Zimbabwe has held an auction for big game hunters, offering a variety of trophy ‘bags’, and raising US$1.5 million in the process, ostensibly for conservation programmes. The Associated Press reports that lions fetched a fixed fee of US$40, while elephants reached more than US$20,000. Both local and foreign hunters bid in the auction, with bidders coming from Austria, Germany, Russia, Spain and the United States.
Legal and illegal hunting in the country has been rife since the land reform process in Zimbabwe escalated. Zimbabwean media frequently report that they have an overpopulation of elephants, which is leading to increased human-elephant conflict. There were 12 recorded cases of elephants killing people, mostly communal farmers in Zimbabwe, last year. Crocodiles are reported to have killed 13 people in the same time frame.