By Ellanie Smitt, The Namibian Sun
There is still no news about the auction of 170 elephants from Namibia, despite government already having received five bids from various buyers.
The environment ministry aims to generate at least N$13 million from the sale of the elephants.
The ministry advertised the 170 elephants for sale at the beginning of December last year. It said the sale was in response to an increase in the elephant population, which had led to conflict with local communities.
The sale sparked widespread opposition, with online petitions calling for it to be cancelled and conservationists speaking out against it.
The elephants are from the Omatjetje area (30), the Kamanjab commercial farming area (50), the Grootfontein-Kavango cattle ranch area (60) and the Grootfontein-Tsumkwe area (30).
No agreements yet
Colgar Sikopo, the executive director of the ministry’s department of natural resource management, confirmed to Namibian Sun that there are countries other than SADC interested in buying the elephants.
Ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said the contracts of sale have not been agreed on yet with the bidders.
“The bidders are yet to agree to the conditions of sale by the ministry. When this is achieved, we will make an announcement,” he said.
The ministry said it would sell the animals to anyone in Namibia or abroad who met its criteria, which included quarantine facilities and a game-proof fence certificate for the property where the elephants would be kept.
International media reports have alleged that the sale is linked to corruption and that Namibia is covering up its true elephant population figures.