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Kenya raises concerns over elephant hunting permits issued by Tanzania near border

By Esther Muhozi
On 13 April 2024 at 08:42

The Government of Kenya has issued a warning regarding Tanzania’s practice of issuing permits to those seeking to hunt elephants for rewards, requesting that such activities not be conducted within at least 40 kilometers from the border with Tanzania.
According to a report by Reuters on April 10, 2024, Tanzania, along with other African countries such as Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa, permits elephant hunting as a form of recreation or physical training aimed at awarding (...)

The Government of Kenya has issued a warning regarding Tanzania’s practice of issuing permits to those seeking to hunt elephants for rewards, requesting that such activities not be conducted within at least 40 kilometers from the border with Tanzania.

According to a report by Reuters on April 10, 2024, Tanzania, along with other African countries such as Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa, permits elephant hunting as a form of recreation or physical training aimed at awarding trophies such as medals and cups (Trophy hunting).

Reuters notes that in terms of costs, a person in Tanzania looking to hunt elephants for recreational trophies can expect to pay between $10,000 and $20,000 for a permit.

Kenya highlights that elephants from its parks, especially those with long tusks useful for protection, have been killed in Tanzania by licensed hunters. For instance, in September 2023, a Kenyan elephant with 50 kg tusks was killed by hunters authorized by Tanzania.

Kenyan authorities and wildlife conservationists have raised alarms over these activities conducted near the Kenya-Tanzania border, noting their detrimental impact on local elephants and on tourism in Kenya, as pointed out by Joseph Ole Lenku, Governor of Kajiado County in Kenya, a region heavily reliant on tourism.

He stated, "It is inappropriate to grant hunting licenses for elephants near the Kenya border."

Amboseli Wildlife Park in Kenya, known for its significant elephant population, is located near the border with Tanzania, where the elephants can cross into Tanzania.

Since 1995, Kenya and Tanzania have had an unwritten agreement that no elephant from one country should be killed in the other, following incidents in 1994 where Kenyan elephants were killed in Tanzania. However, Kenya notes that despite this agreement, Tanzania often disregards it.

Kenya is requesting that Tanzania should stop issuing permits to those hunting elephants on the borders shared by the two countries.

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