation – a drought that has left them without water and vegetation to sustain them.
Stanley Simataa, the country’s information minister, made the announcement during a media briefing on decisions taken by Namibia’s Cabinet, in this case at the request of the tourism and environment ministry.
Included in the auction are between 500 and 600 buffalo living in Waterberg Plateau Park, which will reduce the population by more than half, according to The Namibian in Windhoek. Also for sale are 60 giraffes. Some 150 springbok and 65 oryx from Hardap and Naute preserves, along with 20 impala and 16 wildebeest from other parks, are among animals for sale.
So are 28 elephants from Khaudum National Park and the Omatjete area, which has raised concern about the well-being of the elephants separated from their herds and who the buyers will be.
Namibia, in the throes of a drought emergency, says it has little choice but to sell game from the preserves. Romeo Muyunda told The Namibian the drought has caused extreme impacts to grazing conditions in the parks and without the sale, the government risks the animals’ death from starvation.
Namibia says it hopes to raise about US$1 million from the sale, which it will place into a conservation trust fund.
Image: Government of Botswana file