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Restoring Wildlife & Diversity: Angola to Get Elephant Gift From Botswana

© AP Photo / Charmaine NoronhaIn this photo from March 3, 2013, elephants drink water at the Chobe National Park in Botswana.
In this photo from March 3, 2013, elephants drink water at the Chobe National Park in Botswana.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 26.07.2023
Before the 1970s, Angola was home to tens of thousands of these giant mammals. However, a prolonged civil war, poaching and loss of habitat have since diminished the elephant population to fewer than 3,400. Botswana's gift is expected to give the country's wildlife a much-needed boost.
Botswana, home to the world's largest elephant population, has offered to donate 8,000 elephants to Angola, said the country's Minister of Foreign Affairs Lemogang Kwape at a press briefing.
The Botswanan top diplomat made this statement, while commenting on the outcome of Angolan President Joao Lourenco's recent official trip to Botswana, on July 20-22.
"A good highlight was the offer from Botswana to donate 8,000 elephants to Angola," said Kwape.
The move is seen as part of efforts made by Angola and the international community to restore the country's wildlife and species diversity, which was impacted by years of conflict. According to the minister, the donation of the animals will also assist Angola in reviving its tourist sector. However, Kwape didn't provide any further details on the repatriation process or its timeframe.
He recalled that decades ago, a large elephant herd crossed over from Angola fleeing hostilities to Botswana, where it found a safe haven. Kwape further elaborated by saying that now Botswana agreed "to assist them to have some elephants relocate there."
14 Angolan giraffes were successfully translocated from a private game farm in Namibia to Iona National Park in Angola. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 09.07.2023
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On Friday, the Angolan president announced that his country would receive the elephants from Botswana to repopulate its national parks.
According to Lourenco, who was speaking at the start of official talks as part of his state visit to Botswana, the animals will be relocated to parks in eastern Angola. He added that the two countries should cooperate to lay the groundwork for the transfer of the elephants from northern Botswana to the national parks of Mavinga and Luengue-Luina, both in the province of Cuando Cubango.
"With elephants in the parks, we believe that the attraction of tourists will be guaranteed," said President Lourenco.
According to experts, Botswana, unlike its neighbor, reportedly has too many elephants, with their population having swelled to over 130,000. This has resulted in frequent confrontations with farmers, in addition to shortages of food and water. Therefore, the donation is expected to slightly balance out the elephant population between the two nations.