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Zimbabwe’s wildlife authority has denied reports that the country is planning to export live elephants in disregard of advice by conservation groups.

It said in a statement that allegations by some NGOs that the process of capturing the animals had begun were

“speculative and baseless”.

“Zimbabwe is not considering any live African elephant exports and the country has not processed any export trade permits since 2019,”

the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) said.

Its spokesman Tinashe Farawo said they were not planning to capture elephants

“now or in the near future”

– noting that the authority was recently collaring the animals to monitor their movements.

He said that human-elephant conflicts had claimed dozens of lives and that Zimparks was exploring new ways to mitigate the problem.

Zimbabwe and neighbouring Botswana could be home to about half of Africa’s 400,000 elephants, according to experts.

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