Updated at: 11/29/2012 9:05 AM
(AP) GABORONE, Botswana - Botswana says it will ban hunting by 2014 because of fears that the nation is losing its wildlife.
The nation’s Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism made the announcement Thursday, saying the decision comes after President Ian Khama said hunting must be stopped to save the nation’s big game animals. The ministry said that, left unchecked, rampant hunting would be a "genuine threat" to the country’s wildlife.
The ministry said hunts by local communities and with special hunting licenses would still be allowed.
Botswana, a nation in southern Africa of 581,730 square kilometers (224,610 square miles), is home to the massive Kalahari Desert and large national parks. It has elephants, lions, giraffes and many other wild animals, making it a popular destination for big game hunters.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)