The Parliament of Zimbabwe is reportedly considering introducing birth control measures to address the ballooning elephant population in the country.
Zimbabwe has a total of about 100 000 elephants which authorities are struggling to manage. Selling the elephants is also not a possibility due to the ban imposed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals.
The suggestion to have birth control measures was made by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environment chaired by Concillia Chinanzvavana after considering a number of issues including the destruction of the environment by elephants. Part of the committee’s report reads:
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Contraception is a method which can be used to control the explosive growth of the elephant population…
Contraception can slow down or stop an elephant population’s growth rate, though it does not actually reduce the number of elephants in already overpopulated areas such as Hwange National Park.
The Parliamentarians also observed that community leaders in Hwange were complaining that they were not benefitting from wildlife proceeds.
Zimbabwe used to sell elephants to other countries including China and that was banned following protests by animal rights activists after reports of animal abuse.