Botswana’s Environment Tourism and Wild Tshekedi Khama on Wednesday told international delegates that the government has adopted a shoot-to-kill policy in a bid to curb the poaching of elephants in the country’s wildlife. Speaking at the ongoing African summit on elephants in Gaborone, Tshekedi said those who enter Botswana for purposes of poaching should be aware that they may be killed by the country's anti-poaching squadrons who had been mandated to shoot poachers on sight.
International Union Conversation of Nature Director General Julkia Matorn Lefevre said to alleviate the current crisis of ivory trafficking countries should invest in equipment for those in the frontline of combating the trafficking in ivory.
The order to shoot poachers comes amidst fears that the increasing demand for tusk is creating a precarious situation for African elephants whose populations could dwindle to a few thousands in the next few years.
An estimated 22,000 elephants were killed illegally across Africa in 2012, slightly lower than the 25,000 poached in 2011.
The situation is said to be particularly acute in Central Africa where the estimated poaching rate is twice the continental average.