With all the attention trophy hunting has been getting of late is it rapidly becoming a dying sport?
Trophy hunting at it’s finest!
She’s got him in lined up in the cross-hairs. He’s a gorgeous specimen and will look grand on her office wall. She pulls the trigger. He lurches forward. The herd panics and runs leaving him lying in a pool of blood. She lowers her rifle and marches over. He looks up at her before closing his eyes for the last time. She lifts his magnificent dead head and smiles for the camera.
Once back home in the USA she is seen as a mighty huntress who’d braved the wilds of Africa… Reality: From the safety of a vehicle with a professional hunter to coach her she took aim and fired at an animal that may have been farm raised and in a fenced area. And they call it hunting!
Hunting is synonymous with “chasing, trailing, tracking, pursuing and stalking”. It doesn’t mention “sitting” or “confining”.
After the demonized dentist trophy hunter from the USA killed Zimbabwe’s favorite lion Cecil the public outcry echoed around the world. It brought modern trophy hunting into the spotlight. Hunting where the edict ‘fair chase’ has fallen by the wayside. Hunting where the hunter tracked the wild animal and it had a fair chance of getting away was a thing of the past. Today in Southern Africa most game is hunted in fenced areas. Even in other parts of Africa few truly wild hunting areas remain. With the success rate of fenced or canned hunting being so much higher, why would it not be more popular?
What is trophy hunting?
According to Wikipedia it “is the selective hunting of wild game for human recreation.” Sadly sport or trophy hunting has increased in Africa over the past few years, with 90% of the hunters coming from America.
What is a trophy?
“The trophy is the animal or part of the animal kept, and usually displayed, to represent the success of the hunt. The primary game sought is usually the oldest and most mature animal from a given population.” – Wikipedia
If you think that’s bad… it gets worse!
In the March 2016 of National Geographics’ Katarzyna Nowak had this to report:
“The documentary ‘Blood Lions’ exposes South Africa’s controversial “canned” lion hunting industry. In canned hunts, captive-bred, often hand-reared lions are confined in enclosed spaces on private hunting reserves, guaranteeing marksmen easy trophy heads in exchange for fees of up to $50,000. With approximately 8,000 “ranch” lions to draw on, South Africa’s hunt operators can make a fortune.”
On a more positive note
“One of the most positive developments is that the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa [PHASA] has come out strongly against canned hunting and predator breeding. Moreover PHASA has committed itself to expelling errant operators.
Straight from the ‘horse’s mouth’
Hermann Meyeridricks, president of the Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA) stated “From my dealings with the media and the community, it has become clear to me that those against the hunting of lions bred in captivity are no longer just a small if vociferous group of animal-rights activists. Broader society is no longer neutral on this question and the tide of public opinion is turning strongly against this form of hunting, however it is termed. Even within our own ranks, as well as in the hunting fraternity as a whole, respected voices are speaking out publicly against it.”
Are we going to see changes?
We can only hope that as trophy hunting (in particular canned hunting) becomes less socially acceptable, especially in the USA, that fewer people will seek to stroke their egos by killing wild animals.
Now some will say that if trophy hunting disappears so will the game… but that’s a topic for another day.