i (Independent – UK)

In total, 1,000 wild animals including giraffes, impalas and buffaloes will be given away

Namibia is selling some of its elephants after a drought (photo: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

Namibia has authorised the sale of  28 elephants as the southwestern African country struggles with drought.

In total, 1,000 wild animals including giraffes, impalas and buffaloes will be given away in an attempt to better protect the animals and generate revenue for conservation.

The environment ministry spokesman Romeo Muyunda said that because of this year’s drought, various animals would be sold to protect grazing areas. It’s hoped that $1.1m will be raised from the sale.

Deadly drought

A natural disaster was declared last month, as meteorological services in Namibia estimated that the country had undergone its deadliest drought in as many as 90 years.

“The grazing condition in most of our parks is extremely poor and if we do not reduce the number of animals, this will lead to loss of animals due to starvation,” said Muyunda to The Namibian.

It reported that somewhere between 500 and 600 buffaloes would be sold from Waterberg Plateau Park, while 150 springbok would be sold from the Hardap and Naute game parks.

It is hoped money raised from the animal sale will go towards conservation (Photo: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

Proceeds going to conservation

There are 6,400 elephants in the Khaudum National Park, with proceeds from the sale of them going to the government’s Game Products Trust Fund, which will support conservation efforts.

Conservation activists have previously criticised Namibia for its trophy hunting policy, as it permits authorised hunting of wildlife . Twenty per cent of conservancy revenues come from hunting, The Independent reported.

The animals will be sold at an auction and it is hoped that game farmers will purchase them as they will have the resources to care for them.

Dying elephants in Asia

Earlier this year it was revealed that Asian elephant populations are under threat due to high death rates among calves that have been separated from their mothers to work, research found.

Almost a third of Asian elephants are in captivity in countries like India, Myanmar and Thailand, mainly being used for tourism or labour.

Scientists concluded that population declines could be tackled if the health of baby elephants is prioritised.

Elephants removed from the mother at a young age experience stress which may have a negative impact on survival, a new paper in The Royal Society Publishing said.

The paper explains that mortality is highest in newborn elephants so addressing this process could make a difference in their survival rates.