WINDHOEK (Reuters) – Namibia has put 100 of its buffalos up for sale in a bid to ease pressure on grazing land after a drought.
The government said it would auction the powerful wild animals to anyone at home or abroad who could meet welfare and legal criteria. But its newspaper advert for the sale warned: “The buyer will bear all risks.”
The most likely buyers will be game farmers – people who rear animals for big game hunters to shoot – environment ministry spokesman Romeo Muyunda said on Friday.
Buffalos, considered one of the most dangerous animals in Africa, are prized by sports hunters and their meat is also widely eaten.
The 70 female and 30 male buffalos from Waterberg Plateau Park in central Namibia had already been rounded up in “boma” enclosures, Muyunda said.
But the buyers will have to take responsibility of the animals from there. Any foreigners hoping to take one home will have to prove they had the rights to export them, the advert said.
“It makes conservation sense to reduce the number of wildlife whenever their carrying capacity is exceeded so that we can reduce the pressure on grazing and other resources in the park,” Muyunda said.
He declined to say how much the government hoped to raise or how many buffalos were currently in the park.
The arid southern African country auctioned 1,000 animals from national parks, including 500 buffalos in 2019 as it faced the worst drought in a century.
It also culled surplus cattle, with the meat going to drought and hunger relief programmes.
All bids for the buffalos must be left in sealed envelopes at the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism by Oct. 14, the advert said.
Reporting by Nyasha Nyaungwa; Editing by Andrew Heavens