Mildura Weekly : Friday August 21 Vol 9 No 41
20 NEWS MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, AUGUST 21, 2015 Hunting is a way of life in Africa • From Page 19 “This is done primarily through flagship parks such as Kruger, which now has more than a million visitors a year. The money that used to go to Parks is being diverted to oth- er schemes, aimed at courting the black vote. “Of course some of the funding for places like Kruger comes from the sale of meat and animal products from culling programs, because South Africa is so heavily de- veloped and populated that there is nowhere for the wild- life to spread to from fenced game reserves. “Kruger is fully fenced, even though it is vast, so that means when elephant or im- pala numbers are too high they have an organised cull, and the dead animals are pro- cessed for the meat and skin trade. This will be the next tar- get if the ultra-greens get their way. “Of course this is by no means as ‘fair’ as a hunter stalking an animal, with no guarantee of success, because when you cull you have to take out entire herds in a form of total eradication. This ap- plies to elephants as well, because if you cull just a few elephants from a herd, the trauma affects the remaining beasts, making them danger- ous to humans and other el- ephant herds alike. “The cull often includes day-old, month-old or ‘ju- nior’ elephants...and females, so long as the entire herd is removed. To many this might seem harsh, but it means that southern Africa has the last remaining large herds of el- ephant on the planet, and the environment as a whole is be- ing protected. “In South Africa about 13 percent of the total land mass is protected by National Parks and Reserves, equating to around 25 million hectares of land. This might seem im- pressive, but it pales in comparison to the 48 million hectares of private land that is dedicated to game breeding, hunting and private lodges. “Take away the value of the wildlife, and you take away the animals. Many of the farms that house these animals were originally cat- tle, sheep and crop- ping farms, but over the past 50 years, as the hunting industry has become more or- ganised, and the for- eign and local hunt- ers more affluent, these private animal reserves have flour- ished. “Take away hunting and farming for wild meat and you remove the need to protect the animals, and the farming practices will revert to the old standards, but only until the vegans and ultra-greens ban the consumption of any type of meat world-wide.” John said the main issue surrounding the death of ‘Ce- cil’ had nothing to do with the animal being hunted by a dentist from America. “It is, and should only be, about the fact that it was done il- legally,” he said. “Even the basket case of a nation that is Zimbabwe has stringent laws in place that work to conserve wildlife, and one of these pil- lars is the use of recreational trophy hunting. The income generated from such hunting far outstrips a million camera clickers who pay a fraction of the cost of a hunt to experi- ence the wildlife. “What has happened in the case of ‘Cecil’ is that the unscrupulous black African who says he owns the land he was hunting on has broken the law. When I say ‘he says’ he owns the land, we are talk- ing about land that was stolen from the original white farm- er by Robert Mugabe and his thugs over the past 15 years. “It’s not the first time such a killing has happened...it is done regularly with leopards, but they don’t have the same ‘star’ attraction, and don’t at- tract the same publicity.” John has heard that the ‘land owner’ is being pros- ecuted in Zimbabwe, along with the white hunter (“who I have never heard of”), and there is every chance he is a ‘ring in’ from South Africa anyway. “Basically what I am say- ing is that in our fat, tidy, politically-correct First World we sit back at cafes and join animal activist groups to ban this or that, all based on pure emotion, without any thought going into the pro- cess,” John said. “It is really very simple. On a continent that has the poorest per capita population on the planet, with an out-of- control birth rate, that is still primarily tribal and unscru- pulous, if the animals have no value they are gone. “Camera tourism is not enough, unless everyone is willing to pay way, way more so that the wildlife produces a return that the black man living in his mud hut can not only see, but get a slice of as well. “Looking at some of the crap that is coming from world media about the death of one lion has really made my blood boil, because it has received far more input from the media and interested people than when Mugabe ruined his nation by stealing the land from his people, and giving it to his cronies. “It has made more news than when Mugabe sent his Army into Matabeland in to slaugh- ter his own people until they toed the line (around 25,000 killed at that time). Hyper- inflation under Mugabe in the mid-2000s meant there was no food to be bought, and people were starving, but that never attracted the condem- nation that the death of one lion has created. “And what hasn’t been made public is the fact that lions in the wild are lucky to reach eight to 10 years of age before being killed or starving to death, so at 13 ‘Cecil’ was well past his ‘use-by date,’ and his very good genes have al- ready been deposited into the lion gene pool of Hwange. “It is also amazing how the story about hunters is usu- ally about the big brave men who take out high-powered rifles to kill poor defenceless animals who have no chance, because of the weapon and scopes that are used, but you cannot win with the ultra- animal rightists, because this one was killed with a bow and arrow. “Many considered this to be barbaric, because ‘Cecil’ took 40 hours to die! Well that’s what happens when you try to please everyone, and how do you think the very people these activists prob- ably support through World Vision and Oxfam go about hunting and poaching. ...they use AK 47s!” “In relation to ‘Cecil,’ I find it hard to believe that as a safari operator who uses the Hwange area regularly, I have never heard of this so-called famous lion.” John’s last contact with the Mildura Weekly indicated he was due for another sa- fari into Hwange, in the area where ‘Cecil’ was hunted and where he has many excellent wildlife guide and tourism contacts, and would try to get more information on the ‘Ce- cil’ saga. “Looking at some of the crap that is coming from world media about the death of one lion has really made my blood boil...” – John Cooper At the local Mildura Phonebook, we pride ourselves on providing a great product, with very competitive prices, along with prompt & friendly customer service. 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Friday August 14 Vol 9 No 40
Friday August 28 Vol 9 No 42