Botswana threatens to deport 20,000 elephants to Germany

By Sejla Ahmatovic | 04/03/2024 12:18 PM EDT

“No joke.”

A herd of elephants at the Mashatu game reserve in Botswana.

Botswana’s president described his country's elephant situation as serious. Elephants were trampling people to death, crops were destroyed and villages devastated. Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi has threatened to send 20,000 elephants to Germany as the countries argue over the import of hunting trophies.

“No joke,” he told the German tabloid BILD on Tuesday.

Masisi attacked the German federal government, and the environment ministry in particular, led by Green minister Steffi Lemke, for seeking to ban the import of trophies despite Botswana’s overpopulation of elephants.


“It is very easy to sit in Berlin and have an opinion about our affairs in Botswana. We are paying the price for preserving these animals for the world,” he said.