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Lessons from South Africa: Elephants for Germany

Lessons from South Africa: Elephants for Germany

Botswana wants to give Germany 20,000 elephants because Berlin wants to ban the import of hunting trophies. About the naive romanticism of some conservationists.

“I had to read it three times before I understood it,” admits Flemish author Gaia Schutters in an interview with “The Press”: A Facebook ad announces the trophy hunt of a rare ibex in Pakistan, but at the same time declares that the money allocated for hunting licenses benefits the conservation of this species And protect him. At first this seems counter-intuitive; Unless you are familiar with the principle of “conservation through benefit”, by which trophy hunting actually contributes to the conservation of species and habitats in many parts of the world.

This principle is also discussed here, at the highest European level as well as in the lowlands on the outskirts of Vienna and in Vienna's hunting areas – for example when it comes to the controversial hunting of capercaillie (in the mountains) or endangered partridges (in the federal capital). At first it seems quite logical that we would want to fully protect endangered species. Why should endangered animals be shot?!

Hunting, on the other hand, makes sense with a sense of proportion. If game is valuable to local people and landowners, they protect it and its environment. As long as hunted animals and their meat and fur are used, such management is no longer reprehensible. ““You either use it or you lose it.”“, say some conservationists pragmatically. In principle, the principle of “protection through benefit” remains as controversial as it has proven itself in many places.

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