Surveys that Conclude that Numerous Elephants are being Poached in northern Botswana are Denied by Government Officials


Elephants Without Borders conducted a survey about elephant killed with the government and concluded: “there was a six-fold increase in the number of ‘fresh’ or ‘recent’ elephant carcasses in northern Botswana amid “obvious signs” of poaching, the BBC reports. The report continued stating that “Mike Chase, the scientist who carried out the survey, sparked a fierce debate in the country when he went public half-way through his study in August last year with accusations there was a poaching problem and alleging the authorities were ignoring him.”

“He told the BBC at the time that while flying over northern Botswana, he had discovered 87 recently killed elephants in one “hotspot” area – a number now revised to 88 – and 128 overall.”

However, the Botswana government has labeled Chase’s as misleading and false. The government doesn’t believe him. Two of his research licenses have been taken away from him by the government. Chase adamantly claims his reports are accurate.

Botswana is home to 130,000 elephants – a third of the total number in Africa.


There appears to be strong resistance against Mr. Chase’s claims that so many elephants have been poached. We have no basis for determining the accuracy of his reporting. However, some officials are claiming that the elephant population is so abundant that the herds are causing damage to crops and one not be concerned over the dead elephants. We believe that one poached elephant is one too many. Penalties should be increased against all poachers.

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