The Namibian government has granted an export permit allowing a game farm in the country to take five young elephants away from their families and sell them to a safari park in Dubai. The elephants—reportedly between 4 and 8 years old—are on the property of Eden Game Farm, which is owned by ITTUR Industrier AB, a Swedish company.
Namibia claims that the sale of these elephants is not for commercial purposes and is permitted under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. ITTUR itself, though, appears keenly interested in the commercial benefits. The company filed for bankruptcy twice in the last few years. ITTUR’s CEO and chairman, Johan Hansen, reportedly filed for personal bankruptcy in March 2013 and has been implicated in tax fraud, including a tax deduction for a luxury hunting trip, according to the Namibian Sun.