Klaserie River Sands

More desert elephants to be shot

Written by: CJ Carrington for the Conservation Action Trust

Concerns have been heightened by the Namibian Ministy of Environment and Tourism’s (MET) decision to issue additional hunting permits for some of the most unique elephants in the world.

© Mike Kendrick

© Mike Kendrick

The Ministry had previously stated that only two hunting licences had been issued and seems unconcerned with the revelation of advertisements for the permits of up to six desert elephants. This week, the Ministry admitted to the issuing of nine permits in total, seven more than had been initially indicated.

Romeo Muyunda, Spokesperson for MET, referred to the official press release, stating that: “The two allocated elephants indicated in the press release are for own use as this was the concern raised in the circulating article. Seven others (which includes Erongo and Kunene regions) are for trophy hunting.’’

“Although I am not surprised by this statement, I am outraged at their arrogance and refusal to consider other offers. They are now suddenly admitting to seven trophy hunts as well as two consumptive use permits, but the fact that they insist on allowing it, is beyond my comprehension. It will be devastating to the desert elephant family herds to absorb such unnecessary carnage. Absolutely the only benefit from any of this, would be the public attention received,” said Anton Louw from Live Trophy.

© Mike Kendrick

© Mike Kendrick

Well-known conservationist Garth Owen-Smith has publically voiced his concern over the lack of control that the MET would have over where exactly these elephants would be shot. In the meantime, the first of the desert elephants named Delta, has already been shot in Sorris-Sorris, well-known as a preferred elephant route, and close to a school.

Despite international public opinion against the hunting of these elephants, certain conservationists are attempting to justify this by quoting economic benefit of own-use for the affected communities. These arguments have been questioned by the local people, who feel that they have received no benefit from Delta, the first elephant to be sacrificed. The previous co-ordinator of the Conservancy Committee, Jorgen Namaseb, said that the area is big and there are so many people, that they couldn’t possibly benefit from a few elephants. He claimed “he saw that a little bit of meat had been delivered to his office”.

The shooting of Delta made front-page news in Die Republikein, a Namibian daily. The article states that members of the communities, who had not benefitted from the slaughter, claim that what happened to the elephant was a mistake, and highlighted the fact that they had been living with this specific herd without incident for quite some time.

Both the current co-ordinator of the committee who wishes to remain anonymous and Nick Nolte, the operator who hunted the first elephant, refused to comment.

It is unclear to which hunting outfitters the additional permits have been issued.

Guest Blogger

In the Guest Blogger profile, you'll see fresh and exciting content from a range of contributors who have submitted their content to us on a once-off or temporary basis, including press releases, campaigns and exciting adventure and travel tales!

  • Daisydot

    This is a country that is currently slaughtering around 80,000 Cape Fur seals. Do you really think they are worried what average Jo thinks about 9 Desert elephant ? A another sad day for Namibia’s beautiful wildlife

  • Regina Fugate

    For what it’s worth, write to the Namibian Tourism Board. I am rethinking my visit to Namibia.


    • Susan Winchester

      Ditto that! Was considering but no longer. My dollars apparently do not matter enough to them and the dollars will dwindle completely when there are no more rhinos or elephants to see!

  • JCC

    When will we stop hunting elephants?? For that matter, whales, seals … ???

  • Mandy.

    Every time i see this sort of thing my heart sinks and it makes me cry. money, money. there is no reason for this slaughter to happen. It has to stop, one person can’t do it. these governments need to sort themselves out. mind you, while we breed more and more sadistic bastards who enjoy slaughtering innocent animals to get their kicks, we haven’t got a chance.

  • Jan Harm

    I would also suggest that all also read the post by John Kasaona further on to get a wider perspective of all the issues at stake regarding Namibia’s very successful consumptive and sustainable wildlife conservation policy.

    • Rosie St Lam

      Sustainable ? Really ? I suppose it is if you believe the massaged figures of the amount of elephants they say are left, when most know it’s rubbish and there are far fewer than the Government say ! Africa will not learn until ALL it’s wildlife is gone, and no tourists have any reason to visit any more, sadly.

  • Louise Dickinson

    Dear President Obama , what i don’t seem to understand , is that the rest of the world is aware that the hunting in SA is not sustainable and the animals these Trophy Hunters are killing mindlessly are going extinct. Which means they are being massacred by Trophy Hunters and poachers into totally extinction .. and most Americans do not own a dictionary or have an education above remedial or else they would understand what the word ‘CONSERVATION ‘ means .
    You see , what is happening here is corruption , SA is corrupt !!! . And the government are greedy and they don’t care about Human Rights, only the money they are making ….. because of the demand of wealthy and vulgar and ignorant fools mostly from Texas, who are giving them anything they want. Texans , with no other abilities or talents …. apart from massacring wildlife and completely destroying the natural world and natural balance of nature for entertainment in someone else’s country . The people in SA and Namibia have no Human Rights , or Freedom of Speech , and some of them are Tribal People totally dependent on the natural world to survive .
    SA and Namibia have no protections for their wildlife or their environment because they are part of the Developing World and the people are powerless to protest or stop their wildlife from being massacred and they DONT want to see their world destroyed , they need protection not abusing , and these American Trophy Hunters are treating Africa as if it is theirs to abuse ..
    AFRICA IS SOMEONE ELSES COUNTRY !!!! … If Russia was doing what the American Trophy Hunters and Safaris are doing , it would be called ‘Land Grabbing’ it would be a reason to go to war . But, it is the wealthiest White Americans doing it so they are ignored and they have been ignored for over 40 years as Dallas Safari Club ; created in 1973 …and hundreds of others e.g. SCI .. have totally cleared millions of animals from this planet completely media invisible …….
    The extinction we are facing is worse than anything experienced in the whole of mankind’s existence on this planet .. American Trophy Hunters have done more damage to the environment and wildlife on this world and Africa: than a Nuclear Bomb , than the whole of the Roman Empire achieved in the whole of it’s vile existence , worse than the Nazis.
    In one generation we are on the brink of extinction of every Land Giant and no creature is safe from being massacred in Africa by the American Trophy Hunters , it is as if life has been given a barcode by the Americans and they have become the ultimate disposable commodity being violated and filmed for entertainment, I am not sure humanity can go any lower and these people doing this are criminals and should be prosecuted .
    The last time we faced mass extinction was 250 million years ago due the a volcanic episode which blocked out the sun for decades , this time it is backed by NFA , DSC and SCI and all the other vampires; Trophy Hunters and NFA Management WWF and so on .
    There will be a devastating humanitarian disaster as the ecosystem and and food chain collapses for some of the poorest people in the world , as finally each animals dies out …. animals that have been here for millions of years; have been all but completely destroyed in one generation … and the rightful people who have lived in harmony with their environment for thousands of years will be completely destroyed . And we will see famine and death .
    This is a lesson in ‘ Conservation ‘ … BA ( Hons )

  • momo


  • Jan Harm

    Louise Dickinson – you really expect met to buy into all of this ?

  • Mino

    16 desert elephant bulls in 6 yrs? No problem? Or are they finally shooting some cows? If there is a hole, another will wander in to fill it, I guess. Or artificial insemination? Sustainability does not excuse bad science. And Garth Owen Jones’s piece exposed the bad science of the very first hunt.. Will be curious to see where the others take place. And I believe I read that Mr Kasaona was an associate of his? Wonder if they agree on the advisability of this now.

  • Tracy

    No no no no no no no no…totally NO !! How can this be, why does a country think that they own the animals in that country, these magnificent, intelligent beautiful animals belong to the world not Namibia, its a TOTAL DISGRACE…it’s like shooting a human….infact why don’t they, there are sooo many and they are expendable…… I can’t believe the ignorance of this country and the hunters…… TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE.. the elephants belong to the world !!!!!

  • Jan Harm

    In reality they do belong to the people of Namibia – it is their natural resource. In their “ignorance” they have vastly expanded habitat, biodiversity and wildlife numbers through a successful wildlife conservation policy. In the process they have improved not only the quality of life of some people but also changed the mindset and attitude of people towards the value of wildlife. It has become the pride and joy of many of the Namibian people themselves. Do we want to deny them that right and negate the tremendous progress they have made at a time when so many other countries only showed dismal wildlife losses.

    • Mino

      I would not wish it upon you, but you have only felt the outer breeze of the hurricane. It will put your theories to the test when it reaches you, if it does. It is expecting a lot from communities to go against armed gangs.

      • Jan Harm

        And the point you are trying too make ? Now which communities do I expect to go against which armed gangs ? I would agree fully with you – that will be suicidal and therefore not fair to expect it from any community

        • Mino

          Just today….”The minister also tore into Namibians who are being used by foreigners to divulge information which is used by poachers during their poaching activities.

          “As a Namibian it is very worrying to know that our own people are being used by poachers to pass information on where the wildlife is. What is even more worrying is the fact that there is no ivory market in Namibia, yet our people continue to put our wildlife at risk,” said Herunga.”

          • Jan Harm

            I would also agree with the minister. Poaching is a danger to all wildlife worldwide.

    • ASW

      They don’t “belong” to anyone, they are their own species belonging to no other than themselves. Our human species is completely arrogant and righteous thinking that all other species, a great many who have been on this earth long before us, belong to us and that we have the rights we declare we have over them. We have overpopulated this earth and the other beings and the environmentare suffering because of it.

  • António Henrique Alves onteiro

    In my mother language and you people, as it easy, you can translate – Não consigo compreender como uma pessoa desce tão baixo, na sua posição social, neste caso o ministro, ao permitir a morte de uma raríssima subclasse da família dos elefantes, a do elefante do deserto. Não sei o motivo que o leva a tomar esta atitude, mas o dinheiro não é tudo e o nome de uma Nação que sempre respeitei, caiu muito baixo… lamentando-o.

  • Judy Thorpe

    With the horrible killing of Satao and Mountain Bull and evil poachers taking down an elephant every 15 minutes what don’t some people understand!? You would think enough is enough! Now giving out permits to kill even more elephants is totally twisted and appalling! You wold think to protect these beautiful endangered animals not to keep on eliminating them more! The plight of the elephants is just so tragic.

  • Diane Anderson

    ITS PURE GREED, and its only the human species to blame. These Namibian Desert elephants will never recover from this slaughter. Trophy Hunting is an evil – and involves huge dollars, PLEASE, The government must re-think this and save the Namibian Desert Elephants.
    Its incredibly sad to think that these may be wiped out forever . SHAME ON YOU

  • Maggie

    What idiot would enjoy killing an elephant for fun ?
    The stupidity of even having to ask that question is beyond words.

  • Jan Harm

    “Killing for fun” is a mostly a propaganda slogan perpetuated in attempt to discredit hunting.

AG Kruger photo safari
AG Yearbook 2017
Africa Geographic