Born Free Foundation President, Will Travers OBE, and elephant conservationists, are shocked and dismayed at the news that Botswana has lifted its ban on elephant hunting, putting the lives of some of the country’s estimated 127,000 elephants at risk. Botswana has announced that it will begin licensing elephant hunts, with 60 licences for the hunting being auctioned, encouraging elephant slaughter for sport, with a quota for shooting 272 elephants in 2020.
Elephants are currently in crisis. A century ago, there were an estimated five million in Africa, but today there are less than half a million, with about 55 barbarically killed daily for their tusks. The Born Free Foundation has predicted that elephants could disappear from the wild in Africa, and since 1989 have campaigned for a global ban on the ivory trade, and the support of anti-poaching patrols.
Will Travers points out that when bull elephants are slaughtered, the discipline from the father is missing from the family, leading to delinquent baby elephants with consequential misbehaviour.
Will Travers is the son of the legendary acting couple and animal conservationists, Virginia McKenna and the late Bill Travers, who both starred in the film Born Free.