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Nepal’s Plan to Gift Elephants to Qatar Delayed Due to International Regulations

April 22, 2024
Nepal Elephants Qatar

Nepal’s plan to gift a pair of elephants to Qatar during the visit of Qatari King (Emir) Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has been temporarily postponed. This follows Qatar’s inability to secure necessary approvals under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

The plan to gift the elephants originated during former Nepali President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s visit to Qatar in 2018. Nepal had selected two elephants, Rudrakali and Khagendra Prasad, from the Elephant Breeding and Training Center in Chitwan National Park and was prepared to hand them over during the King’s visit.

“Necessary preparations had been made, including an initial agreement, but the transfer cannot proceed without CITES approval from Qatar,” explained Ministry of Forests and Environment spokesperson Badriraj Dhungana.

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While the elephant gift is delayed, both countries remain committed to the exchange. To honor the agreement, Nepal may include the topic in an official press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Plans are underway to complete the handover process at a later date.

Nepal had intended to gift one male and one female elephant to Qatar, accompanied by their mahouts (elephant trainers) to assist in the transition and provide guidance on elephant care. A Nepali technical team had previously assessed the suitability of the elephants’ new environment in Qatar.

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