Defenders of African big game hunting, such as Donald Trump Jr., often cite the good causes that money generated from such hunts goes toward such as conservation. But to fund a sports stadium? 

In Zimbabwe, a rural district bordering the famed Hwange National Park was granted the rights to sell hunting permits to shoot 70 elephants as a way to partially finance construction of a new stadium in Tsholotsho. The average elephant hunt sells for around $30,000.

But now that a new environment minister has taken office, those permits appear to be stalled. Not happy are provincial authorities counting on that money. 

Instead of championing conservation, however, the new minister is saying she halted the hunts not because she against them on principle, but because too many elephants had recently been poached within the National Park, according to the state owned Chronicle newspaper.

“The country suffered bad publicity from the cyanide poisoning and it was felt that the hunts be stopped while the poaching issue was being handled,” environment minister Oppah Muchinguri told the paper. 

Hwange National Park, which contains some 53,000 elephants, is said to be overcrowded with hunted often cited as means to control the population as well as bringing much-needed resources to local communities, according to Newsweek.

Along with the stadium, additional funds from hunting elephants were to be directed to road improvements and boring wells. The hunters the district had engaged to participate were reportedly frustrated with many returning to their home country, the Chronicle reports.

For related stories on trophy hunting click here. 

© Jonathan Pledger | – African elephant and rainbow in South Africa