Botswana Has Lifted Its Ban On Elephant Hunting

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Botswana Has Lifted Its Ban On Elephant Hunting
Officials said the ban's being lifted, in part, due to increasing conflicts between elephants and humans.
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On Wednesday, Botswana lifted a ban on elephant hunting, turning what was once a sanctuary for African elephants into open territory for licensed hunters.

In a statement, Botswana's government said the ban is being lifted due, in part, to increasing conflicts between elephants and humans. The statement did not specify how hunting will be regulated, but said it would resume "in an orderly and ethical manner."

Botswana is home to 130,000 elephants, the most of any country in Africa. The ban was put in place in 2014 to help the shrinking elephant population recover from the loss of habitats and poaching.

In a press conference on Thursday, Botswana's minister of environment, wildlife and tourism said: "We have never been reckless. Our responsibility towards conservation has not changed, but our responsibility to the people has not changed as well."

The Botswanan government says it will grant as many as 400 elephant hunting licenses a year.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.