7 Tons, One Shot

Hank Konrad: hunter

http://www.methownet.com/grist/features/konrad_hunting.html

It’s not every day that you can walk into a local supermarket and find an African lion attacking a warthog right there by the checkout counters – unless you’re shopping at Hank’s Harvest Foods in Twisp.

The lion and warthog are among dozens of trophy animals from Africa, Canada and a smattering of other countries on display at the store, most of them sharing space with an assortment of merchandise stacked above the freezer cases.

“I ran out of room at home so I brought some of them down here for the kids to see,” explains Hank Konrad, store owner and passionate hunter.

Each animal has a story. For example, that male lion from Zambia that’s about to dine on the warthog was probably six or seven years old when he died. He had 19 females in his pride and is believed to have fathered three cycles of cubs, Konrad said. But after losing his pride and territory to another male, he was found wandering hungry and alone. He was so thin his ribs and spine stuck out, according to Jackson Konrad, Hank’s son, who was with him on the trip.

photoJudy and Hank Konrad pose with a greater kudu bull, a woodland antelope, taken for meat in Botswana last year while they were hunting in the Kalahari. Photo courtesy of Hank Konrad

“I tracked him for 12 days because I didn’t want to bait him,” Hank said. Finally, the lion came into the open. “He stopped and looked back.” It was the only moment Konrad had to take a shot and he didn’t hesitate.

The warthog is from Zimbabwe. “I shot him [on a different trip] so we could have dinner,” Konrad explained. The warthog skull that’s part of the exhibit is from the animal on display; the lion skull is not.

Both animals were restored to life-like prime by a taxidermist friend who lives outside Missoula, Mont. He’s worked on all the African animals for Konrad, who said he prefers poses and facial expressions that are as natural as possible – no snarls and added drama. He doesn’t discuss the business side of his passion, but Konrad said, “I’m not taking anything out of the store [to pay] for hunting.”

photoA male Himalayan Tahr, a wild goat with a lion-like mane, watches over grocery shoppers. Konrad shot it in New Zealand, where Tahr goats are hunted for meat. Photo by Karen West

And while he’s hunted many kinds of animals, Konrad said, “I’m not a scorekeeper kind of guy.” In fact, after about two dozen trips to Africa, elephants are the only animal he hunts there – unless “somebody wants something to eat.” Why? “Because it’s the biggest challenge… I’m not a killer. I’m a hunter.”

It takes absolute focus, he explained, to stand face-to-face with a charging bull elephant, knowing he wants to kill you and you want to drop him with a single shot to the brain so he dies instantly. Konrad said he’s never missed that shot. His elephant gun holds two .500 Nitro cartridges and the tracker who accompanies him also has a rifle – just in case.

One year he shot a bull that weighed 14,000 pounds. It was estimated to be about 70 years old, the upper end of an elephant’s lifespan. He only had one molar left in his mouth and couldn’t chew food properly, said Konrad, who started hunting as a child.

“I was born in the woods, outside Grangeville,” Idaho, into a family that raised some cattle, ran a small logging operation and worked as outfitters during elk hunting season, he said. His mother was a quarter Nez Perce and his dad a quarter Crow.

When he was in high school, Konrad recalled, “I used to get on the school bus every Friday with my rifle and my pack and nobody blinked an eye.” After school, he went to a ranch for target practice. “All the kids with pickups in the [school] parking lot had rifles in the rack,” he added. “Nobody shot anybody.”

He is a life member of Safari Club International, the Wild Sheep Foundation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Mule Deer Foundation and the National Rifle Association. His three kids were trained in firearm safety and his six grandchildren will be, too. He said he opposes gun control.

He also said the United States government has gotten too big and is weakening the country. “We need to be self reliant again,” Konrad said. “We’ve taught our children that somebody else is responsible for everything. But that’s not the way it is.”

Self-reliance, by his definition, means taking care of your own – your kids, parents and the people in your own community — and not expecting the government to do it.

Konrad is legendary for quietly extending a generous helping hand in the community. “There’s nothing I won’t do for a working man but there’s nothing I’ll do for a man who won’t,” he said.

photoHank Konrad displays an 84-pound elephant tusk, one of the pair he has from his 2012 hunt in Botswana. Since the mid-1980s all elephant tusks being shipped from Africa are assigned a serial number to help track the ivory. Hunters must have permits and document their hunts with photographs. Konrad donates the hide and all meat to local villagers. Photo by Karen West

Hard work has been a hallmark of his life. He said his great-grandmother, Eva Cash, long ago told him: “All good things come to he who waits as long as he works like hell while he’s waiting.”

In 1975, Konrad moved to Twisp with his wife, Judy, a native of Lewiston, Idaho, and his brother and his wife. They bought the ‘Buckingham Palace’ grocery store, which was located where the Confluence Gallery is today.

“I worked 15 hours a day, seven days a week,” Konrad said. “I took a half-day off when Stephanie was born.” Stephanie is the eldest of the Konrad’s three children. She’s living in Wyoming, although her son works at the store. So do the Konrad’s other two children – daughter, Carlan, and son, Jackson, who runs the meat shop. Judy Konrad works in the office. Hank’s Harvest Foods employs 54 people, making it one of the largest employers in the valley.

Over the years, Konrad has had several businesses in addition to the grocery store including an excavating company and a well-digging business. He’s also invested in real estate. The family lives on a 1,000 acre ranch put together over the years up Finley Canyon, where the kids can learn about life by roaming the hills, hunting, fishing in the lake and riding their ATVs where grandpa designates so they don’t “tear up the land.” And you can bet they know the stories of the animals in his trophy room.

Konrad said he likes to travel “but I want to go into the bush and meet the real people.” Judy accompanies him and does some hunting, although she also travels with a group of friends to tourist sites and countries he doesn’t care about. His first trip outside the United States was with the U.S. Army to Vietnam, where he spent part of three different years. There he befriended an “old Frenchman” who talked to him about the place.

His passion for Africa was ignited years later when he saw some films about hunting there. It looked challenging. But the appeal has many facets – the expanses of land, the quiet, “tracking in the African bush and meeting the indigenous people who live out there” for whom hunting “is a way of life.”

photoAbout two dozen white tail and mule deer trophies are on display above the freezer cases. Photo by Karen West

Konrad said he hunts on government lands that are equivalent to our Forest Service lands, where the herds are managed and park rangers set the quotas on the number of permits issued.

The Safari Club promotes hunting and conservation by taking care of the animal populations, he said. It also sponsors anti-poaching teams. “Africa, right now, would pretty much be without animals if it wasn’t for Safari Club International.”

“Hunting is a positive thing for all animals because it gives them a value and without it, they’re gone,” Konrad said. “The trophy fee for an elephant can feed a village for a year, plus they get the meat.”

If he gets an elephant permit this year, Hank and Judy Konrad will make what he expects to be their last elephant-hunting trip to Botswana in August. The permits for where he wants to go may be auctioned off to some very wealthy bidders, he said, which could change his plan. That would be a bittersweet decision for a man who has tracked elephants up to 60 miles through the African bush that so strongly calls to him.

3/4/2013

James Woods calls for ‘licensed hunting of poachers’ following Idaho game commissioner controversy

WARNING: Article contains graphic photo.

Oscar-nominated actor James Woods took to Twitter on Monday morning to denounce the practice of trophy hunting, presumably after learning of the controversy surrounding former Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Blake Fischer.

“Honestly some things are just obvious, so please stop selling this nonsense that killing innocent wildlife helps conserve the species. It’s just bull—-,” posted Woods, alongside a link to an article concerning Fischer and his vacation in Africa, during which he claimed to have killed “a whole family of baboons.”

“Killing these glorious creatures is barbaric,” Woods added. “Just stop it.”

BIG-GAME HUNTER AND FORMER BEAUTY QUEEN BLASTED OVER HUNTING COMMENTS

Woods also responded to critics on Twitter who defended conservationists, saying that he was specifically referring to the practice of trophy hunting.

“I eat hamburgers. Somebody does the killing. I’m not going to get holier-than-thou about hunters. If you’re a carnivore, then somebody has to do the killing. But killing for a “trophy” is absurd. What I’d really like to see is the licensed hunting of poachers,” he tweeted.

Woods also called hunting exotic animals on regulated land “vile,” and suggested that sport hunters should hunt each other to create a more “level playing field.”

Woods’ posts came days after news of Fischer’s trip to Africa came to light, along with photos of the animals Fischer and his wife had shot in Namibia, which included a leopard and giraffe, among others.

“First day [my wife] wanted to watch me, and ‘get a feel’ of Africa,” Fischer reportedly recounted in an email to over 100 friends and co-workers following his trip, according to a public records request from the Boise’s KBOI and The Idaho Statesman. “So I shot a whole family of baboons.”

Fischer, who resigned Monday following a request from Idaho Governor Butch Otter, had initially defended his actions, saying nothing he did was “illegal,” “unethical” or “immoral.” He also said he had paid a trophy fee to hunt certain species.

OKLAHOMA MAN FACES CHARGES FOR SHOOTING DEER HOURS BEFORE SEASON STARTED

Still, his actions were met with criticism from former fish and game officials in Idaho who saw the email, with two calling for his resignation and another requesting an apology for what they called unsportsmanlike hunting practices — especially in regards to the family of baboons.

“I’m sure what you did was legal, however, legal does not make it right,” said Frank Trevey, a former Idaho fish and game warden, to Fischer after seeing the email.

Gov. Butch Otter had also reportedly asked for Fischer to resign earlier in the day, the Statesman reported, saying “every member of my administration is expected to exercise good judgment. Commissioner Fischer did not.”

Fischer apologized to Idaho’s hunters and anglers in a resignation letter obtained by the paper.

“I recently made some poor judgments that resulted in sharing photos of a hunt in which I did not display an appropriate level of sportsmanship and respect for the animals I harvested,” he said, in part.

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Fischer was slated to serve a second term as a fish and game commissioner for Idaho, The Washington Post reported.

Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche contributed to this article.

“I didn’t do anything [currently] illegal.”

“I didn’t do anything illegal.”  

That was the feeble excuse made by Blake Fischer, the Idaho Fish & Game commissioner who—like so many others before him—posed grinning and gloating in one morbid photo after another with the animals he’d mindlessly murdered.

How many leopards must be reduced to props for these tweaked sportsmen’s arrogant pleasures, before the laws protecting them are brought into at least the 20th century?

He might not have done anything “illegal,” but impaling to death with arrows and posing alongside an entire family of freshly-killed baboons breaks a lot of taboos, besides being in excessively poor taste for a supposed wildlife official.

And although his actions may not currently be “illegal,” who could really blame someone for doing something in response that was?

 

Psychopathic killers should not be placed in charge of threatened, endangered, or other wild animal species. Please call for Blake Fischer to be relieved of his position by contacting the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at 208-334-3700 or posting a comment on the department’s Facebook page.

Hunter gets death threats after posting picture of grizzly bear he just killed

Rob WaughMonday 17 Sep 2018 11:48 am Share this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messenger A hunter has received death threats after posting images where he posed with a dead grizzly bear he had just killed. Former professional hockey player Tim Brent, 34, posted the images after killing the bear in Yukon, Canada. Brent said, ‘Alright folks, here is my Mountain Grizzly! We put an awesome stalk on him but he spotted us at about 75 yards. ‘Instead of taking off he turned and came right at us. It was very easy to tell this bear owned the valley we were hunting in and wasn’t scared of anything!’ 999 operator describes harrowing 40 minute call with mother she couldn’t save in Grenfell In another photo, Brent poses holding up the dead animal’s paw saying, ‘Did you know on average a single Grizzly eats around 40 Moose and Caribou calves during each calving season?’ The posts provoked a flood of anger and revulsion when he shared them on Instagram – with some commenters posting death threats. Some posters said they hoped he would be mauled to death by a bear – and one suggested they would call in a ‘Mexican cartel’ to kill him. In response, a defiant Brent posted images of his fridge filled with meat from animals he has killed. Share this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messenger

 

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2018/09/17/hunter-gets-death-threats-after-posting-picture-of-grizzly-bear-he-just-killed-7952015/?ito=cbshare

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/


A former Canadian pro-hockey player has come under fire after tweeting about hunting and killing a grizzly bear earlier this week.

Posting on Twitter a photo of himself posing with the bear, 34-year-old Tim Brent said they’d ‘put an awesome stalk on him’.

Explaining that the animal had spotted them at about 75 yards, he added: “Instead of taking off he turned and came right at us. It was very easy to tell this boar owned the valley we were hunting in and wasn’t scared of anything!”

Brent, who used to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs in Canada’s National Hockey League, has since also posted photos of ‘his’ Yukon moose, which he said ‘absolutely humbled’ him.

Brent has since received backlash for both his hunting habits and openly boasting about them. His tweet where he poses with the dead bear has racked up 20,000 comments.

It’s even caught the attention of several big names, including comedian Ricky Gervais, who regularly speaks out about animal rights. He tweeted: “I bet killing this beautiful bear put ‘an awesome stalk’ on Tim too.”

Sherlock actor Amanda Abbington also condemned Brent’s actions – and was clearly not holding back, writing: “You are a c***. A stupid, inbred, unfeeling piece of s*** c***.”

Others said the photo and caption were ‘disgusting’, ‘horrible’ and ‘nauseating’.

Brent later tweeted to say he’d even received death threats, writing: “These are the types of messages I am getting on twitter in response to my moose and bear hunts.

“I would love to know what constitutes a threat or abuse for Twitter? This is what we are up against as Hunters.”

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Tim Brent

Fierce critic of Wyoming grizzly bear hunt scores license

https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/fierce-critic-of-wyoming-grizzly-bear-hunt-scores-license/

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — A fierce critic of grizzly bear hunting who has made a career photographing the animals has drawn a tag for Wyoming’s first such hunt in 44 years.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reported Thursday that Tom Mangelsen drew No. 8 on an issuance list that will allow up to 10 grizzly hunters into the field starting Sept. 15. He was up against 3,500 Wyoming residents and 2,327 nonresidents vying for a shot at the tags.

Mangelsen, who credited being chosen to “dumb luck,” was among scores of people from around the country who applied for the tags as a means of civil disobedience intended to slow the hunt. Wildlife managers say the tactic is legal.

The hunt for which Mangelsen’s tag is valid will end after the first female bear is killed. Up to 10 male grizzlies can be killed.

___

Information from: Jackson Hole (Wyo.) News And Guide, http://www.jhnewsandguide.com

American hunter rips critics who bashed her for shooting giraffe and taking photos celebrating kill

American hunter rips critics who bashed her for shooting giraffe and taking photos celebrating kill
Tess Thompson Talley posted photos of herself with the giraffe she killed in 2017, but began making the rounds on social media in June. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

 

An American hunter who sparked outrage with photos that show her striking a victorious pose in front of a giraffe she killed in South Africa is hitting back at her critics.

The controversial images, initially shared by Kentucky native Tess Thompson Talley in 2017, began making the rounds on social media after the Twitter account for Africa Digest posted them online toward the end of June. The obscure news website described her as a “white American Savage who is partly neanderthal.”

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

AfricaDigest@africlandpost

White american savage who is partly a neanderthal comes to Africa and shoot down a very rare black giraffe coutrsey of South Africa stupidity. Her name is Tess Thompson Talley. Please share

Celebrities including actress Debra Messing and comedian Ricky Gervais were quick to join conservationists slamming the Kentucky hunter, but Talley has since rejected their fiery animal rights advocacy. In a statement to Fox News, she explained that she killed the old giraffe to prevent it from killing younger calves — a practice called “conservation through game management.”

“The giraffe I hunted was the South African sub-species of giraffe. The numbers of these sub-species is actually increasing due, in part, to hunters and conservation efforts paid for in large party by big game hunting,” she said. “The breed is not rare in any way other than it was very old. Giraffes get darker with age.”

While fewer than 100,000 giraffes remain on the continent, the sub-species Talley hunted has seen a 167% increase in population — up about 21,000 — since 1979. Meanwhile, the overall giraffe population has decreased by as much as 40%.

Talley also noted the giraffe, about 18 years old and unable to breed, has so far killed three younger bulls able to breed, ultimately curbing the growth of its herd.

When she first posted the photos more than a year ago, she described her South Africa trip as a “dream hunt.”

“Spotted this rare black giraffe bull and stalked him for quite a while,” she wrote. “I knew it was the one. He was over 18 years old, 4,000 lbs. and was blessed to be able to get more than 2,000 lbs. of meat from him.”

Trophy hunting is legal in several African countries, including South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

“People will say stuff behind a computer screen they’d never say to your face. She was hunting in South Africa and giraffes are legal to hunt in South Africa,” Paul Babaz, the president of hunting advocacy group Safari Club International, told CBS.

The trophy fee for a giraffe is about $2,000 to $3,000 per animal, with the funds going toward the nearby community. It helps prevent poaching and provides incentive to make sure big game animals don’t become instinct, according to Babaz.

“Without that… the poachers will come in and kill the animals indiscriminately, which is very unfortunate,” he said.

Grizzly committee to vote on delisting strategy for northwest Montana bears

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National Elk Refuge grizzly bears
A grizzly bear sow and cubs roam the National Elk Refuge south of Grand Teton National Park. Grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem have been removed from federal Endangered Species Act protection and handed over to state wildlife agency management in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee meets in Polson, Montana this week to consider last steps toward removing Montana’s largest population of grizzly bears from the Endangered Species List.

IGBC members meet on Tuesday and Wednesday to possibly adopt the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem conservation strategy, the blueprint directing how state wildlife agencies would manage grizzlies if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delists them.

FWS has already removed about 700 grizzly bears in the three-state area known as the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from the endangered list. Wyoming Game and Fish Department has proposed selling hunting licenses for at least 22 grizzlies this fall. Idaho has a quota of one male grizzly for hunting. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks commissioners opted to skip a grizzly hunt in 2018 over concerns that pending lawsuits against the delisting might block a fall hunt.

On Friday Idaho Fish and Game Dept. announced its system for a grizzly hunting lottery, with applications accepted between June 15 and July 15. The drawing is limited to Idaho residents with a valid state hunting license who must pay a nonrefundable $16.75 application fee and prepay the tag fee of at least $166.75. Unsuccessful applicants will get their tag fees refunded.

About 1,000 grizzlies live in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, which spreads along the Rocky Mountains from the Canadian border with Glacier National Park south almost to Missoula. They are considered geographically and genetically distinct from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem bears.

If the IGBC members approve the conservation strategy on this week, it may form the basis of the federal delisting rule set to be published later in 2018.

“It essentially commits the agencies to follow the spirit of the conservation strategy,” said IGBC spokesman Dillon Tabish. “This isn’t the end of the public opportunity to comment. Any actions they (the participating agencies) would have to take must follow public process.”

FWS Grizzly Recovery Coordinator Hillary Cooley said the final delisting rule remained a ways off.

“We’ve got an initial draft, but it has a lot of review to go through,” Cooley said on Friday. “We don’t have a specific date right now, other than by the end of 2018.”

Cooley explained that while the IGBC executive committee’s endorsement is important to the federal rule-making process, the individual agencies, such as the National Park Service, state wildlife managers and Blackfeet and Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribal governments, sign separately.

The federal delisting rule sets mortality limits for how many bears may die before Endangered Species Act protections might be re-imposed. The conservation strategy guides local wildlife managers in how to avoid that situation.

“If a state or tribe decides to hunt at some time, that’s their business,” Cooley said. “What matters to us is they stay within the mortality limits, no matter what the cause.”

The strategy has received extensive criticism of its methods for measuring bear population trends, habitat quality and allowance of hunting opportunities. Mike Bader, an advocate for keeping grizzlies under ESA protection, said the new strategy appeared legally vulnerable.

“They’re just rushing this through as fast as they can,” Bader said on Friday. “I don’t think they’ve dotted the i’s or crossed the t’s on what the grizzly bear needs.”

Bader noted that seven NCDE grizzlies have died in the past few weeks, including four that were hit by vehicles on roadways. He said the strategy made overly optimistic assumptions about how fast grizzly numbers are growing, which could prove disastrous if conditions change unexpectedly.

A federal judge in Missoula has scheduled an August 31 hearing on challenges to the Greater Yellowstone grizzly delisting. Wyoming’s proposed grizzly hunting season starts right after that, and could be derailed if the judge rules to keep the bear federally protected or requires more time for review.

One issue the lawsuit raises is whether FWS can remove protection from some distinct population segments of bears (such as the Greater Yellowstone) without dooming recovery in smaller areas such as the Cabinet-Yaak or North Cascades ecosystems. A similar lawsuit involving delisting gray wolves around the Western Great Lakes ordered FWS to take a much harder look at how removing protections from one population segment might affect the others.

Tabish said the final 144-page strategy has an appendix with about 60 pages of responses to past public comments. Tuesday’s meeting will further discuss how the NCDE and Yellowstone ecosystem bear populations might link in the future.

The executive committee plans to tour the National Bison Range and some other parts of the Mission Valley affected by grizzly activity on Wednesday.

Cecil the Lion’s infamous death didn’t actually do much to change trophy-hunting laws

https://www.popsci.com/cecil-lion-death-trophy-hunting-law

Even beloved animals rarely hold our attention for long.

cecil the lion in 2010

The iconic Cecil in 2010.

When Cecil the Lion was slain by American dentist Walter Palmer in July 2015, the incident sparked fury around the globe. The 13-year-old lion was a popular attraction at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, known for his striking black mane and comfort with tourist vehicles. His fate drew intense news coverage, a flurry of celebrity tweets, and an impassioned monologue from Jimmy Kimmel.

But that short spike in public attention wasn’t enough to inspire lawmakers to make widespread changes to trophy-hunting policies, a new report indicates. Researchers at Indiana University Bloomington found that people really were more concerned about lions and trophy hunting after the incident, yet the impact of that interest proved limited.

“There was this moment of extreme attention focused on lions after Cecil’s death, but it really was fleeting,” says coauthor David Konisky, an environmental policy researcher.

Individual animals—however appealing they are and however upsetting their deaths may be—don’t have a great track record for changing conservation policies, he says. Cecil may not have overhauled the rules on trophy imports, but he was still a pretty impressive poster lion.

To understand Cecil’s legacy, Konisky and his colleague Stefan Carpenter investigated internet search histories in the aftermath of his death. Right after the news broke, people around the world looked up terms related to lion conservation and trophy hunting 50 times more frequently than in the previous two years. But three weeks later, the spike in searches had already waned. In the six to 12 months following Cecil’s death, public interest was only slightly higher than in the two years before the incident.

The team also examined new laws in the United States (and the other seven countries that most often import lion trophies) in the year after Cecil’s death. They found that Cecil’s demise had only a limited impact on the adoption of new rules to restrict trophy imports. This isn’t surprising, Konisky says. “These windows of opportunity are short and often insufficient to create the impetus for policy change.” However, he says, “There were some policies that were already underway, and it may be that Cecil’s death helped push them over the finish line.”

The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to fight the illegal wildlife trade on July 30, 2015. In November France issued a ban on lion trophy imports. Cecil’s death may have influenced this move, although it’s hard to know by how much, Carpenter said in an email.

In the United States, several bills were named after Cecil. However, only New Jerseyand Hawaii passed new laws to restrict the import, sale, or possession of animal parts that year. In December 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed one subspecies of lion as threatened and another as endangered; however, the original petition to update the big cats’ statuses had been filed in 2011.

Cecil may have made people more aware of lion trophy hunting. Still, in the United States, the average citizen does not spend much time thinking about lions, Konisky says. “Having a brief spurt of attention is not going to create long-term demand for policy change.”

There are times when a high-profile crisis can draw enough public scrutiny to spur policy changes. This happened after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979.

However, Konisky says, he’s not aware of any incidents involving a famous animal that sparked major changes to conservation laws—or even captured worldwide attention the way Cecil’s death did. “People are really concerned about air pollution and water pollution, but issues around endangered species don’t typically garner a lot of concern or interest,” he says.

For many people, though, the lion’s story was uniquely compelling. Early accounts were filled with “salacious details” of Cecil’s wounding and death, Konisky and Carpenter wrote in the journal Oryx on November 2. “People found it objectionable on many levels,” Konisky says. “It made a mark on folks.”

There are signs that people in the United States are beginning to pay more attention to big game hunting. More than 40 airlines announced in August 2015 that they would refuse to ship lion, elephant, leopard, rhinoceros, and buffalo trophies. In October 2016, the United States banned the import of trophies from captive lions. And when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to end a ban on importing elephant trophies last month, the backlash was intense. Several days later President Trump announced the ban would stay in place for now.

So it’s possible that future hunts will create even more of an outcry. On the other hand, Cecil’s son Xanda was also killed by a game hunter this summer and received less intense news coverage. “If we had a big focusing event, I would not necessarily expect a different outcome than we saw with Cecil the Lion,” Konisky says.

Grizzly bear trophy hunt in Yellowstone area could be approved today

May 23 at 7:00 AM

A grizzly bear roams near Beaver Lake in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. The state’s Game and Fish Commission votes Wednesday on a grizzly bear hunt that would permit the killing of up to 22 bears. (Jim Urquhart/AP)

A Wyoming wildlife commission will vote Wednesday on whether to approve the state’s first grizzly bear hunt in more than four decades, a proposal that could lead to the killing of as many as 22 bears just one year after Yellowstone-area grizzlies were removed from the endangered species list.

Grizzly bears in the Lower 48 were federally protected in 1975, when only about 136 of the animals remained in and around Yellowstone National Park. Their numbers had rebounded to about 700 by last year, prompting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist the Yellowstone population and leave its management to the states of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Montana in February decided against opening a trophy hunt, and Idaho, home to the smallest number of grizzlies, this month approved a fall huntof a single male bear.

Under Wyoming’s proposal, a maximum of one female or 10 male grizzlies could be killed inside the state’s section of a federally designated “demographic monitoring area” — a zone of “suitable” bear habitat where biologists track the species’ population. Another 12, male or female, could be hunted outside that area. No hunting would be allowed inside Yellowstone, nearby Grand Teton National Park or the road that connects them. The Wyoming plan also includes a no-hunt buffer zone in a region east of Grand Teton where several bears adored by photographers and tourists are known to roam and den.


Wyoming’s proposal would allow for the hunting of a maximum of one female or 10 males within Zones 1-6. Up to 12 bears, female or male, could be hunted in Zone 7. (Wyoming Fish and Game Department)

Federal biologists say limited hunting is unlikely to harm the overall grizzly population in the Yellowstone area, and Wyoming officials have described their proposal as conservative. “The question is not whether you hunt grizzly bears or not,” Gov. Matt Mead, a Republican, told C-SPAN earlier this month. “The question is whether grizzly bears have grown enough in terms of population and in habitat that they can be a sustainable species. And clearly they have.”

But the hunting plan has faced heavy opposition from conservation groups and others who say it would imperil the population. More than 200 tribal nations have condemned the idea of hunting an animal they consider sacred and proposed to instead relocate grizzlies to tribal lands. More than 100 wildlife photographers wrote a letter calling on Mead to prioritize the wishes — and dollars — of tourists who come to the region in hopes of spotting “one of the most storied, beloved and photographed bear populations in the world.”

In another recent letter to the governor, 73 scientists said the hunt would recklessly endanger a vulnerable population that has lost food sources, including white bark pine, due to climate change, and limit Yellowstone bears’ ability to connect with a larger population of grizzlies in northwest Montana. (Those bears, in and around Glacier National Park, remain protected under the Endangered Species Act, although Fish and Wildlife is considering delisting them as well.)

The letter, written by the former federal grizzly bear biologist David Mattson, said allowing a dozen deaths outside the demographic monitoring area, where approximately 80 to 100 grizzlies live, would be “tantamount to planned extirpation,” in that region. Hunting, it continued, “is ethically irresponsible, unwarranted and not in the public’s interest.”


Grizzly bear No. 399 crosses a road in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming with her three cubs in 2011. The Wyoming grizzly proposal includes a no-hunt buffer zone east of Teton in an area where 399 and other famous bears are known to den. (Tom Mangelsen/AP)

Conservation organizations say hunting would add unnecessary deaths to the dozens of grizzlies killed by humans each year as the bears expand farther into developed areas.

“Grizzly bears have only just begun to recover, and hunting could sabotage that crucial process,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “People love these bears and don’t want to see them killed just so somebody can put a trophy on the wall.”

At least 56 grizzlies died within the demographic monitoring area last year, many after being hit by cars, shot in self-defense by hunters or lethally “removed” by wildlife agencies for killing livestock or seeking out human food. Of seven deaths recorded this year, four have been in Wyoming. Three were killed by state bear managers — one for breaking into a building for food, and two for “frequenting a calving area” and “bold behavior toward humans.” The fourth, an elderly bear that could not lift its hind legs, was euthanized, according to federal records.

Like conservation groups, Wyoming officials cite those numbers as talking points, but they use them instead to justify a hunt. Hunters, they say, could help weed out problem bears.

“The agency is removing every year several female and male bears for conflict reasons, and if hunting reduces that, it’s a good thing,” Brian Nesvik, chief game warden for the state Game and Fish Department, told the Casper Star-Tribune.

Wyoming’s proposal has gotten support from the National Rifle Association and Safari Club International, a group that promotes hunting. Even if approved by the state game and fish commission on Wednesday, however, it could be stymied in court later this year.

Several lawsuits have challenged the delisting of Yellowstone grizzlies, and a U.S. District Court judge earlier this year ordered all parties to combine their arguments into a single set of briefs. A decision is expected this summer, before the September start of hunting seasons in Wyoming and  Idaho.

Read more:

Grizzly bears are spreading far beyond Yellowstone National Park. Can people and the bears coexist?

The true story of two fatal grizzly bear attacks that changed our relationship with wildlife

Could a bear break into that cooler? Watch these grizzlies try.

Watch a sleepy bear that just isn’t ready to stop hibernating

End Trophy Hunting in the National Park Where Cecil the Lion Was Brutally Murdered

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/end-trophy-hunting-national-park-cecil-lion-brutally-murdered/

We all know his name … it appeared on countless news channels … he was even projected on the Empire State Building. Cecil the lion’s tragic death brought trophy hunting to the forefront of global conversation like no other case did. People from all walks of life spoke out, changed their Facebook profile pictures, and donated money to the cause, but as media hype died down, the vast majority forgot all about it after a few short weeks. Unfortunately, trophy hunting is still happening and innocent animals are still suffering – in the same place Cecil called home.

A petition on Care2 has been launched demanding that the Zimbabwean government intervene and stop allowing heartless trophy hunters to kill endangered animals around Hwange National Park. This is where Walter Palmer paid $50,000 to brutally end Cecil’s life without even actually “hunting.” Many other disturbing facts behind the infamous case are being brought to light in a new book by the man who studied Cecil for eight years before the tragedy, including how Cecil was lured to the nearby conservatory where lion research was performed and how the Zimbabwe government slid it all under the rug.

The bottom line is that as long as trophy hunting is allowed, animals will be murdered for profit. If Cecil’s story touched you, signing the petition is a simple step you can take in his honor. There is no reason this had to happen to Cecil, and no other animal should be put in the position of being murdered and tortured for the pleasure of cruel and evil trophy hunters. Zimbabwe’s government needs to be held accountable for not taking the crime seriously, and it’s time they call an end to all trophy hunting in and around Hwange National Park once and for all!

Buzz Petition