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Broke Zimbabwe resorts to selling more than 90 elephants to China and Dubai for $2.7 million

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  • The 98 elephants were airlifted to parks in China and Dubai and they were sold for prices ranging from $13,500 to $41, 500 each, according to media reports.
  • Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesman Tinashe Farawo said the money accrued from the sales will be used to support conservation efforts.
  • Since coming to power in 2018, Zimbabwe’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa has been globetrotting across the world with a begging bowl looking for a loan in an effort to raise investment for his economically blighted nation.

Cash strapped Zimbabwe has sold more than 90 elephants to China and Dubai and made $2.7 million in the process, according to a spokesman for the country’s wildlife agency.

The 98 elephants were airlifted to parks in China and Dubai and they were sold for prices ranging from $13,500 to $41, 500 each, according to media reports.

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesman Tinashe Farawo said the money accrued from the sales will be used to support conservation efforts.

“We are struggling with a ballooning number of elephants. We believe in sustainable utilization of our resources, and these elephants must pay for their upkeep,” Farawo told CNN.


AFP


Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa (L) stands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 3, 2018

Farawo said the agency was having difficulty controlling the population in its national parks, and that proceeds from the sales, made over a six-year period, will be used for the upkeep of its remaining elephants.

He said water levels were running low in rivers in its parks and officials have been using alternative water sources to feed the animals.

“We have a situation where most of our game parks use borehole water, and that needs a lot of resources. These are some of the costs that we are grappling when there is drought,” he added.


Zimbabwe Tourism minister Prisca Mupfumira. (YouTube)

Tourism minister Prisca Mupfumira said the country presently has 85,000 elephants and it could only cater for 55,000, according to a local media reports.

Since coming to power in 2018, Zimbabwe’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa has been globetrotting across the world with a begging bowl looking for a loan in an effort to raise investment for his economically blighted nation.

Earlier this year, he was forced to announce a steep increase in the fuel price in an effort to tackle fuel shortages in the country but ended up triggering country-wide protests.