Namibian elephant in farmlands subject of hunting debate

Original Sources: The Namibian

According to an article recently published in The Namibian a bull elephant has been making its way across commercial and game farms in the Hochfeld and Omitara areas of Namibia and has been the subject of concern.

elephant

While some farmers in the area were thrilled at the sight of the elephant on their land, several people have pointed out that the elephant’s life could be in danger as a result of human-animal conflict. The concern rises from the fact that the elephant will probably cause some type of damage to farm infrastructure such as fences or water installations, and as a result, farmers and government could deem it a ‘problem animal’, with fatal consequences.

However, Colgar Sikopo, head of the Directorate of Regional Services and Parks Management, said that ministry officials are closely monitoring the movement of the elephant, and that thus far, he has caused minimal damage and there is no reason to interfere with his passage.

Sikopo admitted that last week a farmer in the area lodged a complaint, claiming that the elephant had damaged his boundary fence. A team was dispatched and reported back that the elephant had caused only “minor damage”, Sikopo said. Sikopo said that as far as the ministry is concerned, the elephant is moving in its natural habitat and there is no reason for anyone to be concerned about its well being or right to be there.

“The elephant is in the bush, although it is on a farm. This animal is in the wild. We just have to closely monitor it”, he said. Sikopo said the ministry does not see the elephant as a problem “unless there is really serious damages”.

Christiane Thiessen, whose farm Otjimbuku, the elephant visited, said she and her team on the farm were overjoyed with the sighting. Thiessen described him as non-aggressive and calm around humans and said his behaviour indicated that he was careful not to damage any infrastructure, such as the low fences, on her farm during his visit. “At arrival at the fence he lifted his legs and without doing any harm to the fence climbed over it. He was not bothered with us at all”.

elephant-climbs-fence elephant-climbing-fence elephant-climbing-over-fence

The origin of the elephant remains unclear. An Erindi Game Reserve staff member on Friday said that they had driven out to view the elephant, and it did not match photographic records of any Erindi elephant residents.

Later, the Namibian published another article, addressing the situation where a hunter had put out an advertisement for a trophy hunt on two elephants in the Omitara and Hochfeld areas. The hunter in question has denied he was the author of the ad or linked to its existence in any way. In response to the ad, several Namibians expressed their concern yesterday that a trophy hunt is being advertised although no permits have been issued for this particular hunt and neither have the two elephants in question been declared as problem animals.

Jofie Lamprecht, the professional hunter, who was named as the contact person in the advertisement for the trophy hunt, denied that he was scouting around for buyers for the permits or that he was involved in the alleged ad. He said he had no knowledge of the advertisement nor could he explain why his name was linked to it. “There are no permits. They have not been declared as problem animals. There are people interested in hunting those animals, but nothing can be done before a permit is issued.” he said.

Lamprecht told The Namibian that while there is discussions in the local hunting community around the fact that these elephants could possibly “at some stage be hunted”, no one would put the permit wheels in motion until after the animals were declared as a problem animal.

One of the Hochfeld farmers said that many farmers in the area were shocked and concerned when reports of the advertisement began circulating. “We are in a farming area and we would like to have all these wild animals back in the area. And why shoot an animal who is clearly so gentle and not doing any harm. Why should it be shot?” the woman asked. She added that while she would understand that measures would have to be taken if they caused severe damage, the farmers hoped that they would instead transport the animals back to a safer area instead of proclaiming them as problem animals.

elephant-farmland

As to the reports that already many hunters are oiling their guns in anticipation of a possible trophy hunt on the two elephants, she said, “It’s all about money. I think these people just want to make more and more money. They are not concerned about our environment and animals”.

Sikopo said that he was not aware of any hunting permits having been released. Sikopo said the elephants must be monitored closely with the hope that they return to the northeast, where their interaction with humans is limited. The second option, according to Sikopo, is to capture the elephants. If those two options do not work, only then would the ministry declare them as problem animals and have them hunted.

Don't miss out! Get our 'Top Blogs of the Week' newsletter sent to your mail box each week. Sign up now!
Africa Geographic Editorial

We're the Africa Geographic editorial team – a diverse set of editors, designers and social media natives, all united by our passion for this addictive continent.

  • https://www.facebook.com/WildlifeGalleryByLaurenHaupt Lauren

    F-ing hunters!!! They just can’t wait to shoot this gentle animal!!!

  • Tracy

    Why why why would anyone want to shoot this beautiful animal, elephants have the intelligence of humans, it is therefore comparable to shooting a human, therefore illegal, yet it is legal to hold these hunting permits, the laws are an ass… the true ‘animal, or beast’ in this instance is the human who shoots dead this magnificent elephant….. what kind of mixed up world do will live in…??? Ban hunting, we have the capacity to re-locate this beauty rather than simply, without regard or respect, kill ‘it’… :(

    • Jenny Peach

      Sorry, not true. Elephants definitely more intelligent than 99% of people. The other one percent are nature lovers.

  • Vivienne Berkeley

    I just don’t get blood lust in any description!

  • Kerry Allen-Traeger

    Amazing animal.
    Thank God the farmers have the right attitude. The hunters!!! Idiots. Put your trigger fingers in your pockets and leave the elephants, and other animals alone!!

  • Alison B

    The only thing this beautiful boy should be shot with is a camera ………… Don’t get the trophy hunting thing it should be banned !

  • Charleen Ratcliff

    What if the farmers tie little bells and/or white rags on the fences? It may help scare the animals away, keeping both animal and farm safe

  • Phil

    Leave him alone !

  • merrywriter

    Namibia – you will get really bad worldwide press if this elephant is allowed to be shot. Don’t give out a hunting permit for him.

  • Phyll Hayes

    That beautifull elephant is doing no harm to anyone or anything,people should remember they where here long before humans,why do people want to desroy and kill all the time.Its all about greed and money.

  • Cat

    These DICKLESS C**TS, also known as CUNTERS, need to have their balls chopped off and be hunted into extinction.

  • Janice Bowden

    He is doing no harm….the farmers want him left alone…Please don’t let the hunters kill him…

  • Martin Havenot

    In my opinion we should put the hunters out in the wild and hunt them down like animals.

  • Erica

    The human race has no right to be fencing off land where these magnificent animals roam. They have more right to the land and their food sources than bloody humans do. We bugger up everything don’t we !

  • CAROLYN

    LEAVE THIS ELEPHANT ALONE!! HE ISN’T BOTHERING ANYONE!!!

  • Carrie

    f-ing hunters how dare anyone want to kill this beautiful animal. hope the arseholes suffer something nasty!!!

  • Ron PARNELL

    “Trophy hunt” …. Sad. This would be like shooting a teddy bear. Hunters (and some farmers) need to chill for once.

  • Tame Swazi

    How awesome to see such nimble movements from such a giant!! Makes us appear pretty clumsy. Nature has no intention to do harm.

  • Virginia Woolf

    An incredible and remarkable sight to see this peaceful, young bull elephant move with such gracefulness and care over the farmers’ boundary fences. Many people could learn from such considerate and respectful behaviour. It’s atrocious that a suggestion was put forward that this wonderful, intelligent and thoughtful elephant should be shot by trigger happy, trophy hunting low lifes. These warped, psychologically disturbed individuals are obsessed with killing defenseless and powerless animals. They would do better to go and hunt poachers but these hunting types are too cowardly to do that because the poachers have guns and would shoot back unlike the wildlife!! Furthermore, this elegant elephant is moving in its natural habitat so the fences shouldn’t be there anyway. He has adapted cleverly and well to human encroachment on the wildlife habitat. LEAVE this amazing elephant alone!

    • neverlast

      Well said, Virginia. I think this ele is absolutely graceful and a wonder to behold!

      • Virginia Woolf

        Thanks for the endorsement neverlast. I notice with interest that Jofie Lamprecht ha

  • Jill

    fffing hunters again. Lets put an add out to hunt hunters. Im sick and tired of their “hunting is conservation theory”. Just let him be – he is obviously not harming anyone or any thing and further more its HIS LAND and was long before we were around.

  • Jofie Lamprecht

    Hello all. Jofie Lamprecht here. Yes, I was drawn into this discussion and contacted by the Namibian newspapers. If anyone can please provide me with the advertisement that I placed I would really appreciate it.

    If there is ANYONE in Namibia that would love to see Elephant roam free and increase their range it would be me. We sit with limited space for these animals can roam – a man-created problem. Do I hunt professionally. Yes. Hunting is applied conservation. Keeping vast tracts of land in Africa poacher free and maintaining the wildlife in those areas.

    Let’s use first Kenya and now Botswana as examples.

    In the 1970′s Kenya outlawed legal trophy hunting. In the middle 1970′s there were an estimated 180,000 Elephant in Kenya. Today only 20,000 Elephant survive. Is this decline due to legal hunting? No. Illegal poaching.

    In 2013 Botswana closed all hunting in government controlled areas. Botswana’s Elephant population currently stands at an estimated 180,000.

    Ladies and Gentlemen – let’s see where this population is in even 20 years time – with no LEGAL hunting being permitted.

    Back to my statement that hunting is applied conservation. Think about this unemotionally for a few minutes before responding.

    Yours sincerely – Jofie Lamprecht

    • neverlast

      You are blind to the individuality of any of the animals. They are all just a species to you, and ever so coldly you would sent a bullet into his skull and brag about it, pose with it, let the natives eat the flesh to wash yourself clean, and go on to the next kill, taking others along on the safari. Those of us opposed to your killing feel the species individually, and every one matters. This one, the Artful Dodger that he is, ought to be left in peace, and an alternative to your bullet should be sought.

      Yours sincerely

    • Andrew Wyatt

      This seems to be more of a “nuisance elephant” debate than a hunting debate. As I understand it, there would be no hunting opportunity without a nuisance declaration. So the question of whether the elephant is causing enough destruction to get designated as such is the real question. Dragging hunting into it appears to be a red herring designed to give this issue profile within the anti-hunting/animal rights community. It will only become a hunting issue if a permit is issued. I saw nothing in the article that would lead me to believe that issuance of a permit is imminently forthcoming…

  • linda reid

    It would be an utter tragedy to see this beautiful and gentle animal shot by someone with a horrific blood lust. We are losing far too many of these amazing creatures to ivory and so they should receive the utmost protection. I don’t understand trophy hunters. Better to take a photograph than a life

  • linda reid

    Leave this beautiful elephant alone to live his life. He has that right.

  • neverlast

    Please, please do not kill this clever one. Find an alternative. I’m beginning to thing all the clever humans are dwindling on earth, and only the dumbest remain in charge. So in need of inspiring news about elephants. The only way to inspire here, Namibia, is to do everything to keep this elephant and the others alive.

  • Andrew Wyatt

    This seems to be more of a “nuisance elephant” debate than a hunting debate. As I understand it, there would be no hunting opportunity without a nuisance declaration. So the question of whether the elephant is causing enough destruction to get designated as such is the real question. Dragging hunting into it appears to be a red herring designed to give this issue profile within the anti-hunting/animal rights community. It will only become a hunting issue if a permit is issued. I saw nothing in the article that would lead me to believe that issuance of a permit is imminently forthcoming…

  • Alex Brown

    Only the worst kind of humans see a majestic animal and go “Oh, that would look nice on a wall”.

  • ziggiepop

    Let us stop calling those who shoot such magnificent animals “hunters”. They are not and they give those who still have hunting ethics a bad name.

    Call the killers what they are- self entitled assholes.

  • kaye

    I believe it is imperative that the state officials maintain careful scrutiny concerning this animal so that it can be protected from hunters, farmers or anyone else illegally and irrationally bent on killing this elephant. Should he accidentally “cause major damage” it would be an excellent response to relocate him. He should not be declared a “problem” animal because he is trying to deal with human construction in the bush.

  • mel

    Please let this beautiful elephant live his life in peace! He is so gentle and dignified to even climb over the fence! He has followed the migratory routes of his ancestors who were there before we were! It eoukd be a traversty if a hunting licence was granted! Some cowardly act of a rich hunter. please donr let this happen – and farmers please take the same view. These beautiful animals are your heritage!

  • http://www.thebushdrifters.co.za Pieter Theron

    Great elephant! Wonder what happened to him lately? Did not see any news in the last weeks.

  • http://www.thebushdrifters.co.za Pieter Theron

    Can you direct us to the study that show the increase in Elephant hunting is directly connected to the two auctions? You say the drop in numbers of Elephants started in 1970′s. The auctions was about 30 years later.

  • BJ DH

    a tranq gun and relocation are also an option, the obvious one…

Follow us on Social Media

Posts of the Week

Sign up to receive our online magazine and most popular blog posts via email

Africa Geographic Blog
x
Receive our weekly magazine and best blog postsSign me up
Africa Geographic Blog