Africa’s Large-Tusked Elephant Killed


Recently, an elephant was hunted and shot in NG13, northern Botswana. The hunting and killing of this elephant once more triggered international condemnation of the trophy hunting in Botswana. International news headlines indicates that anti-hunting groups came hard on Botswana and why trophy hunting was reintroduced in the country in 2019 after it was suspended in 2014. Some of the western Members of Parliament also came hard on Botswana about trophy hunting.

The question that should be asked rather is: “Is trophy hunting wrong?”. Reality is that trophy hunting has attracted controversy and an intense debate globally for decades. Opponents of hunting argue that the killing of animals is immoral and abhorrent, unsustainable, and unethical and it results in the extinction of animal species and wreaks havoc amongst big cat populations, elephants, and endangered species such as black rhino.

Conversely, proponents of hunting argue that hunting is controlled, has more financial benefits than photographic tourism, it is selective and promotes biodiversity conservation. Proponents of hunting further argue that if hunting is well-regulated, it plays an important role in wildlife conservation and guarantees immediate and long-term economic benefits for communities and nation-states. In other words, proponents of hunting argue that hunting is a conservation tool if used appropriately.

There is no doubt that the debate for or against trophy hunting will continue to be a challenge for the Botswana Government. Trophy hunting in Botswana has become a Global North – South issue.  Citizens of the Global North use western media to reject trophy hunting in Botswana irrespective of the sustainable measures Botswana claim to have to support trophy hunting.

Some of the opponents of trophy hunting have called on international organisations such as CITES and western governments to impose an embargo or trade restrictions in wildlife products including ivory from Botswana. This approach does not have detrimental effects to sustainable wildlife utilisation in Botswana but will also hurt the economy of Botswana if not handled well.

Wildlife conservation should not be a competition between actors and stakeholders where the voice of communities living in wildlife areas is side-lined by those with power, money, and influence. Instead, trophy hunting and photographic tourism should be understood as land use options that complement each other. Photographic tourism should be carried out in prime wildlife areas while trophy hunting should be undertaken in marginal areas and buffer zones where photographic tourism is not viable.

In the case of the “elephant with the biggest tusks”, it was hunted and killed in NG13, a concession owned by Tcheku Community Trust. Tcheku Community Trust have sub-leased NG13 to Derek Brink of Derek Brink Holdings. As a result, the hunting and killing of the elephant was done legally according to the laws of the Republic of Botswana. In addition, hunting was done following the selective hunting practices adopted by the Botswana Government. The question of whether the communities as represented by Tcheku Community Trust derived significant benefits from trophy hunting is for another day.  The outstanding matter here is that hunting in Botswana should be carried out informed by scientific best practices. The best scientific practices in wildlife conservation which Botswana should adopt include a focus on the human well-being of communities living in wildlife areas and the need for wildlife conservation. Ignoring the well-being of communities living in wildlife areas to achieve conservation is scientifically and morally wrong and often defeats sustainable development aspirations. Wildlife conservation cannot succeed in Botswana if communities living in wildlife areas are alienated from wildlife utilisation and the decision-making processes.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:



More like this

Sculptor Aims To Leave A Mark!

A metal sculptor based in Maun aspires to leave...

NGO Needs Support To Refurbish Crocodile Attack Victims’ House

The Simon Phuthego Foundation has appealed for support for...

JCI Oldies And Abaricom Partnership Connects Chanoga School

JCI Oldies and Abaricom - a network connectivity solutions...

DC Under Fire For Promoting Human-Wildlife Coexistence

The issue of human wildlife conflict became a hot...
Verified by MonsterInsights