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Botswana is to donate 500 elephants to Mozambique under a species re-population programme, Botswana’s minister for international affairs and cooperation said on Wednesday.
“The idea is to give Mozambique 500 elephants, but the number could rise to 700 or 800 because they have reproduced,” Unity Dow said following a meeting with Mozambique’s president, Filipe Nyusi, and his counterpart in Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi.
Despite elephants being one of Mozambique’s most emblematic animals, it is one of the most threatened with extinction.
This year is decisive for the diagnostic of the species, as the National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC) gears up to carry out the third census of elephants in the country.
According to figures by ANAC, the country has lost around 10,000 elephants since 2009 and in the Niassa Reserve, the most protected area in the country, the total number dropped from 12,000 to 4,400 in just three years, between 2011 and 2014.