Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi has threatened to ship 20,000 elephants to Germany amid a growing political spat.

The drama unfolded after Germany’s environment ministry proposed tighter restrictions on importing hunting trophies earlier this year, citing poaching worries. But Masisi hit back, arguing that such curbs would hit Botswana’s economy and its people hard.

In an interview with German media Bild, Masisi said that Berlin-based bureaucrats shouldn’t be meddling in Botswana’s business, arguing that his country were the ones footing the bill to keep these animals safe.

Masisi insists that Botswana’s successful conservation policies have led to a surge in elephant numbers.

He argues that controlled hunting is a necessary evil to keep the population in check, prevent property damage, and protect residents from the risks posed by the large animals.

“We’re ready to gift Germany with these elephants… we’re not joking around, and we won’t take no for an answer,” Masisi declared, underlining Botswana’s resolve to tackle the elephant crisis head-on.

Botswana, which boasts a population of over 130,000 elephants, has previously shifted thousands to nearby countries like Angola and Mozambique to tackle the overpopulation problem.

In a similar move, Botswana’s wildlife minister, Dumezweni Mthimkhulu, threatened to dispatch 10,000 elephants to Britain’s Hyde Park after UK Parliament members voted for a ban on trophy imports last March.

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