Gareth Wilson | 09 September, 2014
Lions and tigers from Port Elizabeth’s Seaview Predator Park are being sold to game farms known for hunting and the exporting of animal bones.
And one of the farms has been linked to Laos-based Xaysavang Network, which has been described “as one of the most prolific international wildlife trafficking syndicates in operation”.
Although the park has refused to comment, Eastern Cape department of economic development, environmental affairs and tourism MEC Sakhumzi Somyo has confirmed that:
- The park has sent 22 lions to Cradock hunting reserve Tam Safaris since 2008; and
- Two tigers have been sent from the park to the country’s leading bone exporter, Letsatsi la Africa, in the Free State since 2008. Nine lions were sent last year.
Last week, Somyo responded to questions by the DA’s chief whip in Bhisho, Bobby Stevenson, regarding the transportation of lions and tigers in and around South Africa.
The revelations come after the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality refused to give Seaview Predator Park an annual rates rebate earlier this year, saying it could not be sure the park was not participating in “canned hunting”.
Earlier this year, the Weekend Post revealed television show hosts, major league sports stars, wealthy entrepreneurs and a former US Congressman were among those who had hunted at the family-run Tam Safaris.
Departmental permits indicate there have been 86 lion hunts at the reserve over the past six years.
Tam Safaris owner Irvin Tam confirmed it had bought lions from Seaview Predator Park, owned by Janice and Rusty Gibbs.
“I have an agreement with them but can assure you that none of these lions from Seaview are used for hunting.
”They are specifically used to breed and bring new blood into our breeding projects,” he said.
“Those lions are then either sold or used for hunting.
“I must stress again that all our hunts are legal and completely by the book.”
Tam Safaris exported 32 lion carcasses to Vietnam in 2011, 738kg of lion bones and teeth in 2012 and 459kg of lion bones, claws and teeth last year.
Letsatsi la Africa has been linked to the Laos-based Xaysavang Network by former Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.
The network has also been described as “one of the most prolific international wildlife trafficking syndicates in operation” by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Letsatsi la Africa owner Jacobus van der Westhuizen refused to comment on his company’s links with Seaview Predator Park.
“It has nothing to do with you. Ask them [Seaview] if you want to know why.”
Several requests for a meeting with Seaview Predator Park were turned down but park owner Janice Gibbs said in an e-mail: “I trust you enjoyed your visit to the Park yesterday. We do not wish to comment to the media who publish untruths and are very biased.”
The department’s findings come as no surprise to Chris Mercer of the Campaign Against Canned Hunting, who said the lion trade was fuelled by parks that disguised “lion breeding factories” as petting zoos and wildlife sanctuaries.
“We have proved that the entire industry is corrupt, full of liars and just toxic. This now proves the known link between bone exporters, canned hunters and the petting industry.
“The bottom line is that these breeders are outsourcing their lions to petting zoos to generate money and when the lions are big enough they get exchanged with cubs and sent to hunting farms,” Mercer said.
“This proves that cub petting parks sell their lions for canned hunting and are fuelling the market. They constantly hide behind smoke screens but we all know that cub petting is feeding the canned industry.
“What else happens to the lions? They [predator parks] are breeding factories who pose as conservationists but are really feeding the lion bone and canned industry.”
One of hunters’ favorite fallacies these days is some form of the (il)logic that everything you do affects something in some way so you might just as well hunt down big “game.” It’s the same school of thought as, you can never be completely vegan so what’s the point in choosing not to eat animals?
Apparently some folks, with nothing better to do, have been staying up nights wracking their brains to come up with as many ways imaginable that non-hunters, or even vegans, might inadvertently kill animals. Not because these spin-doctors really care about anything except themselves, but because it’s easier to try to break down someone else’s resolve than to look at ones’ own intentional acts of—or collaboration in—cruelty.
After all, nature’s cruel, so you might as well be the cruelest, right? And as long as someone eats who you kill, it’s almost sacred, or something, isn’t it? (But, as PETA put it, “Did the fact that Jeffrey Dahmer ate his victims justify his crimes? What is done with the corpse after a murder doesn’t lessen the victim’s suffering.”)
It’s like saying, you’ll never be Jesus so what’s the point of trying to live the best life you can? Sort of a variation of Lucifer’s “…better to lead in Hell…” credo.
How’s that working out, Satan? Hot enough for you down there?
Please excuse the heavy news, but this is too important not to share.
- 100,000 elephants were slaughtered for their ivory tusks in the last 3 years.
- Over 1,000 rhinos were killed for their horns last year.
- Wild lion populations are in alarming decline due to “trophy” hunting and the lion bone trade.
We’re losing these animals. The good news is, you can help save them.
On October 4th, people in over 115 cities around the world will march with one voice to save these iconic endangered species.
MARCH WITH US IN LOS ANGELES
We’ll gather at the La Brea Tar Pits Park in front of the Page Museum (5801 Wilshire Blvd, LA 90036) at 11am and march down Wilshire Blvd to the South African Consulate.
Promote your group or business
We’re encouraging people to bring signs promoting their business or group. We know that ALL people want to save these endangered animals, and we want the media and the world to see that.
Bring the kids!
After the march we will return to the park for a festive, educational event. Experts acting as animal ambassadors will help people understand the crisis facing each animal and take action to save them. The program includes speakers (stay tuned for celebrity info!) and music by African drummers, the talented Kat Kramer, and the Agape International Children’s Choir.
Find us Facebook
Join the Los Angeles Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1449025795334300/
NOT IN LOS ANGELES? #FINDYOURCITY
London, Rome, Johannesburg, Austin, Chicago, Nairobi, Mombasa, Arusha, Seattle, Kilimanjaro, New York, Toronto, Boston, Baltimore, New Orleans… The list of cities marching goes on and on. Visit the global website to find a full list, as well as a wealth of other information, such as strategy and objectives of the march, graphics and other media, march merchandise, and much more.
HELP US RAISE MONEY
Organizing an event like this is expensive. We have to print flyers, posters, signs, banners, and educational materials. We have to rent sound equipment, tents and tables and chairs. Please donate if you can. Any help, no matter how small, is greatly appreciated.
Donate here: https://www.youcaring.com/GMFERL-LA
SPREAD THE WORD
Please SHARE this email far and wide. Many people don’t know elephants, rhinos and lions face extinction. Even if they’re aware of the crisis, they don’t know they can take action to help save them.
We hope that you’ll march with us on October 4 to help prevent the extinction of these endangered species. On behalf of Earth’s threatened elephants, rhinos, and lions, thank you!
With love for the animals,
Susan Campisi, Co-organizer
Global March For Elephants, Rhinos & Lions – Los Angeles
global website: http://www.march4elephantsandrhinos.org/
LA website: http://www.saveourwildlife.org
LA Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1449025795334300/
Sorry to disappoint, but I wasn’t able to paste this article here.
More and more websites are coming up with ways to prevent people from sharing their stories without just sending readers straight to their site. As a result, Exposing the Big Game will be, from this point on, posting articles like this on the book’s Facebook site instead:
Please visit (and like) that site regularly for the latest posted articles. But don’t give up on this site, We’ll still be bringing you original articles as well as Action Alerts from non-profit animal groups the world over.
And if you’re dying to view the animal abuse video ASAP, to view everything-that’s-wrong-with-big-game-hunting, go here:
Sportsmen, conservation organizations and outdoor personalities met at the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) headquarters yesterday to develop strategies to counter the recent increase in cyber-attacks on hunters.
The group makes up the Hunter Advancement Task Force with most members sharing a common theme of having been targeted by animal rights activists through social media.
“This is a great opportunity to start developing ways to hold those responsible for the recent wave of cyber-attacks against sportsmen accountable,” said Nick Pinizzotto, USSA president and CEO. “The task force is not only working to stop direct attacks on hunters but also discussing how best to educate the public on the vital role sportsmen play in the conservation of all wildlife.”
Attendees included outdoor television personalities Melissa Bachman and Jana Waller, Colorado hunter Charisa Argys along with her father Mark Jimerson, Doug Saunders of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Bill Dunn of the National Shooting Sports Foundation and John Jackson of Conservation Force, Dennis Foster of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, Tony Schoonan of the Boone and Crockett Club and Mark Holyoak of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Other attendees included USSA President and CEO, Nick Pinizzotto, Evan Heusinkveld, USSA vice president of government affairs, Bill Horn, USSA director of federal affairs, Michelle Scheuermann of Bullet Proof Communications and author Michael Sabbeth.
Bachman, a television producer and host, found her life and career threatened after posting a photo of an African lion she harvested to her Facebook page last year. Almost immediately, Bachman came under attack from anti-hunters around the world. Bachman also found herself the target of death threats that “hit way too close for comfort” when anti-hunters showed up at her office.
“Regardless of your beliefs about hunting, Americans can all agree that threatening someone’s life is simply unacceptable.” said Bachman.
Other members of the task force have also had personal experiences with cyber-bullying including Waller who has had not only threats to her life, but also to her career. Waller, the star of Skull Bound TV, found herself having to defend her livelihood after an anti-hunter called her show sponsors to accuse her of poaching.
“The whole issue of harassment is so important,” said Waller. “I am scared it is going to deter people from standing tall and proud as hunters.”
While attacks on outdoor-celebrity hunters have been going on for years, average hunters have largely avoided the wrath of the anti-hunting community. Earlier this year, however, Charisa Argys was thrown into the spotlight when a picture of her legally harvested mountain lion appeared online. The image brought a flood of criticism and threats not only to her, but to family members as well.
“Just because some anti-hunters in Europe went ballistic over a legal hunt, this issue is going to be associated with me for the rest of my life,” said Argys. “It is never going to go away. It’s going to be there forever. It could affect my job prospects and my life.”
This initial task force meeting was just the first of many to develop short and long-range strategies to protect hunters from cyber harassment.
“In the short term we are developing aggressive legal approaches to pursue both civil and criminal legal actions to prosecute anti-hunting harassers.” said Bill Horn, USSA director of federal affairs. “In the long term, we would like to cultivate strategies to provide additional legal protections for hunters who are finding themselves the target of cyber bullying.”
Pinizzotto added, “What this group discussed today and the ideas generated are a terrific first step in protecting hunters now and in the future. We have some of the brightest minds in our industry working on this critical issue. I look forward to continuing this discussion and adding additional key groups and individuals to the team in the coming weeks.”
In addition to being an adamant opponent of sensible gun laws, Nugent regularly makes headlines with his racist, misogynist, and threatening statements. In July 2013, Nugent said “The Black Problem” in America could be solved if African-Americans put their “heart and soul into being honest” and “law-abiding.” On January 17, 2014, he called President Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel” and “chimpanzee.”1
Mike Mori, the Blade‘s sales director and event director for the Northwest Ohio Rib-Off, has acknowledged the problems with Nugent, saying he “is not a fan of [Nugent's] politics.” “I wish the guy would just not say the things he does,” said Mori. He clearly recognizes that the Blade made a bad call in hiring Nugent and seems torn about what to do. A strong show of opposition can sway him towards the right decision.
The Northwest Ohio Rib-Off webpage brags that “nothing goes better with savory BBQ than jamming, rib-bone in hand, to a rocking band.”2 Certainly, nothing goes worse with good food than the virulently racist rhetoric of a man who has no regard for the dignity or rights of others.
Tell the Toledo Blade: Cancel Ted Nugent’s appearance at your festival immediately.