I think the story below is outrageous in 2013. I also think that it will amaze some people to know that in today’s so called conservation focussed era, these things are still happening.
The Zambian government has decided to ban the big-game hunting of lions and leopards within its borders, a considerable turn around for a country popular with trophy-seekers. Yes that is right – people can still hunt Lions and Leopards legally in a number of African countries.
Great news that they are banning it, but of course there is a twist…the press release notes that hunts will be banned only for 2013 while the government moves to "establish animal species baseline which will form the basis for future policy decisions."
The release then added that the hunting of the two big cat species will be permitted on private game-ranches holding valid operating permits.
So that means that canned hunting (the captive breeding of lions for trophy hunters to kill) of lions will continue and that once wild lion and leopard numbers are re-established then wild hunting is likely to be re-instated. In just one simple online search you can find companies offering 21-day-long Zambian lion and leopard hunts for $68,800, and that the trophy fee for lions is $7,000, with a $5,000 going rate for leopards. It is just incredible that any person would think that this is acceptable, let alone at governmental level.
What chance is there of saving these iconic species if money is going to be at the centre of everything we do?
Thanks for taking the time to read this.