"Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it”

Con in Conservation?

Contrary to popular belief native Africans were not the first people on the continent to pursue a career or “sport” of trophy hunting. The history of trophy hunting dates as far back to the early 1800’s when southern and central European hunters sought out large or small game. Not much has really changed since the early 1800’s although hunters did out of mutual respect show much veneration to their kill more than today’s modern hunters that flock to the continent of Africa from far and wide in their droves.

Southern and central European hunters were known to keep the trophy head or entire animal as a sign of prowess however did leave much waste of which little of that waste was provided to local villagers and communities struggling financially or in times of famine when free food was much sough after. Today most professional hunters (PH) or outfitters allege that their trophy kill’s are evenly distributed out to the local communities and villagers in dire need of food.

Today in most of Southern Africa we see a mixture of international citizens hunting animals from lion, elephant, zebra, cheetah, impala down to hippopotamus and plains game. The vast majority of hunters visiting the continent range from northern Europe where hunting has long been associated with their history. Back in the 1800’s northern European hunters within their native range would mostly hunt for meat and in Africa evidence has shown that the majority of northern European hunters do indeed demand their kill or any waste is equally handed out to local villagers and communities. After all its their tradition and a tradition in northern Europe that is steeped in history.

Sport hunting has long gotten up Animal Rights Activists noses which today’s hunting generation rarely follow any rule of the land or continue to practice the family tradition as if its a heirloom. Environmental researchers from the Environmental News and Media team have long argued now that western disrespect within today’s hunting generation is now rubbing off onto our own African citizens that have been witnessed killing animals then parading the parts of bodies of animals or jokingly fooling around with the corpse as if it was nothing more than a piece of shit on ones shoe.

One such hunter witnessed back in 2012 that our investigative team noted last year named as Mr Henning Pretorius from Krugersdorp Gauteng, South Africa didn’t just grotesquely slaughter this non-threatened Zebra below – he then set about jumping on the animals dead back jokingly  fooling around and acting as if he was on some rodeo. Hardly professional hunting nor conservation. We will though give him his due respects where given of which the animal was slaughtered – however made into a rug for his own home. The meat was distributed among family members and friends which back in the 1880’s was uncommon.

Since Henning pretorius became aware of this image circulating Mr Pretorius not only demanded its removal but, has been given special cyber protection – I.e his profile has been blocked from the United Kingdom. We do find this move by Facebook rather peculiar as 1. we’re not British citizens or even residents and 2. why has he been given this rather suspicious preferential treatment? Did we touch a sore nerve. Mr Henning has also taken the rather unusual step of removing this image or at least concealing it amidst his other nauseating images that Facebook’s administration platform seems to be protecting.

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Kalahri’s Historian on hunting and Animal Rights stated: 

Trophy hunting is the most controversial aspect of hunting for opponents of hunting, who argue that modern economics or vegetarianism should eliminate the need for most killing of animals, if not animal domestication entirely.

They see such killing as an issue of morality, citing British fox hunting as an especially inhumane “blood sport.”
Hunting in North America in the 1800s was done primarily as a way to supplement food supplies. The safari method of hunting was a development of sport hunting that saw elaborate travel in Africa, India and other places in pursuit of trophies. In modern times, trophy hunting persists, but is frowned upon by some when it involves rare or endangered species of animal. Other people also object to trophy hunting in general because it is seen as a senseless act of killing another living thing for recreation, rather than food.

In all due respects Henning and Kalahari are nothing more than a CON in Conservation.

Africa holds the largest custodian of lions in the world. However their populations are dwindling quite rapidly. To date and based on the most recent up to date International Union for the Conservation of Natures report a population count of some 30,000 lions remain in the wild. Listed as vulnerable and nearing endangered they remain the second species within the big five that’s populations are actually declining. Central African elephant “populations” could be considered within this count too however based on census reports elephant populations within the central African republic are known to be “endangered” as a population not as an entire species.

The African lions main threat is that of habitat destruction and human species conflict with some reports of “unregulated hunting” as being problematic mostly within Tanzania. However while the IUCN lists certain dangers regarding the lion such as habitat destruction, persecution and unregulated hunting they fail to list the dramatic decrease of male African lions that are required within the prides to keep species intact. Continued hunting of males lion or even female lionesses will eventually have an adverse effect onto lion populations thus pushing this species into the realms of endangerment.

Environmental News and Media has duly noted from 2011 to 2014 a stark increase of eastern and southern European hunters visiting Africa to hunt the big five. Increases from Ukraine, Russia, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Serbia, Bosnia and Turkey have been noted. More worrying are increasing numbers of trophy hunters such as Jacine Jadreško from Croatia (pictured below).

Jacine Jadreško

Croatian, Albanian, Russian, Czech Republic and Polish trophy hunters are second to that of American hunters with British hunters slowly creeping up. While sport hunting is not currently considered a major threat to the species, habitat loss, a lack of prey and increasing conflict with humans are to blame for the decline in the numbers of African lions, whose numbers have dropped by two-thirds since the 1980s, according to  2014 USDA report. There were 76,000 lions in Africa in 1980, but that number has declined to about 30,000 today.

Zambia has since lifted the ban on hunting lions and cheetahs. The ban wasn’t lifted because lion and cheetah species populations began increasing but more for sustainable wildlife projects. In other words while the ban on hunting was in place funding to secure wildlife from poaching just didn’t hit the target – so – therefore Zambia has limited the ban to generate funding to preserve its natural wildlife.

A Con or practical thinking?

Environmental News and Media’s External Affairs Investigations Dept noted a stark and worrying increase of youth hunters to the continent too. Most African countries hold certain rules in place the forbid a minor under the age of sixteen from carrying or even shooting a loaded rifle. As one can see in the case below this is not so. From Howick, Kwazulu-Natal laws are being flouted daily.

younger66

Con or gun conservation?

A further worrying trend were witnessing in South Africa are tiger farms springing up everywhere in the Eastern Cape – for the gun. From 2012 to 2014 Environmental News and Media recorded a total of 63 tiger farms in the Eastern Cape. Since 2012 a further 21 have been established. Tigers are listed as critically endangered – yet are bred and for the gun.

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farmtig

One of the world’s largest and most iconic predators may soon go extinct in the wild – yet in South Africa the species are being bred for for the bloody gun!

Amid all the fuss over global warming and alternative energy, the continued loss of biodiversity is being largely overlooked and forgotten. And the trend may claim its highest profile victim to date in just a couple decades, say conservation groups. For at least a million years tigers have roamed the forests and jungles of Asia, ruling the top of the food chain. But today Tigers are facing a final bow from the world they once ruled as their habitats have been destroyed and their numbers slashed by poaching.

At the start of the twentieth century there were an estimated 100,000 tigers. Over the course of the last century those numbers shrank and several subspecies — the Bali, Javan, and Caspian Tigers — went extinct.

The WWF has released a new report estimating that there are now only 3,200 tigers left in the wild in India, Southeast Asia, Russia, and China. They estimate that within a generation tigers will become extinct in the wild, if drastic action is not taken to conserve them.

Sybille Klenzendorf, director of the WWF-US species conservation program comments, “There is a real threat of losing this magnificent animal forever in our lifetime. This would be like losing the stars in the sky. Three tiger subspecies have gone extinct, and another, the South China tiger, has not been seen in the wild in 25 years.”

World Bank, a multinational financial institution that provides loans to developing countries, is partnering with the WWF in a push to save the beasts.

Keshav S. Varma, program director of the World Bank’s Global Tiger Initiative comments, “Unless we really crack down on illegal trade and poachers, tigers in the wild have very little chance. If the tigers disappear, it is an indication of a comprehensive failure. It’s not just about tigers. If you save the tiger, you are going to save other species. It provides an excellent indicator of commitment to biodiversity. If they survive, it shows we are doing our job right. If they disappear, it shows we are just talking.”

Despite the fact that so few tigers remain, demand for their body parts is at an all time high on the Asian black markets. Crawford Allan, director of TRAFFIC-North America, which monitors the trade in wildlife, comments, “The demand for bones and skin, meat, and even claws and teeth … is driving a major crime campaign to wipe tigers out in the wild.”

Lixin Huang, president of the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine has teamed with the WWF to try to fight Chinese natives from using tiger parts in their traditional remedies. States Huang, “Traditional Chinese medicine does not need tiger bones to save lives. What we are dealing with is an old tradition, an old belief that tiger wine can make their bones stronger. That is not medicine, that is from old tradition.”

The WWF’s ambitious goal is to try to get the tiger population doubled to 6,400 tigers in the wild by 2022. To do that, they say they will need $13M USD a year and cooperation from the governments of Bangladesh, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Russia, the United States, Vietnam, and the Greater Mekong region, which stretches across Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

Nearing extinction in the wild – Bred in captivity in South Africa for the gun.

Hardly Conservation is it?

 

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