Govt urged to ban trophy hunting

via Govt urged to ban trophy hunting – The Zimbabwean 30 July 2015

The chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF), Johnny Rodrigues, has urged government to ban trophy hunting so as to protect endangered species.

The call comes in the wake of the recent killing of a prized lion, Cecil, in the Hwange game reserve.

An American dentist, Walter Palmer, allegedly killed the collared animal using a bow and arrow, subsequently tracking Cecil for some 40 hours before finishing him off with a hunting gun bullet.

Two men have already appeared in court facing poaching charges but Palmer, from Minnesota in the US, is reportedly in hiding.

He has issued a statement apologising for the killing of 13 year-old Cecil, a favourite with tourists, but insists he did nothing wrong as he had a hunting permit and was not aware that the celebrated cat was collared.

“What happened to Cecil clearly lends weight to the call for the banning of trophy hunting. Government must act fast on this otherwise all endangered wildlife and prized animals will become extinct,” Rodrigues told The Zimbabwean.

“We run the danger of all lions being dead by 2050. In southern Africa, only 22,000 lions are left, from some 80,000 several years ago. This goes to show how fast lions are being decimated,” the animal rights leader said.

Rodrigues dismissed the widely held notion that treasure hunting benefited local communities.

“It is a myth. Only landowners and the hunters are the ones that reap rewards and hardly anything goes to local communities. Trophy hunting is therefore elitist yet animals like Cecil are crucial in attracting tourists if they are protected,” he added.

The killing of Cecil has attracted an international outcry, with American citizens besieging Palmer’s surgery in the US in protest while bloggers have been calling for a harsh sentence against him if arrested and tried.

Palmer is said to have paid local hunters some $50,000 for Cecil, which was beheaded and skinned when it died. The killing of the big cat has also exposed government laxity in protecting treasured animals.

Cecil was the subject of a long-drawn research at Oxford University and Rodrigues described him as “invaluable”. “There will be no other animal to replace him. The loss is too huge,” he said about the distinctly maned lion.

Cecil was spotted around 2009 while drinking at a watering hole called Magisihole Pan on the southern boundary of Hwange game park and was widely considered friendly.


  • comment-avatar
    Mpisi 7 years ago

    Wildlife must pay its way in Africa or there will be no wildlife. The best way is through well managed quota hunting which contributes to local communities (CAMPFIRE). Africa does not have the same perception of wild animals as Europe. You gotta go out of the box.

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    Well said Mpisi, you are 100% correct. It is unfortunate that this killing of Cecil has been totally blown out of perspective, and the animal rights movements are using it to try to prove a point and unfortunately Johnny Rodrigues is jumping on the bandwagon with his unfortunate hunter bashing because of one incident everyone is in the wrong and the whole industry must close down! How childish and idiotic can you get!
    By the way how could they have known the lion they were hunting was collared?
    How did they know this lions name was Cecil?
    Was the lion ‘Cecil’ in the national park or on private land?
    What would have happened if another untagged unnamed lion got taken? Nothing….it would all have been fine.
    All the people including Rodrigues who are making such a ridiculous fuss of this thing are the same callous fools that hailed the death of PH Ian Gibson.
    We need to remember that the hunting fraternity are 90% of wild life conservation, and animal rights nuts use all their money to pay people to stop the hunting and about 10% to wildlife. If we all stopped this ridiculous war and worked together in the ‘management’of wildlife we would get somewhere and so would the wildlife.

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    Old Man River 7 years ago

    Complete nonsense, from a source renowned for getting its facts wrong.

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    Simbi 7 years ago

    I think the hunter is wrong, if you are shooting with a bow you will be close enough to see the collar but he is just thinking of money he should go to jail for life and the land owner and the dentist

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      Have you had a look at the photos of the lion? I have not seen one where the collar is visible in the long mane. I will bet if the hunter had seen the collar he would not have shot the cat.I take it you work for nothing too like all of us and do not need money? Come on man how do you crucify a man for this when it probably was a genuine mistake?

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    Sibiya 7 years ago

    There is no law that says a colared lion can not be shot. After shooting you are required to surrender the colar to the Reseachers. Can anyone quote the section which says a colared animal can not be hunted.

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      Good one Sibiya, you are right, and I heard today that about half the lions shot in Zim every year are collared, and no problem.
      And by the way this “BELOVED CECIL” which is the pride and joy of Zimbabwe….I bet that 99.99999% of people did not even have a clue about him, including me, and I believe the lodges in Hwange Park would feed him and others on bait to show their clients. He did not have to kill anything and so no wonder he took the hunters bait.

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    All of you are missing the point and fixating on the collar, the real issue here is hunters baiting lions out of a national park to shoot them!! Also take the emotions out of the subject and look at economics, Cecil brought in 100k in tourism per year vs. 50k to shoot him!

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    Instead of banning trophy hunters who pay big bucks (pun) why not ban poaching SEE if that works !!! If the hunt was legal it wouldn’t matter if it was “puss in boots” that was hunted!!!