: Zambia to lift ban hunting on big cats - Brendan Raisbeck, Alamy
This will no doubt raise passions on both sides of the fence as it always does. Anyway I’d like us to think about it, and to provide underpinning evidence to support each argument. Please think deeply about it. Thanks, Mike 🙂
My first thoughts. A long-time friend, George Hughes, was the wildlife manager at KwaZuluNatal National Park for many years. He said that selling a few ‘trophy shoots’ to rich white ‘hunters’ funded the entire wildlife conservation programme in the park. Some of these animals would have been culled by park staff anyway ~ which is often the case with wildlife management. Listening to George’s arguments I found it hard to disagree.
As the article above for Zambia indicates: ‘whatever happens should be incorporated into law’. As Zambia and other southern African countries rely heavily on wildlife tourism, and hopefully biased towards photo-tourism, there has been an impact on local income and employment opportunities. I’m mindful that poaching is a much greater concern, not least because the poachers don’t care which animals they kill ~ they shoot, trap or poison whatever they find; perhaps leaving babies orphaned too. In contrast the trophy hunts are usually well organised, with local staff guiding the shooter, and quite probably a specific animal has already been identified.
Whether we think this right or wrong is a matter of personal choice. Whatever happens should be sustainable. Poaching clearly isn’t sustainable. Anti-poaching patrols are often poorly-funded: lacking equipment, fuel and ammunition; the poachers are well-funded ~ often by big business or organised crime. Sustainable ‘use’ may well be a better choice, including occasional trophy hunting. What if that money actually funded conservation efforts to end poaching and wildlife trafficking? Mike 🙂
Make of these what you will.