WILDLIFE A Country Counts The Killers

Posted by on 31. Juli 2017

Wildlife Minister Tshekedi Khama

IT HAPPENED IN THE PARLIAMENT, in the spring of 2017, in the capital of Gaborone, when the Minister of Wildlife, Tshekedi Khama (the brother of the president, by the way), had to answer this question: „How many of our animals were poached between 2014 and 2017?“ And Khama replied so detailed that it was suspected he made up the figures by a moments notion, allowing for a joke first: He couldn’t say unfortunately how many fish and birds were killed by poachers! Careful laughter in the house. But the figures of the mammals, so Khama said, were as follows: 513 animals all in all, 114 in 2014, 217 in 2015, 113 in 2016 and 17 so far in 2017. This adds up to 461, he said – but where are the 52 missing mammals? Nobody checked the figure in parliament, Khama got away with it. But nevertheless: I don’t think that 1) any other Minister of Wildlife in Africa has such a detailed account, and 2) would tell it publicly, if he had. Insofar it was a great moment in history (so to speak) and in the protection of wildlife. A question followed: „Where do the poachers come from?“ Khama’s clever answer: „Not all come from neighboring countries, but our borders are too far stretched to protect them properly since Botswana is so big and got two million inhabitants only.“ By the way: If you wonder why Khama looks like a white businessman – his grandfather came from Scotland …

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