Botswana has cancelled the licences of two professional hunters who shot dead a research elephant.
Michael Lee Potter and Kevin Sharp had voluntarily surrendered their hunting licences, a government statement said.
Botswana lifted a ban on elephant hunting in May, citing growing conflict between humans and the animals.
However, the elephant, which was shot last month, had been collared – giving it protected status as a research elephant.
The number of elephants in Botswana is estimated to be about 130,000.
In a statement, the government said: “The period of the surrender of Mr. Potter’s license is indefinite while Mr. Sharp’s license will be surrendered for a period of three years with immediate effect.”
It did not provide information about the nationality of the two men. Neither of the men were available for comment.
The two men have also been ordered to replace the elephant’s destroyed collar, the government said.
It is not clear how the elephant’s collar was damaged.
According to an earlier government statement, the hunters said they had not seen the collar because “the elephant was in a full-frontal position.”
“Once the animal was down, they realised it had a collar on it placed for research purposes.”
However, Neil Fitt from the Kalahari Conservation Society questioned this, saying elephant collars are “extremely large.” (BBC)