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Zimbabwe govt raises over R38m for conservation from exporting young elephants

The elephants were controversially captured and exported to safari parks and zoos in China and Dubai between 2012 and 2018.

FILE: An elephant in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Picture: www.zimparks.org.

HARARE - The Zimbabwean government said it had raised more than R38 million for conservation by exporting young elephants.

The elephants were controversially captured and exported to safari parks and zoos in China and Dubai between 2012 and 2018.

Environment Minister Prisca Mupfumira told Monday’s state-run Chronicle newspaper that the $2.7 million raised from exporting live elephants was used for conservation, including anti-poaching operations.

Mupfumira said some of the elephants were sold for more than $40,000 each.

The 97 elephants were captured and exported from Hwange National Park over several years.

Each time that happened, distressing videos and photographs of the elephant capture operations would emerge, sparking an outcry from conservationists and animal rights groups.

The government claimed Zimbabwe had too many elephants. Along with some of its neighbours like Botswana and Zambia, the country was pushing to have the ban on the ivory trade lifted.

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