Sale of live crocodiles aimed at minimizing conflict

Niël Terblanché

Constant attacks by crocodiles on people and an increase in the number of incidents of Human-Wildlife Conflict have led to a decision to sell some of the reptiles.

Romeo Muyunda, the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) spokesperson said that as the custodian of Government-owned wildlife, the ministry will offer 40 crocodiles for sale to the public on tender.

“Over the years, Namibia has experienced a remarkable recovery of wildlife populations as a result of good conservation methods. This has placed the country as a global leader in conservation,” Muyunda said.

The increase in animal numbers has also resulted in increased cases of Human-Wildlife Conflict as the majority of the country’s wildlife exists outside national parks.

He said the northeastern regions of Kavango West, Kavango East and Zambezi continue to experience concerning crocodile attacks on people and their livestock.

“Since 2019, the ministry has paid offset amounts of over N$2.3 million for losses caused by crocodiles. This includes N$575 000 for 195 cases of livestock losses; N$140 000 for 14 cases of injuries to people and over N$1.6 million for human lives lost,” he said.

The sale of the 40 crocodiles is meant to minimize incidences of conflict and mitigate the impact of crocodile attacks on members of communities.

According to Muyunda, the sale of the reptiles lines up with the recommendation made at the recently ended conference on Human Wildlife Conflict management for the Ministry to reduce the number of crocodiles in the affected regions.

The crocodiles will be sold through a tender where written financial offers by those interested should be submitted to the Ministry in sealed envelopes indicating the price per individual animal. The offers to purchase should be deposited in the tender box at MEFT Headquarters by 17 July 2023 at 16h30.

The tender specifications will be advertised in the press.

Muyunda specified that interested parties who wish to export crocodiles must have official proof that the respective conservation authorities of that country will permit them to export crocodiles. Buyers must prove that they have suitable habitats for crocodiles.

Muyunda added that all related activities, including disease testing as well as any necessary after-capture care, will also be for the cost of buyers.

“The capture of the crocodiles will be done under the full supervision of the ministry’s officials and the cost of capturing will fall to the buyer,” he said.

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