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African Big Game

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jun 2017 at 1:57pm
How bloody typical Evil Smile  Similar to Bunnings headquarters in Melb. decision to drop supplies of rural irrigation products 'cos they weren't selling in the Graeter area of Melb. LOL Knobs the lot of them!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2017 at 6:20pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2017 at 11:54pm
I can never understand what a bloke gets out of cutting off an elephant tail ( or any of the other gross things they do and call it hunting )  and posing with it for a picture .
Does it make them feel   ????
1. Clever.
2. Powerful.
3. Masculine .
4. Talented.
5. Desirable.
Because if that is the case , most people view them as none of those.  They just view them as dick heads with small minds and even smaller bits. He is gripping on that tail as if he thinks its a replica of his no doubt rather small appendage.
Sick, sick people.



animals before people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Whale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jun 2017 at 12:15am
I agree with you AA as usual Smile

it sickens me, cannot watch wildlife documentaries because there is always something about dwindling numbers.

Chinese are the worst for their mad obsession with ivory and natural "health remedies"

I believe 150,000 elephants were killed in 2012, sickens me
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jun 2017 at 1:27am
Originally posted by Whale Whale wrote:

I agree with you AA as usual Smile

it sickens me, cannot watch wildlife documentaries because there is always something about dwindling numbers.

Chinese are the worst for their mad obsession with ivory and natural "health remedies"

I believe 150,000 elephants were killed in 2012, sickens me

This Chinese belief of parts of animals being magical sickens me, too, Whale.
These people are supposed to be smart people, but if you look at these sick beliefs they have,  they are not very smart at all.
If every single one of us who cares about this just does one small thing to help prevent the needless slaughter,  even just write a letter,   speak out loud,  we can only hope to make some progress.
Look at the plight of the  Snowy Brumbies.  The greenies were all up for shooting them,   not just some but all,  but so many ordinary Australians who dont even know which end eats and which end poops , stood up, signed up, spoke up, and said NO.
They have been reprieved and its now looking at them being heritage listed.  So at least they wont be shot out.
And there is a wonderful initiative in the Barrington Tops, saving the Tasmanian Devil .  Breeding up disease free devils for the future, all done with donations from people, and not the Govnt. 
Lets hope more and more people come on board for all the animals, before its too late.
And lets hope Karma visits the likes of the bloke holding the tail, and all those other big brave people who kill animals for fun.



animals before people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jun 2017 at 3:43pm
36 year old spanish matador gored to death in France, at a bull fight.
Karma .
animals before people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jun 2017 at 3:47pm
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 2017 at 9:57pm

Zimbabwe: Bow Hunting - Zimbabwe's Great Wildlife Dilemma


By Andrew Kunambura

A worsening foreign currency crisis has armed safari operators with the ammunition they desperately needed to build a case for reintroduction of the bow hunting sport in Zimbabwe.

The sport, borrowing from ancient forms of hunting game, came to an abrupt end following the killing of Cecil the lion in July 2015.

The famous feline was first wounded with an arrow shot by recreational big-game hunter, American dentist Charles Palmer.

The lion was then killed with a rifle, approximately 40 hours later on 1 July 2015, triggering a loud global outcry from animal rights groups.

Government reacted by immediately banning bow hunting.

Hunters then migrated to South Africa, which, however, banned the sport last year, forcing cash-rich American bow sport hunters to seek a return back to the Zimbabwean forests.

And for cash-starved Zimbabwe, the lure of greenbacks is tempting, but conservationists are refusing to give in and a battle is looming.

Zimbabwe is one of only four countries in the world where any form of lion hunting is still permitted under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

The country also offers opportunities for hunting of big game like elephants and buffalo.

While there is nothing wrong with hunting, it is the undeveloped type of hunting that is raising consternation.

Bow hunting is the practice of hunting game by archery, in which hunters typically shoot several arrows to trees while tracking their quarry.

Once an animal happens to stray within range, hunters then set off the arrows.

Quick kills are rare, and animals suffer prolonged, painful deaths when the hunters only injure and fail to kill them.

Local safari operators cannot, however, wait to cash in on the sport, which they say has potential to bring in at least $5 million revenue every year.

Conservationists contend that more effort should be made to preserve Zimbabwe's rich wildlife diversity which attracts game viewing tourists from all over the world.

The question being asked is: Should government prioritise the quick gains of bow hunting over long term benefits of game viewing tourism?

Like so many hot button issues, the answer to the question depends on who is asked.

On the one hand, some say nothing could be more natural than hunting, and indeed just about every animal species has been either predator or prey at some point in its evolution.

Ironically, hunting has wiped out many animal species, while at the same time helping to cull some wild animals that have been allowed to freely reproduce beyond the environment's carrying capacity.

Using this argument, the country's safari operators may just have a compelling case.

For instance, the American bow hunters currently knocking on the country's doors are specifically targeting the buffaloes, elephants and lions, which are said to be off CITES red list in the country.

Elephants and buffaloes, for example, still roam the wild in great numbers in Zimbabwe, and have often posed danger to local communities and destroyed crops.

On the other hand, environmental and animal advocates see bow hunting as barbaric, arguing that it is morally wrong to kill animals just for the fun of it.

Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe president, Emmanuel Fundira, is encouraging government to review the blanket ban on bow hunting as a sport, which he says would open "an exciting period for the safari industry at a time when other parts of the economy are in crisis".

He said there was huge earning potential for the country if it allowed bow hunting to resume.

"It is therefore my fervent hope and belief that the regulators will consider helping us capture this growing market to the best interest of economic development," Fundira said.

Bow hunting grew in the 1960s in the United States when conservation lobbyists started discouraging gun hunting.

Mainly limited to hunting for food, the practice was popularised as a sport in the 1980s.

Overall, it was a pastime for older men, but there has been growing interest now among the affluent young generation.

But to the conservationists and animal rights activists, frivolous killing cannot be ethical, let alone be termed a sport.

They have declared that the role of hunting has always been to obtain protein for some populations living in areas infested with wild animals.

However, today the thrill of slaying mighty big mammals like the buffalo, elephant and lion that can be skinned and their hides hung on the wall of the basements of living rooms has brought a whole new dimension to the practice of hunting.

Considering how desperate the Zimbabwean government is at the moment in its search for liquidity, there is every reason to believe that conservationists might lose this fight.

But they will not go down without a fight.

California-based organisation, Animals Voice's Glenn Kirk said bow hunting "causes immense suffering to individual wild animals and is gratuitously cruel because unlike natural predation, hunters kill for pleasure".

He said despite hunters' claims that hunting keeps wildlife populations in balance, hunters' license fees are used to "manipulate a few game species into overpopulation at the expense of a much larger number of non-game species, resulting in the loss of biological diversity, genetic integrity and ecological balance".

The same sentiments were echoed by another American group known as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which is vehemently opposed to the sport.

PETA is the world's largest animal rights group with over 6,5 million members and supporters.

"Hunting might have been necessary for human survival in prehistoric times, but today most hunters stalk and kill animals merely for the thrill of it, not out of necessity. This unnecessary, violent form of 'entertainment' rips animal families apart and leaves countless animals orphaned or badly injured when hunters miss their targets," PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said.

Local animal rights organisation, the Veterinarians for Animal Welfare of Zimbabwe (VAWZ), said it was opposed to bow hunting because of the pain it inflicts on animals.

"Hunting is often called a sport as a way to pass off a cruel, needless killing spree as a socially acceptable, wholesome activity. However, sports involve competition between two consenting parties and the mediation of a referee. And no sport ends with the deliberate death of one unwilling participant," said VAWZ animal welfare officer, Mel Hood.

While the country's safari operators argue that controlled hunting was necessary to keep herds and pride populations within healthy sizes, conservationists argue that nature had its own way of delicately balancing ecosystems thereby naturally ensuring the survival of most species.

While natural predators help maintain this balance by killing only the sickest and weakest individuals, hunters strive to kill animals they would like to hang over the fireplace. And these usually are the largest, most robust animals, which are, however, critical in keeping the gene pool strong.

"If communities decide that buffalo herds must be managed, it is wrong to reduce the taking of animal life to a recreational activity for bow hunting enthusiasts. Instead, a truly humane solution must be found, whether that solution is to hire professional sharpshooters to observe the herd, taking the old and infirm, or to implement an immune-contraception program for the herd," says Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals general manager, Mark Beru.

As a signatory to the International Convention on Biodiversity a multilateral treaty signed at the United Nations Rio Earth summit of 1992 -- Zimbabwe, which has a commitment to the sustainable use of its natural resources, finds itself in a tight corner over bow hunting.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2017 at 1:17am
Killing for fun is sick.Sick
Dont we all agree ,  to kill a human ,  just for the fun of it,  is sick,  and done by a sicko  ??
So why does anyone think its any different when killing animals.Confused
Killing for fun is a sick and sorry occupation.
Those people who take part in it are sickos,  shielded by wealth, to make it look good.
Big gun, small d**k , and small self esteem.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote max manewer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2017 at 12:10pm
I see that the son of Cecil the Lion, shot by that crazy yank dentist in Africa, has himself been dispatched by another one of these deplorable trophy hunters. As the Great Oscar Wilde said of fox hunters......" the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maccamax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2017 at 4:33pm
Hunters are Brave

     When the Rabbit doesn't have the gun.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ThreeBears Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Aug 2017 at 6:23pm
Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke ( of Walmart and Asda fame ) has announced a new app TV channel for diehard hunting fans.
 
 
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Another worthless billionaire
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Aug 2017 at 6:52pm
Shame he doesnt put his money to better use.   
animals before people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Whale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Aug 2017 at 6:53pm
Originally posted by ThreeBears ThreeBears wrote:

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke ( of Walmart and Asda fame ) has announced a new app TV channel for diehard hunting fans.
 
 
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Another worthless billionaire


agree, there are a few around, POTUS
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Aug 2017 at 7:12pm
'They' may as well get what they can out of the wildlife, while there's still some left Unhappy Unhappy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 2017 at 4:00pm
Every forward step seems to be countered by 5 backwards Cry

Op-Ed: South Africa opens the door to the sale of wildlife parts

By Don Pinnock

There’s a thin line between the marketing of, and the genuine conservation of, wildlife. In the past few weeks that line was definitively crossed by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs. By DON PINNOCK.

Ignoring the findings of environmental organisations, its contractual compliance with CITES, a worldwide online petition and its own strategic plan for rhinos, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is about to open the door to the commodification of rhino horn. This follows the permitting of 800 lion skeletons a year to be exported for fake tiger-bone wine and regulations for the hunting of leopards as soon as the present year-long moratorium is lifted.

There is also an ongoing political spat concerning the “donation” of R100-million worth of animals from North West Province Parks to private individuals. The result of these moves means a good deal of money for well-placed individuals in the wildlife business.

Let’s start with rhinos. Last year, following the findings of a committee of inquiry into the feasibility of South Africa trading in rhino horn, the government announced that it was not in favour of this trade. Its position was reinforced at the CITES CoP17 meeting in Gauteng late last year where it was clear that a large majority of member states were against legalising the trade. The voting was 100 against, 26 in favour, with 17 abstentions on a proposal by Swaziland.

Last year the South African ban on rhino horn trade was challenged by private sector rhino breeders, who won on a technicality. The Environment Minister, Edna Molewa, took the result on appeal to the Constitutional Court and there it languished.

Photo by Don Pinnock.

Then, on February 8, the South African government did a complete about-turn, announcing new draft regulations to permit legal internal trade in rhino horn and setting out conditions favourable for its export. If passed, each person will be able to buy, own, sell or export two rhino horns. The new regulations will render Molewa’s appeal redundant and is a total capitulation to the breeders. The public have 30 days from date of the gazette to make representations or objections.

But if it’s a capitulation, it’s been carefully framed. It brackets both black and white rhinos, though they have a different conservation status, and would permit the sale of two horns per person and their export by locals or foreigners as long as the conduit is OR Tambo Airport. It requires a freight agent and a raft of DNA, microchip and document checking which the DEA has no hope of administering. It will simply open the gate on wholesale laundering of poached horn by syndicates well versed in getting greedy officials onside.

You’d imagine the proposal would be related to hunting trophies, but though trophies are passingly mentioned, the proposal deals almost exclusively with horn as a commodity in itself and even discusses horn shavings, which have nothing to do with trophies.

Molewa seems unsure about how to explain the swerve to horn trade. She scheduled a briefing about it in Cape Town last week, changed it to Gauteng, then cancelled it altogether.

Photo by Don Pinnock.

DEA biodiversity director Thea Carroll confused the matter even further. She told Chris Barron of the Sunday Times that the department’s decision was that a commercial trade in rhino horn “will not be introduced”. But a few questions further she said the DEA’s position was “to allow for domestic trade in rhino horn and to regulate that trade in rhino horn”. Excuse me?

The public is left with a number of questions:

  • Who did the minister consult in drawing up the draft regulations and how did she arrive at a figure of two horns per person?
  • How will an already stretched and under-funded regulatory and policing force cope with monitoring internal trade?
  • How will she ensure that the horns will not enter the illegal international markets?
  • And is this the first step towards South Africa putting forward a proposal for full international trade in rhino horn at the next CITES conference in 2019?

According to environmentalist Ian Michler, “There is no realistic way of ensuring that the two horns per person do not end up being traded. The follow-up regarding trophy horns taken to other countries has been pathetic.

I don’t think any country, including the US, has ever systematically followed up on trophy hunters who have exported legally hunted horn out of South Africa to check that they still have them and have not sold them on. We should demand that the Minister present evidence of this follow-up and not just say that it’s happened.

There’s another problem with the proposal. It includes black rhinos in its scope, but these are listed as Appendix 1 by CITES so they (or parts of them) may not be traded internationally. But the DEA regulations would permit sale of their horns internally which, realistically, means exporters are sure to cheat because only a DNA test can tell the difference.

All this is hot on the heels of another startling proposal by the DEA: the sale of lion bones for the manufacture of fake tiger-bone wine. In a move clearly supporting the canned lion hunting industry, the DEA plans to permit the annual export of 800 skeletons for this purpose. It’s a lifeline to an increasingly discredited lion hunting industry that’s hurting following a US ban on the import of trophies from the country.

The move has come under fire from a wide array of local and international environmental organisations and follows an ongoing controversy about South Africa’s lion breeding industry that promotes cub petting, lion walks, canned lion hunting and the supply of lion body parts.

The decision is misguided and shameful,” said Audrey Delsink, Africa’s director of the Humaine Society International. “Breeding captive lions is not only cruel and contrary to the global shift against captive wildlife, but is a potential threat to wild lions.”

Pippa Hankinson, the producer of the film Blood Lions, said the quota appears to lack the requisite scientific basis and was arrived at without consideration of proper welfare or conservation protocols. There was no formal document to support how the quota of 800 skeletons was arrived at or how it would be enforced.

South Africa [is showing] complete disregard for the overwhelming response by key global conservation leaders calling for the termination of captive lion breeding,” she said.

According to Michelle Pickover of the EMS Foundation, there should be a moratorium on issuing any wildlife export permits because of the country’s extremely poor legislative and enforcement issues.

The DEA does not know how the lion industry operates, who the breeders or bone traders are, how many lions are in the industry and how many ‘facilities’ there are.

They leave this totally up to the industry itself. So it’s in essence secret and self-policed. There is also no transparency and this situation is worsened by massive corruption.”

For the DEA to think that farmed wildlife sale has no impact on those truly wild, it would have to ignore the fact that stimulating what are almost limitless Asian markets through the sale of limited goods soon bleeds into illegal procurement through poaching.

The leopard issue is more nuanced but equally worrying. There was celebration among environmental conservationists and no doubt grumbling among many farmers and hunters when the DEA accepted the negative non-detrimental finding (meaning it found it detrimental) to hunt leopards this year. But this was followed by legislation detailing how, when and where to hunt them as soon as the ban is lifted.

It’s worth stepping back from this legislative flurry and asking what’s going on here? A government department tasked with the protection of the environment appears to be engaged in assisting wealthy people to sell it bit by bit. Its reasoning appears to be its increasingly market-driven interpretation of sustainability, assisted, no doubt, by an industry keen to sell its wares. The core of the problem is an ambiguity in the definition in the Constitution.

While the Constitution states that citizens and future generations have the right to an environment protected from environmental degredation, it also promotes the “ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources”.

The former implies sustainable habitat protection in and of itself, the latter implies sustainablity for human use. With regard to protection of a natural geographical area or to a wild species, they are not compatible.

Sustainable habitat protection recognises that life is a set of relationships that, over time, is self-regulating and that these relationships – in place and over time – are what it’s important to sustain as part or the fabric of life on this planet. This is the logic of true conservation, of wild parks left as much as possible to their own internal logic with minimal human interference.

Sustainable use is about the maximum you can crop without collapsing a system, species or herd. It’s essentially a farming concept applied to wildlife.

The DEA’s logic on the use of rhinos, lions, leopards or essentially anything under its protection is that these species only matter to the extent that they are useful to humans.

By this ethic, individual animals have no moral worth other than in terms of the money we can gain from their lives and their death. Sustainability is only about ensuring there will be species in the future that we can exploit.

Between legislative direction and eventual outcome, of course, lies the shadow. Sustainable use of high-value objects is soon undermined by a combination of oversight ineptitude, huge profits and a sophisticated criminal underworld alert to any gaps or weaknesses.

Poached rhino horn will soon sidle into legitimate sales, legitimate trophies will rematerialise in the East as high-priced products, lion skeleton quotas will be overtopped, CITES permits will be forged, officials will be bribed, leopard skins will become Shembe cloaks or floor mats in wealthy pads, and ivory poachers will benefit from shifty transit systems spiriting wildlife parts out of the country. All under the unbrella of sustainable use.

The question we are left with is why our environmental protection agency has increasingly shifted over into a market-enabling one. There are those who would seek the cause in brown envelopes passed beneath the table, but I suspect it’s a genuine belief by the DEA of the second interpretation of the constitutional imperative – sustainablity for human use.

But if this is so, it needs to think deeply about who makes money out of rhino horn, lion skin or leopard pelt sales and vastly expensive hunts. It is certainly not “the people” defined in the Constitution. The biologist Ed Wilson warned us that “in the end, success or failure will come down to an ethical decision, one on which those now living will be judged for generations to come”.

That judgement, he added, may not be a positive one: “We have created a Star Wars civilisation with Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions and godlike technology. We thrash about. We are terribly confused by the mere fact of our existence, and a danger to ourselves and to the rest of life.”

It’s now too late for concerned citizens to stop the lion bone regulations, but there are a few days left to object to the sale of rhino horn. It seems a good call. DM


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 2017 at 6:40pm
Nothing would surprise me about those countries. There is so much corruption in the Govnt, if there is money to be made they will do anything.
animals before people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Whale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 2017 at 6:48pm
so sickening, those people will do anything for money, is Trump involved
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 2017 at 7:19pm
Originally posted by Passing Through Passing Through wrote:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maccamax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 2017 at 7:34pm
Originally posted by Aurelius Aurelius wrote:

Ha ha.........



HUNTING IS A GREAT SPORT,     WHEN THE RABBIT HASN'T GOT THE GUN.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tlazolteotl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 2017 at 8:05pm
I thought Viagra would kill the rhino horn demand from the midget-dicks. Boy was I wrong.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Sep 2017 at 2:10pm
https://bbc.co.uk/news/amp/world-africa-41163520

How big game hunting is dividing southern Africa

By Mark Easton


Image copyright Getty Images An elephant kicks up dust outside Kingspool Luxury Safari Camp in the Okanvango Delta on June 18, 2010

Drifting down the Zambezi in Zimbabwe, I overheard two American men swapping hunting stories.

"First shot got him in the shoulder," a white man in his late sixties explained to his friend. "Second hit him right in the side of the head!" Pointing at his temple, he passed his phone with a picture. The animal in question was a dead crocodile.

Crocodiles are easy to find on this part of the Zambezi: lying in the sun on the banks of the river, boats can float just a few feet away. And given that they are motionless for most of the time, not hard to shoot, I imagine.

The second American showed his pal a picture of a Cape Buffalo he had killed, and planned to have shoulder mounted. He complained he couldn't afford the $19,000 (£14,500) Zimbabwe demands for the licence to kill an elephant. His buffalo cost him $8,000 (£6,100).

"Are they saying an elephant is worth more than two buffalo?" he lamented. "I saw hundreds of elephants today. Far too many. You have to see it here to realise. In California they are saying these animals are endangered!"

The first man's wife then talked of the thrill she gets at the kill, discussing how different calibres of bullet explode the vital organs of African wildlife. I left to look at the hippos watching from the river.

A trophy hunting company welcomes customers in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Image caption A trophy hunting taxidermist welcomes customers in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

But, curiously, I have felt obliged to consider the ethics of big game hunting at home in London in the last few months.

I'm an Arsenal fan, and it recently emerged that my team's owner, American sports tycoon Stan Kroenke, had launched a TV channel in the UK featuring lion and elephant hunting .

High profile supporters

The corporate values of family brand Arsenal do not sit easily with pay-to-view videos of hunters shooting animals for fun, and after a couple of days of hostile publicity, Kroenke ordered his channel to stop showing the killing of some big game.

But both sides in the hunting debate claim they are the true guardians of animal welfare.

Supporters of African trophy hunting, including some in very high places - two of President Trump's sons are avid big game hunters - argue that a ban on hunting would harm wildlife and local people.

It would stop much needed revenue reaching some of Africa's poorest communities, discourage conservation and cut funds for wildlife management that would make it easier for poachers to operate, they say.

Opponents counter that little of the profit from trophy hunting money ends up in the communities where it takes place. They say poachers use legal hunting as cover for their illegal activities, and argue that there are more efficient and humane ways to support the welfare of southern Africa's animals and people.

I was travelling in Zimbabwe and neighbouring Botswana last month - two countries with opposing policies towards big game hunters. Hunting is still big business in Zimbabwe, as the rich Americans on the Zambezi demonstrate, but since 2014 it has been completely banned in Botswana .

Majestic animals

The difference in approach between Botswana and its neighbours - South Africa, Namibia and Zambia also allow trophy hunting - was brought dramatically home to me in the country's glorious Chobe National Park.

In the late afternoon, I watched a herd of around 600 Cape Buffalo snake its way down to the Chobe River that marks the boundary with Namibia. It was mesmerising to see these majestic animals following each other, nose to tail, across the water.

Cape Buffalo cross the Chobe River from Botswana into Namibia where hunters are waiting
Image caption Cape Buffalo cross the Chobe River from Botswana into Namibia where hunters are waiting

Then my guide pointed out two vehicles on the horizon, across the river. "Hunters," he explained, simply. Through the binoculars we could see six men with rifles. Apparently oblivious to the risk, the buffalo continued to cross the border towards them. Later, shots would be heard.

In a move interpreted as a direct challenge to the wildlife policies of other southern African nations, Botswana's President Ian Khama is marching his country towards a new model of African tourism: "low impact/high value".

Botswana believes that by protecting its animals and minimising humankind's footprint on the natural world, it can turn the country into an exclusive tourist destination that brings in far more than it loses from the ban on hunting.

Hostile environment

Botswana is home to more than a third of Africa's dwindling elephant population, and - since the hunting ban - these intelligent animals have increasingly sought refuge there.

The concentration of elephants is a huge draw for tourists but, as predicted by opponents of the ban, it is also a huge temptation for less scrupulous hunters and poachers.

Botswana's answer is to make the country a hostile environment for those who want to harm the wildlife.

Military bases have been moved to the borders of the national parks. Armed patrols on foot and in the air are ready, if necessary, to kill people coming to kill animals. Some poachers have been shot dead.

The hunting ban doesn't just apply to rich trophy hunters.

It also limits or outlaws the shooting of game by local people for food or to protect crops and livestock. The Botswana government believes if there is any legal shooting of animals, the big poaching syndicates and illegal hunting operations will use that as cover for their activities.

Farmer Chibeya Longwani shows me his bucket of tabasco chillies
Image caption Farmer Chibeya Longwani shows me his bucket of tabasco chillies

In Mabele village, close to the Namibian border, I watched a man mixing an extraordinary cocktail: crushed tabasco chillies, elephant dung and engine oil. With a flourish he set the contents on fire and stood back to admire his handiwork.

"That is supposed to stop an elephant trampling my crops," Chibeya Longwani told me, pointing at the ash in the tin.

Compensation

He spread it along the sides of his field, beside plastic chairs, broken electric fans and beer crates, as instructed by the Ministry of Agriculture.

"They said that bees stop elephants too," Mr Longwani said. "But they don't have the boxes at the moment." His frustration was obvious.

As well as advice on deterring elephants, farmers can claim compensation from the government if wild game does damage property. But if they kill the animals, they are likely to get nothing.

Plastic refuse is used to try and deter elephants from farmland
Image caption Plastic refuse is used to try and deter elephants from farmland

To police the new approach, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks has recruited an army of Special Wildlife Scouts, operating in rural villages. Their job, for example, includes ensuring families don't take more than the five guinea fowl they are allowed each day, and that farmers are honest in their compensation claims.

It is a nationwide exercise in social engineering - trying to change the ancient relationship between the rural population and the wild animals around them. The government believes the long-term rewards justify the rules. Many farmers remain unconvinced.

For those tourists coming to Botswana with cameras rather than guns though, the policies have created an utterly captivating wild landscape teeming with amazing African animals and birds. And "elite travellers" are prepared to pay big money for the privilege of seeing it.

Anti-poaching initiatives

During the high season, a single room in one of the most exclusive lodges on the Okovango Delta can cost more than $5,000 (£3,830) a night, equivalent to the price of a Namibian licence to shoot a single leopard.

Many tourist lodge operators work in partnership with local villages. I encountered one lodge where 10% of the business turnover will soon go to the community nearby. Villagers often have a direct say in development plans.

Image copyright Paula French Cecil the lion
Image caption There was a huge backlash after the much-loved Zimbabwean lion Cecil was killed in 2015

International tourism is expected to bring in $210m (£160m) to Botswana this year, rising to $370m (£280) by 2021 - more than trophy hunters spend across the whole of southern Africa.

Many in Zimbabwe, by contrast, see hunting as an inextricable part of Africa's cultural heritage, believing that, if done sustainably and responsibly, it can be a valuable addition to the region's economy and wildlife management.

The walking guides who take tourists into the bush there aren't allowed to operate until they have passed a state exam that includes shooting an elephant and a buffalo. I asked one guide how he had felt about doing it. "It depends if you like hunting," was his enigmatic reply.

The Zimbabwean government argues that 75% of proceeds from trophy hunting goes towards wildlife preservation and anti-poaching initiatives.

Toxic impact

The recent Great Elephant Census project suggests Zimbabwe's elephant population has fallen 11% in a decade, with poaching and illegal hunting threatening to wipe out whole herds in parts of the country.

The killing of Cecil the lion by an American trophy hunter just outside Zimbabwe's protected Hwange National Park area in 2015 made headline news around the world.

The furore prompted a number of airlines to ban the transport of "trophies" from Africa , another sign of how toxic hunting has become for international brands.

Three years after introducing its hunting ban, Botswana is so far holding firm, despite huge pressure from other southern African nations.

It is a critical time for the policy. Any stumble, and the hunters are waiting on the horizon.

Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote max manewer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Sep 2017 at 2:22pm
These hunters are suffering from FITH Syndrome, imo.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maccamax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2017 at 11:33am
I used to feel sorry for the big cats until I saw a Buffalo being eaten alive by a pride of Lions.
    That's natures way I expect but so is Humans knocking a few off as practice for North Koreas masses when the time comes.
Most of Australia wouldn't know how to aim a gun so we are easy prey for any invader.     ( unlike WW2 , The population were good marksmen)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote max manewer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2017 at 1:08pm
Originally posted by maccamax maccamax wrote:

    Most of Australia wouldn't know how to aim a gun so we are easy prey for any invader.     ( unlike WW2 , The population were good marksmen)

Not in Darwin, in Feb '42 apparently. The seeming imminence of a Jap invasion caused a civilian bug-out which left only a few looters in town, and a smattering of servicemen with precious little arms and ammunition, guarding the beaches. No weekend hunters in sight !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Sep 2017 at 2:14am
I know in Botswana, at every border post they have huge posters everywhere , saying that our wildlife is our future. Our wildlife is our road to prosperity.
As we travelled around we used to see all these high wire fences topped by barbed.   Private game reserves.  Some for hunting.  Potted lion our guide called it.  They just breed the animal and then the hunter comes in and shoots it.  SICK.  No sport,,,just sit and wait until the lion,,or whatever ,,walks past about 50 mtrs away, and blast it.  What do they get out of that ??
Others were for game viewing only.
Our guide had been a hunter guide as a young bloke.  He is now into conservation.  I ask him about Cecil. He said the hunter in charge deliberatley lured Cecil out of the park,,,he set his rich American up just to wait for Cecil to come into view, while he went and lured him out with a food trail.
Corruption in those countries is just so bad its disgusting.  Anything that will get the rich richer is a go-er. We were told the money we think goes to helping kids, when we donate, those kids would be lucky if they ever saw $1 in $50.    The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
As to poachers.  OMG.  I thought they crawled in thru fences at night.  Not so.  They drive in like ordinary tourists,,,guns in the boot,,,they go out looking around like tourists, and pick their animal and go back at night, shoot it, take the bit they want in the car boot, and drive out of the park the next day.   If they waste time on a de horned rhino, they kill it anyway, so they dont waste time on it again !!!!
When we were in Etosha there was a huge search going on , of all cars, at the gates , with sniffer dogs. Our guide said there must have been some sort of tip off or hint or something, and they believed poachers were moving in.
In Chobe there was a huge army camp on the river bank just near the big population of elephants.  They told us they guard the elephants at all time and they shoot to kill, no questions ask.
Lets hope Botswana hold strong.  
Without the wildlife, tourists wont go to that dry dusty dreary place, so they better wise up.

animals before people.
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