Hunters like us to think they are conservationists however its really farming wildlife for trophy hunting wouldn’t you agree?
Since the privatization of wildlife in South Africa the numbers of endangered species including Gemsbok, Sable antelope and even the African Lion has increased. The trophy hunters therefor call themselves wildlife conservationists.
However, there is a difference between quantity and quality.
Breeding farms and hunting ranches may have numbers (quantity) but they do not have diversity or natural ecosystems (quality.)
There are guestimated to be over 12,000 game farms in South Africa. Over the past few decades many cattle farmers found a more lucrative commodity… wildlife.
As we drove through the Orange Free State and the North West province we saw Sable Antelope, Gemsbok and Water Buffalo, even Lion right off the highway. These farms look no different than your Hereford or Black Angus cattle ranches, fenced fields or paddocks accommodating a single species.
Let’s face it, these wild animals are being bred like domestic cattle and for a similar purpose to make money, to raise them up to be killed.
Then of course there is the cub petting industry. Where lion cubs are taken from their mothers and offered as a tourist attraction. After all, who wouldn’t want to pet a lion cub or have their photo taken holding one? That is until you become aware of the sinister business. [If you missed the story of the Spain cub rescue read it here.]
Did you know that that cute cuddle cub is probably being fed inappropriately to keep it little? Did you ever think what happens to the cubs when the get too big (and ferocious) for petting? Well, we have it from the best authority (Chris Mercer, with the Campaign Agains Canned Hunting) that these lions end up being sold for trophy hunts. Hunts where the hunter need have no skills and is set up to shoot his (or her) lion from the comfort of a safari vehicle. The lion is of course not afraid of humans and does not run away… not even if he could, which generally he can’t because he is in a captive environment.
Enough said. Breeding wild animals of any kind for profit is never about wildlife conservation. Only those organizations whose objective is to introduce into the wild (protected reserves) in as natural an ecosystem as possible is about preserving the species.
What can we do?
Pay close attention to the safari outfitters, game parks and reserves we spend our money with. Not too long ago a group from Europe discovered they were on a game reserve that was into canned hunting… they not only left early but exposed them on Facebook and other media outlets.
Farming wildlife for trophy hunting has nothing to do with wildlife conservation, only making money.
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