|GRN dismisses ‘orphan elephants’ rumours|
|Written by Absalom Shigwedha|
|Wednesday, 20 June 2012 22:30|
THE Namibian Government has strongly dismissed international media reports claiming that young elephants were exported to Mexico from Namibia due to hunting and poaching. At a press conference last Friday, Environment and Tourism Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said these reports were “inaccurate and defamatory.”She said these elephants were not orphans and there have never been any reports of elephant-poaching on farm Eden (where the elephants were bought). “As a result, in no way can this export be considered as a rescue nor were these elephants orphans,” she told journalists. Nandi-Ndaitwah explained that the nine elephants originated from farm Eden in the northern part of Otjozondjupa region.The founding stock of these elephants was bought by the owners from Kruger National Park in South Africa and on auction at Etosha National Park in Namibia. “These two transactions took part in the 1980’s, making the nine young elephants the third generation on farm Eden,” she explained. In 2011, she continued, the nine elephants in question were sold by farm Eden to Namib Game Services, belonging to Herbert Henle, under a private commercial transaction.In the same year, Namib Game Services captured the nine elephants under a permit issued by the Ministry and relocated them to a temporary facility on the farm Paresis near Otjiwarongo, where they stayed until the time of their export. In May 2012, Mexico issued an import permit for the elephants to Africam SA, represented by Frank Camacho and consequently, Namibia issued an export permit, based on the Mexican import permit.
“At this stage, I would like make it clear that there has never been any report of elephant poaching on farm Eden. Moreover, only three problem elephant bulls were trophy-hunted on this facility, since the initial introduction in the 1980’s, which has no detrimental effect on elephant social structure,” she said. Nandi-Ndaitwah said the nine elephants were in good condition at the time of leaving Namibia and were not at risk of being destroyed by the Ministry. “We found these inaccurate media report to be defamatory and would therefore request the Namibian seller and the Mexican buyer to remedy the damage caused by these inaccurate media reports to the conservation authority of this country and to the public at large,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah.
On Wednesday last week, international news agency Reuters reported that nine ‘orphaned elephants’ from Namibia had found a new home in Mexico’s acclaimed Africam Safari Zoo, located in Puebla. The report claimed the elephants had been housed in a temporary shelter in Namibia after their parents were killed by ivory hunters.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 22:33|