Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Urged to Stop the Trophy Hunting of Wolves

copyrighted wolf in water


Nov. 4 vote in nearby Michigan highlights overwhelming opposition to this needless killing

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is being urged to stop the trophy hunting of wolves, in the wake of the nation’s first statewide vote on wolf hunting in last week’s election.  In nearby Michigan on Nov. 4, voters overwhelmingly rejected two wolf hunting measures, Proposals 1 and 2, with the “no” side winning by a 10-point margin and a 28-point margin, respectively. On Proposal 2, the “no” side received more than 1.8 million votes, more than any candidate who won statewide office, and prevailed in 69 of Michigan’s 83 counties.

This was the first statewide vote on wolf hunting in any state since wolves were stripped of their federal protections under the Endangered Species Act, and since more than 2,200 wolves were killed across the Great Lakes and Northern Rockies regions over the last two years. The Humane Society of the United States is urging decision makers in Minnesota to pay attention to this vote in Michigan, and see how regular citizens feel about the trophy hunting and trapping of wolves.

The Michigan election results mirror public opinion polling showing that Minnesotans, by huge majorities, appreciate wolves and want them conserved. In 2012, before the first wolf trophy hunting season, the DNR conducted an online survey, and 79 percent of residents opposed wolf hunting and wolf trapping.

Howard Goldman, Minnesota senior state director of The HSUS, said: “Michigan and Minnesota are states with strong hunting and farming traditions, and the resounding votes in Michigan demonstrate that voters think trophy hunting and commercial trapping seasons for wolves are premature and unacceptable.  Nobody eats wolves, and there are already tools that exist to manage problem animals.” I’m confident that Minnesotans would have voted similarly if they had a chance to decide this issue directly.”

Minnesota is home to approximately 2,400 wolves and the DNR set this season’s hunting quota at 250 (30 more individuals than permitted in the last season). In 2013, a total of 602 wolves died, and the numbers of wolf packs have declined from 503 in 2008 to 470 in 2014 – a loss of 33 entire packs of wolves. Biologists warn that hunting this iconic species—even at low levels—harms not only the animals but also pack dynamics.   When fellow pack members are killed, wolf packs can disband, leading to starvation of the pack’s youngest members.

Wolves keep deer and other ungulate herds healthy and scientific studies show that because of wolf predation, both plant and animal communities become far more diverse. The Minnesota DNR’s own data show that wolves prey on miniscule numbers of livestock.

Goldman continued: “We want state lawmakers and the Minnesota DNR to take heed of the overwhelming votes in Michigan. Most voters want wolves and their packs protected from needless killing, and they recognize wolves bring economic and ecological benefits to the state.”

Minnesota permits cruel and unsporting trophy hunting methods to kill wolves, including trapping the animals with leghold traps and neck snares. The state also allows hunters to lure in wolves using electronic calls and bait.


Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson

Trophy Hunter = Serial Killer, Any Questions?

One of the would-be hunter-commenters here recently demanded I explain why I compare hunters to pedophiles and serial killers. Since, as a rule, I don’t approve comments from hunters or their apologists (and because I felt it was so bloody obvious), that question hasn’t been answered here since June 10, in a post entitled, Poachers and Pedophiles are Like Apples and Oranges.

But now that Corey Knowlton has added his voice to the choir of Fuddself-confessed twisted-psycho-hunter-perverts with the telling statement to the WFAA, “I’m a hunter; I want to experience a black rhino. I want to be intimately involved with a black rhino,” it’s time to re-examine the connection in a little more detail. What kind of mind uses the word “experience” for the act of taking a life? Ted Bundy called his murders “possessing.” Like a trophy hunter, he felt entitled to claim another’s life for his own pleasure. In his case, the lives were young co-eds and 12 year old girls—in Knowlton’s case, endangered rhinos. Ted Bundy’s third person narrative of his predations could easily be mistaken (aside, perhaps, from the level of literacy) with Ted Nugent describing one of his trophy kills: “The fantasy that accompanies and generates the anticipation that precedes the crime is always more stimulating than the immediate aftermath of the crime itself. He should have recognized that what really fascinated him was the hunt, the adventure of searching out his victims. And, to a degree, possessing them physically as one would possess a potted plant, a painting, or a Porsche. Owning, as it were, this individual.”

Pertaining to the likes of Alaskan trophy hunter turned-serial killer, Robert Hansen, who preyed on exotic dancers and child6-4Hansens-trophy-goat prostitutes, in addition to Dall sheep, mountain goats and countless other species, conservationist Gareth Patterson wrote: “Certainly one could state that, like the serial killer, the trophy hunter plans his killing with considerable care and deliberation. Like the serial killer, he decides well in advance the type of victim–that is, which species he intends to target. Also like the serial killer, the trophy hunter plans with great care where and how the killing will take place–in what area, with what weapon. What the serial killer and trophy hunter also share is a compulsion to collect trophies or souvenirs of their killings. The serial killer retains certain body parts and/or other trophies for much the same reason as the big game hunter mounts the head and antlers taken from his prey…as trophies of the chase.”

And, as I put it the last time I addressed the pedophilic serial killer/trophy hunter connection: …the analogy between a trophy hunter and a serial killer has been well established—both are single-minded in their quest for the kill, placing their own perverse desires above the self-interests—indeed, the very lives—of their victims. Both perpetrators like to take souvenirs from their kills, and neither one cares what the rest of the world thinks of their actions.

Texas hunting club may cancel endangered rhino hunt

“I’m a hunter,” Knowlton told WFAA. “I want to experience a black rhino. I want to be intimately involved with a black rhino.”


DALLAS – A Texas hunting club that auctioned off a permit to shoot an endangered black rhinoceros in Africa said it will cancel the hunt if a federal agency denies the winning bidder’s request to bring the dead animal back to the U.S. as a trophy.

Corey Knowlton bid $350,000 at a January auction that the Dallas Safari Club billed as a fundraising effort to save the endangered species. Last spring, he applied for a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that would enable him to import the rhino’s body following the hunt in Namibia. But he’s still waiting to hear back.

The agency is applying extra scrutiny to Knowlton’s request because of the rise in poaching, said spokesman Gavin Shire.

If the permit is denied, the safari club plans to refund Knowlton’s money that was pledged to a rhino conservation fund in the southwestern African country.

“Most people that have an animal mounted, it’s their memory of their experience,” said Ben Carter, the safari club’s executive director. “It’s not always, ‘Look at what I’ve shot.’ When they look at it, they remember everything. That’s what he bid the money on, that opportunity.”

The wildlife agency began taking public comment on the permit application this month and has already heard from many of the groups that fervently opposed the auction.

The safari club has defended the planned hunt, noting that auction proceeds would go to a trust fund administered by the Namibian government to help boost the black rhino population.

The wildlife service expects to make a decision after the public comment period ends Dec. 8, taking into account the state of the herd in Namibia, where 1,800 of the world’s 4,880 black rhinos live. The agency also is examining exactly how the auction funds would be administered.

Last year, the service granted a permit to import a sport-hunted black rhino taken in Namibia in 2009, but increased poaching since then may impact whether any more are approved, said Shire.

Each year, the Namibian government issues five black rhino hunting permits that fund efforts to protect the species. The program includes habitat improvement, hiring game scouts to monitor the rhinos, and removing the animals’ horns to reduce their appeal to poachers.

“The aim is to re-invest these financial resources back to conservation, protected area management and rural community development,” said Kenneth Uiseb, Namibia’s director of wildlife monitoring and research.

But opponents of the auction say the programs are not worthwhile if they entail the killing of any endangered animal.

“Kill it to save it is not only cruel, it’s not conservation,” said Jeff Flocken, the North American regional director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. “If black rhinos and other dwindling species are to have a future, people must be encouraged to value animals for their inherent worth alive, not their price tag when they are dead.”

The safari club has said the hunt will involve one of five black rhinos selected by a committee and approved by the Namibian government. The five are to be older males that can’t reproduce.

Namibia sold another hunting permit for $200,000 directly to Michael Luzich, a Las Vegas investment manager who is also seeking a permit to bring the trophy into the U.S., according to Shire.

But Luzich has received far less scrutiny than Knowlton, who said in January he hired full-time security because he received death threats after his name was leaked on the Internet.

Knowlton lives in Royse City, about 30 miles from Dallas, and leads international hunting trips for a Virginia-based company, The Hunting Consortium. He has killed more than 120 species, including the so-called big five in Africa – a lion, a leopard, an elephant, a Cape buffalo and a rhinoceros, according to the company’s website.

He did not return messages left by The Associated Press for this story, but told Dallas television station WFAA in January that he believed the hunt would be managed well.

“I’m a hunter,” Knowlton told WFAA. “I want to experience a black rhino. I want to be intimately involved with a black rhino.”

Ban Endangered African Animal Trophy Imports From Namibia & SA.


Imports From Namibia & SA.

Director : Daniel M. Ashe: USFWS.<br />
: Ban Endangered African Animal Trophy Imports From Namibia & SA.” width=”453″ height=”227″ /></div>
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20,130 signers. Let’s reach 100,000

Why this is important to me




The USFWS Hunting Permit Applications have been announced for 2 Black Rhinos , for 2 Americans including CK , to import BR trophies into the USA. This petition needs a lot of support to make a difference, ideally we need to reach close to a 100,000 signatures before the end of the month, TO TELL USFWS THAT WE OBJECT TO CRITICALLY ENDANGERED ANIMALS TROPHY IMPORTS INTO THE USA FROM AFRICA , can you make this happen ? CAN WE REACH THIS GOAL ?

‘The Namibia wildlife is at risk of going extinct because the animal populations are very low and vulnerable because the WWF are ‘cooking the books’ to allow Trophy Hunting to continue from the most fragile wildlife populations on earth, in Namibia.

The WWF should be protecting the animals , however, they are openly lying about populations to keep a Trophy Hunting stance as they control funding streams from USAID; to ALL the African countries from the USA Congress , who is lobbied by the USA Pro-Hunting Lobby Groups to maintain Trophy Hunting, from almost extinct animals .

The African people are powerless to stop their wildlife being massacred into extinction.

We urge the USFWS to consider their decision and listen to the world instead of the voice of a few and protect Africa through your laws and policies .

Save the last of the Black Rhinos and the Desert Elephants from American Trophies Hunter’s Greed and Vanity . We need the animals alive in healthy in family groups, or we will loose them forever’





Ten Hunting permits to kill BR’s are issued every year for Trophies from Namibia and South Africa because of ‘ICUN: Mike Knight’s HUNTING RECOMMENDATIONS / The Lead Professional working with the Namibia Black Rhino Conservation / Hunting Projects is getting funding from the WWF’s International Charity Funding Purse and he is also working with Corey Knowlton’s purchase .

Even though the Black Rhino Species is under attack from poachers and going extinct and classed as Critically Endangered, CITIES have allowed TEN animals to be massacred for Trophies every year because of the WWF and ICUN: Mike Knight’s corruption . We want to challenge this rule and over turn it so that the Black Rhinos are protected , by blocking USA Trophy Imports .
When the Namibian Government issued 5 permits a year for Trophy Hunting, they believed themselves invincible to Rhino Poaching. Now poaching has started and many Rhinos have already been killed this year in Namibia and the BR population is rapidly declining . http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3713688.stm

There are less than 1,700/50 Black Rhinos left in Namibia’. In the 1970′s there were 65, 000 in Africa , now there are 4/5, 000 Black Rhinos in the world. In Namibia there are now less than 1,000 Black Rhinos in protected areas an estimated 700/50 which, are Free Range. So once the poachers start seriously targeting Namibia (it has already started) , at the rate of the South African incidents, they will wipe out the total Namibian population of Black Rhinos in less than two years. NOT ONE MORE CAN BE AFFORDED TO BE HUNTED!

No one can see the benefit of more critically endangered animals being killed, and WWF and DSC have been so successful fabricating lies they have ensured TEN Critically Endangered Black Rhino Animal Trophies every year, are officially killed and this has been granted by CITIES, based on no factual evidence from the actual African people who this affects directly:

Resolution Conf. 13.5 (Rev. CoP14)
Establishment of export quotas for black rhinoceros hunting trophies
“the establishment of an annual export quota of five hunting trophies of adult male black rhinoceros from South Africa and five from Namibia:
AGREES that hunting trophies of the black rhinoceros are defined as the horns or any other durable part of the body, mounted or loose and that all parts to be exported should be individually marked with reference to the country of origin, species, quota number and year of export”: Please read more on the Link: “


‘OPEN LETTER TO COREY KNOWLTON’: Founder, Walk With Rangers; Quote:

“In forty years of close association with black rhinoceros, I have NEVER known of a free ranging wild old male past his breeding period targeting, and killing, rhino females and calves but, rather, the odd fights have only, in my own experience, occurred amongst breeding competing males, as is common in other species.
In Africa old age is respected: by extension, it is un-African and basically unethical not to allow an old male that sired many calves a peaceful retirement, in the same way as breeding bulls in the cattle world are put out to pasture, not sent to the butcher, once they stop being productive.

Sir, I have struggled to understand why SCI and DSC continue to put prices on the heads of our wildlife. It is laughable that they even think they have any right. The wildlife of a nation remains the sovereign property of its people. Would this not mean then, sir, that privatizing such public property would, in fact, be a gross violation of the rights of the African people? I will let you ponder over that for a while. We are in the wake of a crisis that has gripped our region. Poachers have decimated our herds, and Africa is no longer teeming with wildlife. You kind sir, have been duped into believing that your hunt will aid conservation in Africa.
It will not. Aside from gaining Namibia huge disrepute, it will go against the very fibre of what we are trying so hard to achieve – the protection and true management of our last wild things. It is also imperative to note here that local African communities do not eat rhino meat.”
Read more : Twitter: @raabiahawa




The natural world is under attack like never before the ecosystem and food chain is breaking down in Africa and the African Tribes and animals affected, need protection . This is NOT SUSTAINABLE HUNTING !!


Please watch the Youtube link : ‘ Elephants in the Namibian desert – Wild Africa – BBC 2009 ‘; this is independent evidence stating that there are ’100 or so Desert Dwelling Elephants; being supported by the Desert ” . The Namibia Ministry has just announced there are 20,000 backed by WWF . The relentless massacring is destroying the African Ecosystem and the Tribal People’s Food Chain. ; this is being done by the Media Invisible Wealthiest White People, and the most Powerful People in the world !!!!

WWF and the Namibian Government are claiming that the Unique Adapted Desert Dwelling Elephants do not exist, and there are 750 of them in the Namib Desert, which, is incorrect. Please read the following:

‘ Namibia Refuses to Cancel Desert Elephant Hunt After Protests’
Quote: “The elephants, which live in the Kunene region, are one of only two groups adapted to desert existence with the other being in Mali. They numbered about 750 in 2012, according to the WWF, an environmental group.”


THE WEALTHIEST PEOPLE ARE MASSACRING ALONGSIDE THE POACHERS ! They are wiping out the last of the African animals unchallenged for hundreds of thousands of Dollars each, paying for Unsustainable Hunting in under -developed countries where populations of animals are being exaggerated by the WWF who are informing CITIES and USFWS, as they keep the doors open for Trophy Hunting to continue from almost extinct populations of animals , that , are being wiped out by poachers .

The truth is known and been written over 10years ago by a British MP and this evidence has been disregarded and the USFWS have continued to import Trophies and trade with corruption sending African wildlife in to total extinction…


‘The Myth of Trophy Hunting as Conservation. A League Against Cruel Sports submission to Environment Minister, Elliott Morley MP
December 2004’
Quote: -
“A smokescreen for corruption and poaching

“With their financial and political might of the USA, this formidably powerful clique of hunters is shamelessly promoting hunting as a form of conservation. Many poor governments are easily won over because it offers such easy money – the bulk of which goes straight into their pockets. “


This exploiting of the African countries; is directly affecting the poorest people in the world, who are victim to it ; as their animals are being massacred off this planet into extinction forever in one generation ; for ornaments, for TV Hunting Channels Entertainment and Mono-Culture Agriculture , which means 400,000 acres plus lands of one crop in a plantation . Which , means land is being Grabbed by USA Corporations for Food Globalisation, Food production .

No people and no wildlife can be tolerated on the plantations , so the land Giants are being massacred into extinction in the wild to allow this bio-diversity backed 100% by WWF , so that African Animals will only exist in Canned Hunting parks and farms in a small number in the future .


Director : Daniel M. Ashe: USFWS
Please Ban Imports from Namibia into the USA of ALL Critically Endangered African Animals IMMEDIATELY !

The Desert Elephants population in 20 years has risen from 52 members to less than 100( they are rapidly declining) . Namibia’s Desert-Dwelling Elephants are one of only 2 populations of Elephants in Africa living in a desert environment (the other is in Mali).

The majority of the world population does not think massacring endangered animals is appropriate whilst , the poaching of the African Animals is out of control in Africa , and allowing imports of African Animals dead or alive by the USFWS shows a lack of respect and understanding for people who are actually risking their lives and struggling to keep these animals on this planet for longevity .

There were 5 MILLION Elephants in Africa 40 years ago , now there are between 300.000/ 600,000 Elephants , of which, 100 Elephants are killed everyday by poachers , 700 a week and so on . The whole of the equivalent population of the DESERT ELEPHANTS are being WIPED OUT IN A DAY !! in Africa by poachers , issuing permits to kill more, this is NOT SUSTAINABLE HUNTING !!!

Associate Director : Robert G. Dreher : USFWS , you appear to be disregarding the rules set down by CITIES. :- Email Letter received , after I contacted David Cameron , Prime Minister of the United Kingdom , early this year: Defra Government Department United Kingdom :- I Quote ; Kevin Woodhouse Defra – Customer Contact Unit “


“The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), to which the UK is a Party, applies to ensure that trade in listed species hunted for their trophies is only permitted if it is sustainable.

In view of concerns raised that the import of hunting trophies of some species from some countries are unsustainable, we have agreed in principle with other EU Member States that stricter measures should be introduced in relation to the importation of hunting trophies of rhinos, lions and some other species. This list will be further considered and kept under review.

We will continue working with other CITES Parties and relevant non-government organisations to ensure the long-term survival of this and other important species.
Yours sincerely
Kevin Woodhouse
Defra – Customer Contact Unit “


I reiterate : ‘The Namibia wildlife is at risk of going extinct because the animal populations are very low and vulnerable because the WWF are ‘cooking the books’ to allow Trophy Hunting to continue from the most fragile wildlife populations on earth, in Namibia.

The WWF should be protecting the animals , however, they are openly lying about populations to keep a Trophy Hunting stance as they control funding streams from USAID; to ALL the African countries from the USA Congress , who is lobbied by the USA Pro-Hunting Lobby Groups to maintain Trophy Hunting, from almost extinct animals .

The African people are powerless to stop their wildlife being massacred into extinction.

We urge the USFWS to consider their decision and listen to the world instead of the voice of a few and protect Africa through your laws and policies .

Save the last of the Black Rhinos and the Desert Elephants from American Trophies Hunter’s Greed and Vanity . We need the animals alive in healthy in family groups, or we will loose them forever’

Rural America Loves Sport Hunting

It may be a given that for many (if not most) American ruralites, hunting season is their favorite time of year. Like pumpkins at Halloween or colored lights at Christmastime, camo, orange vests and empty beer cans are symbolic of the season. But don’t let the PR puff about self-sufficiency or sustainability fool you, this celebration is strictly motivated by the thrill they get from killing.

Few, if any, western hunters actually need to “harvest” wild “game” to survive in the modern world. It’s all about the “sport” these days, and perhaps for some, outdated “tradition.” It’s never made more clear than when you pull up to a gated logging road in your muddy, decades-old light pickup to look for mushrooms and find yourself parked between a pair of shiny new $50,000.00, ¾ ton mondo trucks, just off the showroom floor—their owners out for a day of hunting. That $50 grand would go a long way toward feeding a hungry family, if that was really the reason for their vicious exploits.

Want more proof that they don’t really need the deer or elk meat to survive? For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to get ahold of the local construction company to have a load of gravel delivered before the rainy season makes my driveway impassable to anyone without a 4×4. Finally, the owner of the company returned my call and sheepishly confessed that he’s been away on “vacation” (no second guesses doing what) and since returning, hasn’t been able to reach any drivers. “They’re all out hunting,” he explained, expecting me to understand.

Well, the problem is, the elk and deer are the only neighbors I consider my true friends. Sorry, but I’m not too understanding when I hear that folks can afford to take time off from high-paying trucking jobs to go on weeks-long trips to murder my friends.

It’s clearly just a sport to them, not a matter of survival.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014. All Rights Reserved

U.S. proposal to “protect” African lions hands their heads to hunters

Vier Pfoten/Lionsrock Sanctuary

WASHINGTON D.C.––“Wild” African lions may in the future exist only as a species cultivated for trophy hunting, anticipates an October 29, 2014 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service proposal to list them as a “threatened” species.

Published in the October 29, 2014 edition of the Federal Register, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service notice of proposed rulemaking is open for 90 days of public comment, ending in January 2015, before taking effect.

The listing proposal was hailed as a victory for the trophy hunting industry by Safari Club International, and was mourned as an at least partial defeat by the Humane Society of the U.S., Humane Society International, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Defenders of Wildlife, and Born Free USA, whose 2011 petition to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service initiated the “threatened” species listing process.

Lions down by half since 1980

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature estimates that there are now about 32,000 to 33,000 African lions, down from 75,000 circa 1980. Most of the remaining African lions, the IUCN believes, are concentrated in 10 regions of eastern and southern Africa. Barely 400 lions are believed to survive in the whole of west Africa.

The IUCN numbers are conservative. Laurence Frank of the University of California in a September 2003 article for New Scientist argued that the African lion population had plummeted from as many as 230,000 circa 1980 to just 23,000.

Vier Pfoten/Lionsrock Sanctuary

Accepting the IUCN figures, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service population analysis also took into account that, “Captive-held African lions, including those that are managed for trophy hunting in South Africa and lions held in captivity in zoos, are believed to number between a few thousand and 5,000 worldwide.”

Wild vs. captive

Failing to distinguish fully wild and free-roaming African lions from lions raised in captivity or quasi-captivity for much of their lives, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service lion population analysis concluded––almost by default––that lions have little or no future as a part of the African wildlife ecology, except within protected habitat.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service lion population analysis also did not qualitatively differentiate between habitat protected as a complete working ecosystem, as in large national parks, and habitat protected exclusively to propagate hunted species.

In effect, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service lion population analysis puts animal advocates in the awkward position of having to argue against a proposal which for the most part assigns equal status to both wild and captive lions.
Animal rights and welfare philosophies, and animal rights and welfare organizations, mostly hold that wild and domesticated animals should have equivalent moral standing, with equivalent protection from exploitation.

Lion_March498a1923cfeb3274cbEffectively opposing the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service lion population analysis would appear to require either overturning much of the scientific data it incorporates, frequently taken from some of the same sources used by the Humane Society of the U.S., Humane Society International, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Defenders of Wildlife, and Born Free USA in their petition to protect African lions, or arguing that wild and free-roaming African lions should be regarded as intrinsically different and more valuable than those raised in captivity to be shot.

Captive hunting

The animal advocacy organizations contended in petitioning for African lions to be protected that the existence of the lion trophy hunting industry jeopardized wild lions in several different ways: among others, by directly encouraging the deaths of wild lions; by encouraging African nations to allow populations of wild and free-roaming lions to be replaced by populations of short-lived captives; and by permitting the growth of a lion bone export industry which––for a time, anyhow––might be supplied by the bones of wild lions as well as those of lions who had in effect been farmed.

The petitioners hoped that obtaining a “threatened” designation for African lions from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service would close the U.S. to all imports of lion trophies. This would not only have protected wild African lions, but also have all but closed the “canned lion” hunting industry, a longtime focus of humane concern.

David Macdonald of the Oxford University Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, editor of the Encyclopedia of Mammals, in a September 2003 address to the Zoological Society of London mentioned that hunters caused 63% of the lion mortality he had recently documented in a five-year study of lions in Botswana and Zimbabwe.
Macdonald’s findings helped to fuel a decade of activism leading to the petition for African lions to be listed as threatened.

Lions in Kenya.  (Elissa Free photo)

Indigenous hunting

But the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service recognized hunting as a threat to the survival of African lions as a species only in contexts involving indigenous African people.

“The lion’s prey base has decreased in many parts of its range for various reasons, “ the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service lion population analysis said, “but a large factor is due to competition for meat from humans…Historically, subsistence hunting with spears was traditionally used to hunt wildlife, which had minimal impact to wildlife populations. Spears have since been replaced by automatic weaponry, allowing for poaching of large numbers of animals for the bushmeat trade.”

Among the species most often poached for bushmeat, most of which is exported to cities and sold for cash, are the hooved animals forming most of the African lion prey base.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service also recognized threats to African lions from farmers and pastoralists trying to protect livestock.

“In Tanzania, which is home to more than 40% of the African lion population, conversion of rangeland to agricultural use has blocked several migratory routes for wildebeest and zebra populations,” the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service observed. As both wildebeest and zebras are staples of the African lion diet, this “likely forces lions to rely more on livestock.”

Kenya Wildlife Service deputy director Samuel Kasiki and Elly Hamunyela, director of the Natural Resources Department of Namibia, estimated in April 2014 that loss of prey and retaliatory killing by pastoralists accounted for 95% of lion mortality in Kenya. Kasiki and Hamunyela reported that Tanzania had allowed trophy hunters to kill about 2,000 lions from 1999 through 2008, 870 lions had been shot for trophies in Zimbabwe during the same years, and 168 had been killed in Namibia.

Trophy hunting

As of May 2014, 18 nations allowed lion hunting for trophies, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service found, but only nine of them had any actual lion trophy hunting activity––possibly because they no longer had lions. Twelve nations had suspended or banned lion trophy hunting.

Vier Pfoten/Lionsrock Sanctuary

The British organization LionAid told Reuters earlier that lions have been extirpated from 25 African nations, and have nearly disappeared from 10 more, leaving only about half a dozen nations whose lion populations are not in imminent jeopardy.

“South Africa has not set a quota for the take of wild lions,” the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service noted, “since 99% of the trophy-hunted lions [in South Africa] are reportedly not of wild origin, but captive-born.”

South Africa has about 2,800 wild lions, plus as many as 3,500 captive-bred lions, of whom 680 to 1,000 per year are shot for trophies, according to Kasiki and Hamunyela––markedly more than were killed in South Africa a decade ago, according to data reported in 2007 by Humane Society International wildlife director Teresa Telecky.

“Most of the nearly 1,200 lion trophies exported from South Africa from 1994 to 2005 went to the U.S.,” Telecky said then. “In 2005, 206 of the 322 lion trophies exported were captive-bred. One hundred twenty of those went to the U.S.”

Money talks

Altogether, 480 lions were known to have been killed in South Africa in 2006, 444 of them bred in captivity.
Hunters paid from $6,000 and $8,000 to shoot a female, and $20,000 and $30,000 to shoot a maned male.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service acknowledged the amount of money involved in lion trophy hunting. “Lions are reported to generate the highest daily rate of any mammal hunted (USD $2,650 per day), the longest number of days that must be booked, and the highest trophy fee ($24,500),” the population analysis mentioned.

The United Nations Food & Agricultural Organization has separately estimated that the average price of a lion trophy is $29,000.

Vier Pfoten/Lionsrock Sanctuary

“Given the financial aspects of sport hunting,” the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service allowed, “it is reasonable to assume that corruption and the inability to control it could have a negative impact on decisions made in lion management by overriding biological rationales with financial concerns.”

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service director Daniel M. Ashe told media that his agency “will want to know what’s happening to the revenue” derived from hunting.

“Does it go back to support the conservation of the species in the wild?” Ashe asked. “What do [lion trophy hunting nations] have to show us to determine if there’s a clear conservation benefit?”


But the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service lion population analysis assigned greatest weight to the numbers of lions purportedly conserved, rather than to the conditions in which the lions exist.

“Results of modeling indicate that by 2050 about 43% of lion populations in unfenced reserves may decline to less than 10% of the carrying capacities of the unfenced reserves, including those in Botswana, Kenya, Cameroon, Ghana, Tanzania, and Uganda,” the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service summarized, naming several of the nations––Botswana, Kenya, and Cameroon––which prohibit lion trophy hunting.

Josphat Ngonyo,  founder of Youth for Conservation in 1999 and the African Network for Animal Welfare in 2005,  has long fought the trophy hunting lobby to preserve the Kenyan ban on sport hunting.  (ANAW photo)

Kenya banned all sport hunting in 1977. The ban has been under almost constant political attack from Safari Club International, the African Wildlife Federation, and other pro-hunting organizations ever since. Botswana suspended lion hunting from 2001 to 2005, but lifted the suspension for two years after intensive lobbying by former U.S. President George H. Bush, former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle, and retired U.S. Army General Norman Schwarzkopf, on behalf of Safari Club International. Lion hunting in Botswana was again suspended in 2008.

“According to the same modeling results,” the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service continued, “lion populations in fenced reserves are expected to remain at or above the carrying capacity of the fenced reserves for the next 100 years, although most are small protected areas with small lion populations,” typically maintained by captive breeding among a limited gene pool.

USFWS conclusion favors hunters

Concluded the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, “Although there is some indication that trophy hunting could contribute to local declines in lion populations through unsustainable quotas, corruption, and possible disruption of pride structure through infanticide and take of males who are too young, we do not find that any of these activities rises to the level of a threat to the African lion subspecies at this time…Because habitat loss has been identified as one of the primary threats to lion populations, it is notable that trophy hunting has provided lion range states incentives to set land aside for hunting throughout Africa…The total amount of land set aside for trophy hunting throughout Africa exceeds the total area of the national parks, providing half the amount of viable lion habitat…Therefore, we conclude, based on the best scientific and commercial information available, that trophy hunting is not a significant threat to the species.”

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service rejected the idea that the lion bone export trade, supplied mainly by the captive hunting industry, might be contributing to pressure on the lion population.

Vier Pfoten/Lionsrock Sanctuary

“Lion products, such as the trade in lion bone, seem to be primarily byproducts of trophy hunting; hunters are primarily interested in the trophy and skin, and therefore the bones and other parts are sold separately,” the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service said.

Summarized Washington Post environment reporter Darryl Fears,  “The proposal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would make the African lion the last big cat to receive federal protection under the Endangered Species Act,” but affords African lions little or no protection from trophy hunters.

“Hunting an animal listed as ‘endangered’ in Africa is legal if the host nation permits it,” Fears explained, “but the remains of the animal cannot be imported to the U.S. for a trophy. Hunting and trophies are allowed in the U.S. for ‘threatened’ animals, but hunters must apply for permits and the government can refuse a permit if it believes the plight of the species has worsened.

“Under the ‘threatened’ designation,” Fears wrote, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service “will put in place a new permitting system for importing lion hunting trophies. Such trophies will be permitted only from nations that [convince USFWS that they] carefully use hunting as a way to manage lions to help preserve the species. The proposal takes about a year to become final.”

Petitioners respond

Said IFAW North American regional director Jeff Flocken, “We thank the U.S. government for acknowledging that this iconic species is in grave trouble, but to allow trophy hunting to continue unabated is kicking an animal while it’s already down.”

Humane Society International wildlife department director Teresa Telecky took a more optimistic view. “While we are disappointed that the U.S. government appears poised to continue allowing the import of some lion trophies,” Telecky said, “it is vital that protective trophy import standards be put in place and that there will be transparency in that process. American hunters import about 400 trophies of wild lions each year, so we hope that the Endangered Species Act protection will significantly curtail this destructive activity.”

Pledged Born Free USA chief executive Adam Roberts, “Born Free and our partners on the ground in Africa will keep vigilant watch on lions and lion trade to ensure that the government’s decision today enhances conservation. The lion has no margin for error.”


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Hunter’s Code of Conduct [translated for laypersons]


Respect the Environment & Wildlife

  • Show respect for the wildlife you hunt by taking only clean, killing shots…[Remember, nothing shows respect like killing.]
  • Learn to tread lightly while afield…[this may be a physical impossibility for some hefty hunters.] Use vehicles only on established roads and trails, practice low-impact camping and travel, and pack out your trash, including cigarette butts and spent shell casings…[and poop.]
  • Report illegal activities immediately[such as someone trying to murder an animal.]

Show Consideration of Non-Hunters

  • Remember that the future of hunting depends on hunters and non-hunters alike. Be considerate of non-hunters’ sensibilities, and strive to leave them with positive images of hunting and hunters[Yeah right, good luck on that one.]
  • Don’t flaunt your kill. Treat game carcasses in an inoffensive manner particularly
    Serial killer, Robert Hansen, shown here treating a carcass in an inoffensive manner.

    Serial killer, Robert Hansen, shown here treating a carcass in an inoffensive manner.

    during transport…[even though you just treated the living animal in an extremely offensive manner by taking his or her life.]

  • Be considerate of all outdoor users, including other hunters…[of course, this rule does not apply to the wildlife.]

Hunt Safely

  • Exercise caution at all times…[You don't want to end up another statistic.]
  • Fire your gun or bow only when you are absolutely sure of your target and its background…[Enough said?] 
  • Wear hunter orange whenever appropriate…[or not.]

Support Wildlife & Habitat Conservation

  • Provide hands-on and financial support for conservation of game...[to ensure a healthy supply of victims for future hunting.]
  • Become involved in wildlife conservation organizations…[i.e.: political trophy hunting groups like the Safari Club.]
  • Purchase state and federal wildlife conservation stamps, even if such stamps are not required for hunting…[to help blur the line between hunter and non-hunter wildlife conservation contributions.]

Pass on an Ethical Hunting Tradition

  • Invite a young person or a non-hunter next time you go afield to scout or hunt…[every future school shooter need a mentor.]
  • Attend a hunter education course, and urge others to do the same…[and don't forget to try to graduate from high school.]
  • Set high ethical standards for future generations of hunters to help ensure hunting will continue…[because all that really matters is that the sport of hunting will continue in perpetuity.]

Hunt Only with Ethical Hunters

  • Take pride in being an ethical hunter…[even if such a thing is fictitious, like
  • Smalfut Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster.]

And remember that hunting and alcohol don’t mix…[so, you might want just to stay home and watch the ball game instead.]

Adapted from:


U.S. charges South Africans in illegal rhino hunting case


(Reuters) – A South African company has been indicted in Alabama for selling illegal rhinoceros hunts to Americans and secretly trafficking in the endangered animals’ horns, which sell on the black market at prices higher than gold, prosecutors said on Thursday.

The 18-count indictment charged Valinor Trading CC, which operated in the United States as Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris, and company owners Dawie Groenewald, 46, and his brother, Janneman Groenewald, 44, with conspiracy, Lacey Act violations, mail fraud, money laundering and structuring bank deposits to avoid reporting requirements.

All species of rhinoceros are protected under U.S. and international laws, including the Lacey Act, which addresses illegal poaching and wildlife trafficking, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

“This case should send a warning shot to outfitters and hunters that the sale of illegal hunts in the U.S. will be vigorously prosecuted regardless of where the hunt takes place,” Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division Sam Hirsch said in the statement.

The whereabouts of the Groenewalds, and whether they have hired a lawyer, could not immediately be determined.

National Geographic magazine reported that Dawie Groenewald was arrested in 2010 in South Africa, along with 10 others and that a multi-count case has been under way for four years.

Both Groenewald brothers are South African nationals. Janneman Groenewald lived and operated out of Alabama’s Autauga County, where he maintained company bank accounts.

Nine American hunters paid up to $15,000 per animal for a total of 11 hunts sold at hunting conventions and gun shows in the United States between 2005 and 2010.

None of the hunters was charged because prosecutors said the hunters were tricked by the Groenewalds into believing they were shooting legally at “problem” rhinos. The Groenewalds obtained no hunting permits from the Republic of South Africa or local government, the indictment said.

The hunts took place at a ranch in Mussina, Limpopo Province, South Africa co-owned by the Groenewalds and American investors, according to the indictment.

After killing or capturing a rhino, the hunters posed for photos with the carcasses that appeared on company marketing brochures, the indictment said. Dawie Groenewald, who supervised the hunts, then cut off the horns with chainsaws and knives.

The population of rhinos, indigenous to southern Africa, is being decimated by poachers who supply a demand for horns for decorative and supposed medicinal purposes, prosecutors said.

The investigation was part of ongoing Operation Crash, named for a term used to describe a rhino herd, led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It has resulted in 26 arrests and 18 convictions, with prison terms as high as 70 months for illegal rhino hunting or trafficking in horns.



Everything Wrong With Teen Hunter Kendall Jones’ New Hunting Show


By Melissa Cronin

The YouTube series, titled “Game On,” features Jones and a friend setting out on hunting trips together. The first episode, a poorly-made jaunt to Lake Charles, La. for a crocodile hunt, begins with the line, from Jones’ friend Taylor Altom: “I want to shoot a gator in the face.” The pair travel through the swamp in search of alligators for a weekend with the help of a local hunter.

WARNING: Disturbing Images

  • (Kendall Jones/YouTube)The episode, which can be seen at this link, ends with Jones shooting an alligator who was caught on a baited hook in the head as her guide holds it up about six inches away from her. She’s careful to thank her Remington, a nod to the show’s sponsor.

  • (Kendall Jones/YouTube)The American alligator was taken off the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered Species List in 1987, and is actually faring pretty well. But hunting methods like baited hooks have been criticized before as inhumane ways of killing the animals. During alligator hunts, a short wooden peg is usually attached to a line, baited with beef or roadkill and then thrown into the water or tied to a branch to lure the alligator. Because take isn’t allowed after sunset, it’s possible that alligators will have to spend the entire night on a line before they’re shot with a gun or bow and arrow.

    When Jones was attacked for hunting big game in Africa, a petition started by a Cape Town native calling on her to be banned from hunting in African states gained over 150,000 signatures. Another petition asked Facebook to remove her grisly hunting photos — which they eventually ended up doing. No word yet on whether YouTube will do the same thing.

    Hunter Encourages 11-Year-Old Son To Kill Rare Albino Deer


     By Stephen Messenger

    An 11-year-old boy in Michigan had an encounter last week with one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights — an albino deer, alive and free in the wild. Only about one in 20,000 deer are born with albinism, and far fewer survive to maturity like this one had.

    But the boy was on no nature walk; he was on a hunting trip with his father, and the rare deer wouldn’t survive the day.

    Warning: Graphic image below

    With the encouragement of his father, Mick Dingman, the sixth-grader steadied his crossbow and fired a fatal shot through the deer’s lungs, besmirching that snow-white coat with the spill and splatter of blood. The rare animal had been seen by folks around town leading up to that moment, but now this deer was the Dingmans’ alone.

    Dingman tells the Livingston Daily that he plans to commemorate the killing by getting the 12-pointed buck mounted by a taxidermist: “It’s too rare and too pretty not to spend the extra money and have the whole thing done.”

    “[My son] kind of feels like a rock star right now,” says Dingman, adding that the youth’s supposed accomplishment has caught the attention of hunting magazines, who are interested in sharing the story. But not everyone is so excited.

    (Facebook/Mick Dingman)

    Amy Sprecher, in neighboring Wisconsin, runs a white deer protection group composed of hunters and non-hunters who are opposed to killing albinos — and she says stories like this are “maddening.”

    “It’s just wrong. I don’t understand why’d you’d want to take that animal away from everybody,” Sprecher told The Dodo. “There are people who want to hunt white deer for bragging rights, but that’s not what hunting is about. Hunters that would never shoot a white deer don’t understand these people either.”

    And Sprecher is not alone in her outrage. Not long after the Livingston Daily posted this photo and story online, readers began expressing anger.

    “Wouldn’t you much rather observe something so rare again year after year than just stare at this giant full mounted carcass for the rest of your life?” writes Christina Brown.

    “This deer was in our backyard in the spring and my wife took a picture. All of the people near us wanted to only shoot pictures, not the deer. We aren’t anti hunting but instead wanted this rare deer to be able to spread his genes so his legacy lives on after he died of a natural cause,” writes Tim Reinert.

    Given the rarity of albino deer, four states, Illinois, Iowa, Tennessee and Wisconsin, have made it illegal to kill them. Critics have argued that laws protecting white deer are based more on emotion than science — arguing that albinism is a genetic disorder, not something to be cherished — but emotions surrounding white deer is certainly nothing new.

    According to Native American tradition, white deer, like the one killed by Mick Dingman’s son, are one of the most sacred creatures on the planet.

    “Albino animals are looked at as a spirit animal, which you are suppose to learn from rather than shoot and kill,” Jonnie J. Sam, from Michigan’s Ottawa Indian tribe, told The Dodo.

    “I’d be more inclined to see if the animal has something to teach me, but sadly not everybody looks at it that way.”


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