‘I Hate Elephants’: Behind The Backlash Against Botswana’s Giants

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  1. NamStay

    NamStay AH Fanatic

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    Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/worl...nts-behind-backlash-against-botswanas-giants/


    ‘I hate elephants’: Behind the Backlash against Botswana’s giants

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    HOBE ENCLAVE, Botswana — For as long as they can remember, farmers in Botswana lived mostly at peace with elephants, whose knowing eyes and playful kids made them seem almost like friendly human neighbors.

    This southern African country of savannas and swamps is home to roughly one-third of Africa’s elephants, thanks in part to strict anti-poaching enforcement and a trophy hunting ban that have made it a darling of conservationists and a mecca for high-priced tourism. But the population spike has not been easy for the people who live alongside them, and a backlash has erupted.

    “I hate elephants,” said Lumba Nderiki, a farmer well into her 80s, as she strolled through her modest and barren field in the Chobe enclave, a strip of mostly farmland between the river and national park of the same name. “Two simple reasons: They have widowed me, and they have left me without a harvest.”

    Nderiki and her husband had been married 65 years before he was killed by an elephant in 2014. Like nearly everyone else in this cluster of villages, it has been years since her fields weren’t trampled and eaten up by what she calls “the giants.” She used to grow more than 100 bags of sorghum in a season. Last harvest, she salvaged three.

    Growing resentment toward the animals among farmers here and around Botswana is upending the country’s politics and prompting the reversal of policies that turned tourism into Botswana’s second-biggest earner after diamonds. The furor has also spilled into a larger debate over race in a country where white foreigners and the descendants of colonialists control much of the conservation and tourism sectors while many who live outside the national parks eke out a living on government subsidies.


    Read more here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/worl...nts-behind-backlash-against-botswanas-giants/
     
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  2. CAustin

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