Trophy hunting is not the solution to Africa’s wildlife conservation challenges

For decades, the public has been fed the myth that trophy hunting is absolutely necessary for sustainable conservation in Africa. Some sections of the academy, as well as the hunting lobby, continue to argue that banning trophy hunting will have a negative effect on wildlife biodiversity.

Their rationale is that trophy hunting contributes a significant amount of revenue, which African countries rely on for funding wildlife conservation. In essence the argument is: a few animals are sacrificed through regulated quotas for the greater good of the species. This opens the door for Western tourists to shoot charismatic mega-fauna and make a virtue of it.

In reality, trophy hunting revenues make up a very small percentage of total tourism revenues in Africa. For most African countries with an active trophy hunting industry, among them South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Namibia, the industry generates only between 0.3% and 5% of total tourism revenues. Clearly, trophy hunting’s economic importance is often overstated.

It’s also claimed by proponents that local communities benefit significantly from trophy hunting. The evidence suggests otherwise. A 2013 analysis of literature on the economics of trophy hunting done by Economists at Large, a network of economists who contribute their expertise to economic questions that are of public interest, showed that communities in the areas where hunting occurs derive little benefit from this revenue. On average communities receive only about 3% of the gross revenue from trophy hunting.

Another line of argument is that non-consumptive forms of wildlife tourism are not lucrative enough to sustain conservation efforts. The hunting lobby has therefore built a narrative where hunting is the only viable means of financing sustainable conservation in Africa.

I recently completed a book chapter in which I explore these and other claims made by the hunters, focusing in particular on how they choose their words to rationalize and sanitize their pastime.

Trophy hunting’s paradoxes

Trophy hunters often claim that they kill animals because they love animals. They rationalize their choice, for instance, by arguing that trophy hunting allows broader animal populations to be conserved.

As I argued in my chapter, the paradox of killing an animal you allegedly “love” cannot be resolved in the sphere of ethics.

In the chapter I explore the words that are used by hunters as euphemisms to describe trophy hunting, while avoiding the word “killing”. Examples include words like “harvesting” and “taking” that serve to sanitize killing. This “euphemization” is exemplified by Walter Palmer, who shot the beloved Zimbabwean lion, Cecil, in the infamous “Cecilgate” incident. Palmer issued a statement in response to the outcry, stating:

To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted. I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite…

This choice of words isn’t accidental. The effect is that we lose sight of what’s actually being done to lions, rhinos, elephants, and other precious species.

Alternatives and the way forward

The proponents of trophy hunting claim that there are no viable alternatives for Africa. They suggest that non-consumptive forms of wildlife tourism such as photo-safaris, where tourists view and photograph animals, do not generate sufficient benefits to justify keeping the wildlife habitat. If we stop trophy hunting, they say, wildlife will lose its economic value for local communities. Wildlife habitat will be lost to other land uses.

The truth is that well managed, non-consumptive wildlife tourism is sufficient for funding and managing conservation. Botswana, for example, which in 2014 banned all commercial hunting in favor of photo-tourism, continues to thrive. In a 2017 study, residents of Mababe village in Botswana noted that, compared to hunting, which is seasonal, photographic camps were more beneficial to the community because people are employed all year round.

Trophy hunting is not the solution to Africa’s wildlife conservation challenges. Proper governance, characterized by accountability, rigorous, evidence-based policies and actions, and driven by a genuine appreciation of the intrinsic – not just economic – value of Africa’s majestic fauna, is.

Muchazondida Mkono, Research Fellow (Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow), Business School, The University of Queensland

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

NPR: Suspected Rhino Poacher Killed By Elephant, Eaten By Pride Of Lions In South Africa

Officials at Kruger National Park in South Africa said a suspected rhino poacher was killed by an elephant and his remains eaten by lions. Pictured here, an elephant in the park in 2016.

Kevin Anderson/AP

A suspected rhino poacher was killed by an elephant and his remains likely eaten by a pride of lions, park officials in South Africa said.

Kruger National Park rangers received a call last week from the family of the suspected poacher, the park said in a statement issued Friday. According to the family, accomplices of their relative said he was killed by an elephant on Tuesday, while they were in the park to poach rhinos.

The elephant attacked “suddenly,” police Brig. Leonard Hlathi told South African news website TimesLive. Hlathi said the man’s accomplices claimed to have carried his body to a road before leaving the park.

Rangers began search efforts to find the man’s remains and bring the family closure but could not locate a body.

“Indications found at the scene suggested that a pride of lions had devoured the remains leaving only a human skull and a pair of pants,” the statement reads. The remains were found in the Crocodile Bridge section of the park.

Observers were quick to point out the apparent irony. “It’s the Circle of life,” one commentator quipped on Twitter.

Glenn Phillips, managing executive of the park, issued his condolences to the deceased’s family. “Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise, it holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of that,” Phillips said in the statement.

Police are investigating the incident, and the other four suspected poachers have been arrested and will appear in court, according to the statement.

It’s not the first time animals have killed a suspected poacher in South Africa. Last year, one was attacked and eaten by a pride of lions in Limpopo province, police said.

The number of rhinos poached in South Africa has trended down since 2014, but demand for the animal’s horn, nonetheless, remains strong, Reuters reports. More than 500 rhinos were poached for their horns in the first eight months of last year.

Kruger National Park, South Africa’s largest game reserve, covers thousands of square miles along the country’s northeastern border. As of late last year, the park had some 5,000 rhinos, down from around 9,000 in 2014, according to government estimates cited by Reuters. Poaching and drought have both contributed to the decrease.

Last year, South African Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa called rhino poaching “a national priority crime.” In a statement, she said that more than 500 alleged poachers and traffickers were arrested in 2017, with the majority of arrests taking place inside or around Kruger National Park.

More on: Suspected rhino poacher is killed by an elephant and then eaten by lions in South Africa

(CNN)Only a skull and a pair of trousers remained after a suspected rhino poacher was killed by an elephant and then eaten by lions in Kruger National Park, South African National Parks said.

The incident happened after the man entered the park Monday with four others to target rhinos, according to a parks service statement.
An elephant “suddenly” attacked the alleged poacher, killing him, and “his accomplices claimed to have carried his body to the road so that passersby could find it in the morning. They then vanished from the Park,” police said.
His family were notified of his death late Tuesday by his fellow poachers, and a search party set out to recover the body. Rangers scoured on foot and police flew over the area, but because of failing light it could not be found.
The search resumed Thursday morning and, with the help of added field rangers, police discovered what was left of his body.
Police say they arrested three men and seized guns following the alleged poacher's death.

“Indications found at the scene suggested that a pride of lions had devoured the remains leaving only a human skull and a pair of pants,” the statement said.
Glenn Phillips, the managing executive of Kruger National Park, extended his condolences to the man’s family.
“Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise, it holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of that,” he warned. “It is very sad to see the daughters of the deceased mourning the loss of their father, and worse still, only being able to recover very little of his remains.”
Three individuals who joined the illegal hunt were arrested Wednesday by the South African Police Service, and officers continue to investigate what happened.
The suspects appeared in Komatipoort Magistrate Court on Friday to face charges of possessing firearms and ammunition without a license, conspiracy to poach and trespassing. A judge remanded them to custody and they will be back in court this week, pending a formal bail application.
The African rhino is targeted for its horn because of the belief among some who practice Eastern medicine that the horn has benefits as an aphrodisiac, making it more valuable than cocaine in parts of the world.
Lions left only the poacher's skull and a pair of his pants, officials say.

Of special concern is the black rhino, which is considered critically endangered after its population tumbled from about 65,000 to 1970 to 2,400 in 1995, according to Kruger National Park. Conservation efforts have boosted their numbers, and the world’s remaining 5,000 or so black rhinos live predominantly in South Africa, Namibia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.
In 2016, there were between 349 and 465 black rhinos living at Kruger and between 6,600 and 7,800 white rhinos, who also suffer from poaching, South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs said.
Kruger is considered an intensive protection zone, and the government employs a range of resources to deter poaching, including aircraft, dogs, special rangers and an environmental crime investigation unit.
Of the 680 poaching and trafficking arrests made in 2016 by the South African Police Service, 417 were in and around Kruger, the department said. In September, the department announced that six men — including two syndicate leaders, two police officers and a former police officer — had been arrested for trafficking in rhino horns.

14-Month-Old Lioness Declawed In Zoo So Kids Can Play With Her

A Palestinian zoo, in an attempt to bait visitors into visiting the zoo, decided to declaw a 14-month-old lioness in their possession so the guests could play and interact with the animal. The incident took place two weeks ago in the Gaza strip, where there’s a lack of proper veterinary facilities.

Falestine, the lioness, was tranquilized and shrouded before a veterinarian named Fayez al-Haddad got to work. He deliberately clipped off her claws one by one using a pair of shears before he sewed her up.

He completed the job on Tuesday, when the poor lioness was subjected to much pain once again. One can only imagine the confusion the animal experienced when she realized that she no longer has her claws, and the Four Paws charity says that the procedure is similar to a person losing their fingers up to their knuckles. Mohammad Jumaa, the zoo owner, and the veterinarian, however, both seem to be morally unaffected by what they did.

Rafah zoo opened 20 years ago, but animal welfare is clearly not on the top of their list of priorities. The zoo is located on the border of Egypt in the southern part of the Gaza strip. The zoo was closed down from 2004 to 2017, and Jumaa got it running again two years ago.

According to Four Paws and many other organizations, the zoo has bo business staying open, as there is no improvement in the well-being of the animals that are held captive there. Four newborn lion cubs were left to freeze at the zoo, and there are at least 49 other animals trapped in pitiful enclosures.

Four-legged victims of war find peace in Jordan

ARTICLE SUMMARY
Forty animals from Rafah Zoo in the Gaza Strip, considered the worst zoo in the world, will join at the end of the month other rescue animals at Jordan’s wildlife center aptly called New Hope.

For the last two years, a protected forest near the Jordanian capital has been home to animals that suffered in the regional wars. Seventeen African lions, two leopards and four bears currently live at Al Ma’wa for Nature and Wildlife, 48 kilometers (30 miles) from Amman.

Four Paws, founded in Vienna in 1988, brought the animals to the shelter opened by the Jordanian authorities in 2017. Most of these wild animals had been left in the zoos without food or water. Four Paws transported some of the lions and bears from the Magic World Zooin war-ravaged Aleppo, via the Turkish border. Bear Lula and lion Simba were rescued from the zoo in 2017; they were the sole survivors at the zoo that once housed many animals but was ravaged by the fighting. More animals from Syria followed. Bear Dana, who was smuggled out of Syria in a van provided by the Turkish Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture, was pregnant. Within 12 hours of her arrival in Jordan, she gave birth to a cub that the team named Hajar (Emigrant).

Three lions that were rescued from Al-Bisan Zoo in the Gaza Strip, which was shelled by Israel in 2014, also found their way to Jordan in 2017, after being sheltered in different preserves in the region. More wild animals from Gaza are on their way. Later this spring, at least 40 animals — including five lions, a hyena, monkeys, wolves, porcupines, foxes, cats and dogs — that have been trapped at Rafah Zoo, known as the world’s worst zoo due to the poor living conditions that killed many of the animals there, will find a new home at Al Ma’wa.

According to a statement by Four Paws, the owner of the zoo has finally agreed — after negotiations that lasted more than a year — to hand over the animals to Four Paws at the end of March, when a team of veterinarians, wild animal transporters and animal caretakers will be in Gaza for several days to examine the animals and load them into their transport crates.

A bear seen at the Al Ma’wa for Nature and Wildlife, Jordan, Feb. 25, 2019. Image by Mohammad Ersa

Head of Al Ma’wa Mustafa Khraisat told Al-Monitor that just like human war victims, the animals that came to the preserve were also traumatized and needed psychological treatment. “We noticed that Loz and Sukar [Arabic for Almond and Sugar], the bears brought in from Aleppo, hid every time they heard planes flying over the sanctuary,” he said. “It took a while for them to relax.”

Al Ma’wa for Nature and Wildlife, also known as the New Hope Center, was established in partnership with the Princess Alia Foundation and Four Paws. It is managed by a staff of 26 employees, including caretakers who focus on issues related to health and psychology. The sanctuary covers an area of ​​1,100 dunams (272 acres) of protected forest that creates living conditions close to the natural environment of the animals.

The animals that are currently living in Al Ma’wa are only a small number compared to all those that died in the various wars. “Due to the destruction of the zoos in which they lived, a large number of wild animals died. When the survivors came here, most were in critical condition. We had to put them on a special diet,” Khraisat said.

A lion seen at the Al Ma’wa for Nature and Wildlife, Jordan, Feb. 25, 2019. Image by Mohammad Ersan

The reserve, which opens its doors to visitors for a small fee, has become a popular local attraction. The sanctuary has created a new kind of eco-tourism in Jordan, with 200-300 visitors a day during the week. On weekends, the number of visitors goes up to 1,500.

“The tour guide gave me a thorough explanation about the conditions that these animals have experienced in the past,” Said Rand, a university student from Amman, told Al-Monitor. “It was very moving to learn how they had been affected by war.” He said that he visited the preserve to watch animals in their natural environment, even though there is a protective fence that separates the animals and visitors.

Khraisat pointed out that Al Ma’wa provides visitors with the opportunity to see animals up close, but also seeks to create awareness on how wars affect fauna, and explain the harmful practices and crimes against animals. “Our guides seek to raise visitors’ awareness on the harmful impact of illegal possession and trafficking of animals as well,” he concluded.

Read more: https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/03/four-pawed-victims-of-war-find-peace-in-jordan.html#ixzz5jUjpbV4U

EXCLUSIVE: Disgraced trophy hunter who killed a sleeping lion REFUSES to comment on the shocking video showing him prey on the napping beast – as it’s revealed he’s killed over 70 big game

  • Guy Gorney, 64, of Manhattan, Illinois, is identified as the hunter in a shocking video who killed a sleeping lion   
  • DailyMail.com approached Gorney for comment, but the retired energy company executive refused to explain himself for the killing
  • The video is believed to have been recorded on a 2011 hunting trip in Zimbabwe
  • The guide can be heard congratulating Gorney on his kill, which he described as an ‘exceptional lion’
  • Gorney has admitted to killing at least 70 big game animals, including elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos and buffalo
  • The video garnered thousands of responses in outrage at the trophy hunting, including by comedian Ricky Gervais, Piers Morgan and golfer Ian Poulter 

The hunter who snuck up on a sleeping lion and then took three bullets to kill the magnificent beast has shown he is not so bold without his gun.

Retired energy company executive Guy Gorney refused even to try to explain why he would kill an animal as it napped when DailyMail.com visited him at his home.

‘I’m not interested in talking to you,’ he said on the doorstep of his half-million-dollar house on the windswept Illinois plains south of Chicago.

‘Private property,’ he added. ‘Take off!’ He then firmly shut the door.

An eight-year-old video of Gorney shooting the big cat in Zimbabwe surfaced this week, leading to outrage that he would kill an endangered animal as it slept.
Guy Gorney, 64, of Manhattan, Illinois, is identified as the hunter in a shocking video who killed a sleeping lion. He refused to comment on his kill to DailyMail.com at his doorstep

Guy Gorney, 64, of Manhattan, Illinois, is identified as the hunter in a shocking video who killed a sleeping lion. He refused to comment on his kill to DailyMail.com at his doorstep

The video of Gorney, a retired energy company executive, is believed to have been recorded in Zimbabwe in 2011

The video of Gorney, a retired energy company executive, is believed to have been recorded in Zimbabwe in 2011

Horrible moment trophy hunter shoots and kills sleeping lion
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Even as it lay motionless, enjoying the African sun, Gorney couldn’t take out the male lion with a clean shot from his high-powered rifle. Instead it woke after being hit and was seen writhing in agony before he could finish it off with two more bullets.

Gorney is then seen celebrating with Mark Vallaro, a professional hunter in Zimbabwe who was acting as his guide.

Vallaro is heard telling Gorney to stop shooting after the third bullet, then he says: ‘That, Mr. Gorney, is a very nice lion. A very nice lion.’

As Gorney approaches the lion, poking it with his rifle to make sure it is dead, Vallaro adds: ‘Beautiful. That is an exceptional lion.’

Gorney, 64, has been vilified for his actions, with comic Ricky Gervais — an outspoken critic of trophy hunting — calling him a ‘sniveling sadistic coward’ in a tweet.

Top golfer Ian Poulter also tweeted: ‘How brave you are. How pathetic shooting something that’s sleeping. This has to be STOPPED. #Coward.’

DailyMail.com columnist Piers Morgan said he felt ‘physically sick’ watching the video, saying: ‘Only someone with a severe mental illness could possibly enjoy doing what you did to that poor unconscious lion.

‘The ecstatic thrill it gave you suggests you’re a psychopathic monster devoid of any empathy or compassion.’

Gorney lives in a five-bedroom home in Manhattan, Illinois, a wealthy village 50 miles southwest of Chicago. A large wooden American flag hangs on his front door, along with a religious message. Two SUVs and a pick-up truck sit in the driveway with a large RV in the back yard.

This is the half-million-dollar Illinois home where Gorney was approached by DailyMail.com but  he refused comment, saying 'I'm not interested in talking to you. Private property. Take off!'

This is the half-million-dollar Illinois home where Gorney was approached by DailyMail.com but  he refused comment, saying ‘I’m not interested in talking to you. Private property. Take off!’

In the video, Gorney fires one shot, and awakens the unsuspecting lion to meet its demise

In the video, Gorney fires one shot, and awakens the unsuspecting lion to meet its demise

The lion can be seen writhing in pain on the ground, after being awakened by the attack

The lion can be seen writhing in pain on the ground, after being awakened by the attack

The lion can be seen writhing in pain on the ground, after being awakened by the attack

'Beautiful,' the guide says, as the video shows a closeup of the lifeless animal's face

‘Beautiful,’ the guide says, as the video shows a closeup of the lifeless animal’s face

He has visited Africa several times to kill big game, once boasting that he has bagged all of the ‘big five’ animals that are said to be the most difficult to kill on foot — the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo. Of the five, the buffalo is the only one that is not endangered.

‘You can say, why’d you shoot a lion?’ he said during a 2015 interview with WBBM-FM, a radio station in Chicago.

‘I love zebra, so shooting a lion probably saves 70 zebra a year, give or take. There’s all these kinds of balances in nature.’

However, his Facebook page, which he has now taken down, contained a photo of a zebra’s head in his vehicle with the caption: ‘Now how did this get in my truck?

A picture of his ‘trophy room’ showed 17 stuffed animals and two zebra skins.

He admitted in the old interview that his hunting is mainly for the thrill of the kill. ‘I really like hunting elephants,’ he said. ‘They’re difficult to track down. They’re incredibly dangerous.

‘The first elephant I got, I walked over 120 miles tracking elephants before I actually caught up to him and found him.

Gorney said he had a hard time understanding why people could accept deer hunting in the United States but not big game hunting in Africa.

‘If you have a picture of somebody with a deer, nobody seems to care. But if it’s an elephant, it’s a big problem. If it’s a lion – especially now – it’s a huge problem. But to me, either way, I’ve stopped a beating heart.’

He did not address the question of deer normally being killed to be eaten while big game is usually just for the trophy, or the fact that most species of deer are not endangered.

Gorney even invoked the memory of former president Theodore Roosevelt during the interview. ‘When I killed that buffalo that had hurt somebody, the people that had benefited from the death of that animal cheered. Clapped.

‘The ‘why’ is just the – I call it the adventure of it. Same reason Teddy Roosevelt did it.’

Last year Gorney got up during an open mic night for authors at the Book and Bean Café in Joliet, Illinois, a few miles from his home, where he said he ‘travels’ a lot’ and writes journals.

He said once in Africa he had been asked to deal with a lion that had attacked livestock. ‘When they get like that, they are not killing to feed, they are just killing, so they are particularly dangerous.’

In a 2015 interview, Gorney addressed violent reactions to trophy hunting by pointing out he can defend himself. Gorney is pictured with a hippopotamus that he killed

In a 2015 interview, Gorney addressed violent reactions to trophy hunting by pointing out he can defend himself. Gorney is pictured with a hippopotamus that he killed

In the interview from 2015 with CBS, Gorney showed no remorse for his 'hunting' habit, which at that time included killing 70 big game animals, such as elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo. Gorney is pictured with a rhino that he killed

In the interview from 2015 with CBS, Gorney showed no remorse for his ‘hunting’ habit, which at that time included killing 70 big game animals, such as elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo. Gorney is pictured with a rhino that he killed

'The "why" is just the – I call it the adventure of it. Same reason Teddy Roosevelt did it,' Gorney said. 'I really like hunting elephants. They’re difficult to track down. They’re incredibly dangerous. The first elephant I got, I walked over 120 miles tracking elephants before I actually caught up to him and found him'

‘The “why” is just the – I call it the adventure of it. Same reason Teddy Roosevelt did it,’ Gorney said. ‘I really like hunting elephants. They’re difficult to track down. They’re incredibly dangerous. The first elephant I got, I walked over 120 miles tracking elephants before I actually caught up to him and found him’

The hunter also appears to enjoy searching for prey - including moose and bear - closer to home, in North America, as well as the African bush where he bagged a sleeping lion

The hunter also appears to enjoy searching for prey – including moose and bear – closer to home, in North America, as well as the African bush where he bagged a sleeping lion

He said he volunteered to help, ‘literally putting himself in harm’s way.’

As he sat in a tree waiting for the lion to attack an animal he was using as bait, he heard a noise behind him and furiously began to plan in his mind how he was going to kill the lion if it attacked.

But the story ended when the animal that approached turned out to be merely a porcupine. He did not say whether he killed it anyway.

Since the furor caused by the newly released video, Gorney has taken down his Facebook page which showed him with his kills, including one of him straddling a lion while wearing the same clothes he had on in the video.

That was in stark contrast to 2015 when he told WBBM’s Steve Miller he would not remove the page due to public anger. ‘I thought about taking it down, but I really have a problem changing my behavior over people that are just over the top,’ he said.

The video of Gorney killing the lion was posted on the British Twitter account @Protect_Wldlife — which has nearly 335,000 followers — on Monday. The administrator says: ‘I am an advocate for wildlife. I expose animal abuse and abusers wherever they are. I will NEVER stop fighting for better animal rights and welfare.’

The account which shared the video is an animal rights advocacy account, based in the United Kingdom, according to the information on the page, under username @Protect_Wldlife

The account which shared the video is an animal rights advocacy account, based in the United Kingdom, according to the information on the page, under username @Protect_Wldlife

Top golfer Ian Poulter expressed his outrage over the killing, asking how Gorney can sleep at night

Top golfer Ian Poulter expressed his outrage over the killing, asking how Gorney can sleep at night

Others suggested penalties for the actions of Gorney as shown in the video. 'In my book that should be 5 years in jail. Grotesque,' one user wrote

Others suggested penalties for the actions of Gorney as shown in the video. ‘In my book that should be 5 years in jail. Grotesque,’ one user wrote

'Even if it was awake, the Poor Animal Shouldn’t be Killed AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!! EVIL B*****D!!!!!!!!!! [various emojis],' wrote another user

‘Even if it was awake, the Poor Animal Shouldn’t be Killed AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!! EVIL B*****D!!!!!!!!!! [various emojis],’ wrote another user

Many expressed objection over trophy hunting, in general, regardless of whether the animal was asleep at the time of its killing

Many expressed objection over trophy hunting, in general, regardless of whether the animal was asleep at the time of its killing

Many Twitter users called out the ‘cowardice’ of attacking the wild animal at rest.

‘A sleeping lion, wow what a big man!’ wrote one user, alongside an angry, cursing emoji.

Many expressed their objection to trophy hunting in general, regardless of whether the animal was asleep at the time of its killing.

‘This is not hunting, or sport…it’s murder #stoptrophyhunting #Fightforyourworld.’ user @verdiKate wrote.

‘Even if it was awake, the Poor Animal Shouldn’t be Killed AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!! EVIL B*****D!!!!!!!!!! [various emojis],’ wrote another user.

Others suggested penalties for the actions of Gorney as shown in the video.

‘In my book that should be 5 years in jail. Grotesque,’ one user wrote.

Another still called for a punishment in kind, replying, ‘More like fed 2 a pride of lions & eaten alive.’

Trump’s cave to elephant and lion hunters

Editorial:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-elephants-africa-trump-trophy-20180307-story.html

“I watched him beating his bunch of grass against his knees, with that preoccupied grandmotherly air that elephants have. It seemed to me that it would be murder to shoot him. At that age I was not squeamish about killing animals, but I had never shot an elephant and never wanted to.”

— George Orwell, “Shooting an Elephant”

Well, some people do want to shoot elephants, for reasons that are all but impossible to fathom. Their meat doesn’t appeal to Western palates; they aren’t so abundant that their numbers must be reduced; and taking part in a guided hunt costs tens of thousands of dollars. But the Trump administration, after some delay, has sided with the shooters against the prey.

Elephants are unusually intelligent creatures with rich social lives and elaborate means of communication. They are also under unending siege. In the past three decades, the number in Africa has plummeted by two-thirds, leaving just 400,000. About 20,000 are killed each year for their tusks.

Some African governments allow them to be taken by trophy hunters. One of those sportsmen is Donald Trump Jr., who in 2012 was photographed holding the bloody tail of a slain elephant.

Under President Barack Obama, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tried to discourage this macabre pastime by outlawing imports of elephant trophies from specified countries. African elephants are listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act, and the law says their body parts may be brought in only if “the killing of the trophy animal will enhance the survival of the species.”

In Zambia and Zimbabwe, the agency was not convinced that the governments’ policies served the purpose of conserving elephants. So Americans who wanted to shoot an elephant so they could bring back its head to hang on the wall were out of luck.

Last year, the agency announced it would lift the ban. But the decision sparked furious criticism, even from some conservative commentators — and prompted President Donald Trump to block it temporarily.

The president tweeted that he would be “very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of Elephants or any other animal.”

Now, however, his administration has quietly given its sanction to the practice — not just for elephants but also for lions. Instead of forbidding trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe, the FWS said it would grant permits on a case-by-case basis, under criteria it has yet to state.

How Trump squares this step with his previous objections is hard to guess. The latest FWS move followed a ruling from a federal appeals court that the Obama administration failed to use required procedures in issuing its ban. But that verdict didn’t require abandoning the policy. The agency could have started over and followed the rules as spelled out by the court.

The biggest threat to these beasts is not legal trophy hunting but killing by poachers who want to harvest their tusks for the ivory trade. The good news is that progress has been made in suppressing that commerce. Last year, China said it would stop all sales of ivory, and Hong Kong moved to ban them all by 2021. The black-market price has dropped sharply since 2014, reflecting a decline in demand.

But legal trophy hunting doesn’t help, because it gives a sheen of legitimacy to the whole business of slaughtering elephants for their body parts. In January, Trump proudly said, “I didn’t want elephants killed and stuffed and have the tusks brought back.” It’s not too late for him to stop it.

‘Poacher hunting big cats’ mauled to death by lions in South Africa

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/poacher-hunting-big-cats-mauled-to-death-by-lions-in-south-africa-a3764096.html

Poacher: It is thought the man was hunting lions when they mauled him to death
Poacher: It is thought the man was hunting lions when they mauled him to death AFP/Getty Images

Police are investigating if a man killed and eaten by a pride of lions at a private game reserve in South Africa was a poacher who had been hunting big cats.

His screams for help raised the alarm but the lions quickly killed the man and devoured most of his body before being chased off.

The head was left untouched and is the only means available to police of identifying the man who was carrying no documents.

It comes just months after poacher Luteni Muhararukua was charged and killed by a rhino he was hunting for its horn in nearby Namibia.

At first police thought the dead man was a tractor driver who worked at the game reserve but when he turned up alive realised it may be a poacher.

Killed: The lions quickly ate the man, leaving just his head (EPA/Dai Kurokawa)

A hunting rifle was found close to what was left of the blood drenched body which police believe belonged to the victim of the lions.

Police in Limpopo have called in the Department of Home Affairs to help them to try to find out who the dead man is.

Police Lieutenant-Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said: “The person who who we first thought it was believed to be an employee who was driving a tractor.

“It was thought his tractor broke down and the lions got him as he walked back to the compound but he was found to be alive.

“The process of identifying this body has already commenced and it might be made easier as his head was amongst the remains found at the scene”.

Mr Ngoepe confirmed police were investigating the possibility the deceased might have been a poacher after a hunting rifle was found near the scene.

Lions kill up to 250 people a year in Africa and a male weighs 190kg and a female 130kg and they can ran at over 80kph and there are less than 20000 left in the wild in Africa.

Their bones are worth a small fortune in the Far East with a skeleton fetching up to £7000 and the skin £3000  teeth can fetch £500 each.

Their bones have become highly prized in the the Far East as tiger bones are becoming rarer and rear with their threat of extinction.

The lions attacked the suspected poacher at the Ingwelala Private Nature Reserve in Hoedspruit outside Phalaborwa.

The owner of the reserve, who identified himself as Josh, said he was told not to speak to the media because the police investigation was still under way.

A local worker, who works at a nearby nature reserve, described the area as lion territory and added:”The head was still there but the lions had eaten most of the rest.

“A scream was heard and the lions were scattered by the sound of gunshots but it was too late to do anything for him. He was eaten”.

Big Game Hunter Gets Shot Dead While In Africa Hunting Lions

 http://www.ladbible.com/news/animals-big-game-hunter-gets-shot-dead-while-in-africa-hunting-lions-20180129

A Croatian trophy hunter who’d hunted ‘everything that could be hunted in Europe’ has been shot dead in a freak accident while taking part in a South African hunting expedition.

Pero Jelinic, a 75-year-old hotelier from the Croatian island of Pag, had already killed one lion and was about to shoot another when he was struck and killed by a stray bullet on a remote farm this past Saturday.

Jelinic’s friend Slavko Pernar said Jelinic was a ‘passionate’ hunter who travelled to Africa to land a lion trophy after he found himself seeking a new challenge, the Daily Mail reported.

Credit: Facebook/Pero Jelinic
Credit: Facebook/Pero Jelinic

It is not yet clear who was responsible for firing the shot that killed Jelinic, police said.

Jelinic was shot while he was in the North West province of South Africa, having travelled there with two friends to hunt big cats ‘to complete his extensive trophy collection’.

According to Pernar, a close friend of Jelinic’s and a fellow hunter, Jelinic was particularly keen on claiming the head of a lion ‘to crown his rich hunting career’. For the past year he had even leased his hotel out so he could commit fully to his ambition and enjoy his retirement.

“Pero was a passionate hunter of big and small game, and in search of that he travelled most of the world,” Pernar told Croatia’s Jutarnji List newspaper.

“For the past year he had leased his hotel to dedicated himself to the things he planned to accomplish and enjoyed a deserved retirement.

“He, unfortunately, received the ugliest end – he died in South Africa doing what he loved. His office, a hunting hall, was full of trophies, deer and bear specimens and everything that could be hunted in Croatia and Europe.”

Jelinic was killed at Leeubosch Lodge, a property a four-hour drive from Johannesburg and 40 miles from the border with neighbouring country Botswana.

The property is known for keeping lions in captivity for the sole purpose of their being hunted – a controversial industry known as ‘canned’ lion-hunting.

The owner of Leeubosch Lodge, Dr Gideon Engelbrecht, told News24 that he was not at the farm when Jelinic was shot dead.

‘I was at my surgery when I received the call. I arranged for a helicopter to take the man to hospital, but that’s all I am going to give you at this stage, because the case is still under investigation,’ he said.

South Africa’s ‘canned’ lion-hunting industry, which legally breeds lions in captivity to be killed by hunters, is known for being a lucrative business which is also highly controversial among animal lovers and hunters alike.

Lions at Lion Park in Johannesburg, South Africa. Credit: PA
Lions at Lion Park in Johannesburg, South Africa. Credit: PA

Hunts in this industry keep lions in a confined space using fences, giving them a zero chance of escape and giving the hunter the best possible chance of claiming his trophy.

In November 2015, the Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA) voted to disassociate itself from canned lion hunting in the country and banned its members from taking part in such expeditions, calling them ‘vanity hunting’.

However, PHASA reversed the ruling last year, a decision which received severe criticism from animal rights groups across the globe.

Police have confirmed that they have opened a case of culpable homicide into Jelinic’s death. They are also investigating charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

However, they ‘do not suspect any foul play’ in the shooting and investigations into the death are ongoing.

Featured Image Credit: PA