MET gives elephant a chance to live

WINDHOEK: Environment officials have decided to spare the life of a ‘problem elephant’ that has been roaming and damaging infrastructure on several farms in the Aranos district of the Hardap Region since last week.

It is suspected that the elephant came from Botswana through the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park to Namibia. The park is located largely within the southern Kalahari Desert.

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET)’s Public Relations Officer, Romeo Muyunda issued a media statement on Wednesday, confirming reports of the solitary elephant that was seen roaming around on farms in the area.

“MET has now decided to leave the elephant to roam in the area without any intervention. However, should any serious damages be caused by this elephant, the ministry will have no choice, but to destroy the animal. MET remains committed to the conservation of our elephants and other species, as well as to human development,” he noted.

Muyunda said despite the fact that applicable legislation dictate that a problem animal must be put down, the ministry received requests from farmers in the area not to kill the elephant but to rather capture and transfer the ownership of the animal to them.

He said the MET turned down the request, but agreed not to shoot the elephant unless it causes serious damages to property.

Some farmers in the Aranos district reported some damages to properties like fences on their farms.

The MET dispatched a team of officials to investigate these claims, and they confirmed that this was indeed the case.

Muyunda said the MET will continue to monitor the movement of the elephant.