Namibia wants to auction its elephant tusks and rhino-horn stockpiles rather than burn them, a government minister said.
Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta declined to reveal the size of Namibia’s stockpile as it would compromise security. “But I can tell you it’s worth billions of Namibian dollars,” he said in an interview in the capital, Windhoek.
Since most of the stockpile comes from Namibia, the country has every right to auction it, he said. The tusks and horns come from animals that died of natural causes, through legal hunting or were confiscated from poachers, the minister said.
Poachers killed 23 elephants in the south-west African nation from January to December last year, Shifeta said on Dec. 5. In 2014, 78 of the pachyderms were killed by poachers for their tusks.