I'm not sure what the sad reality is. The poaching part is sad, for sure but the authorities granting hunting permits may well be based in good science and economy. Around here, poachers kill thousands of Whitetail deer. The government sells licenses to hunters to kill tens of thousands more and though the population is now on the decline many, many more are culled (due to chronic wasting disease). The story sounds dire but it isn't. In the case of whitetails, Alberta has more than enough for a healthy stable population. In the case of Rhino in South Africa, I don't know what the story is and the cue cards of an anti-hunter in a YouTube video hasn't educated me.
I'm sure somebody here will take me to school shortly though.
I would be hoping that the 120,000 would be used to save hundreds more by using that money to buy more bullets and rifles to shoot the poachers on sight, employ more people to enforce the anti-poaching laws and to find more ways to stop the senseless slaughter of these and many other animals... one rhino to save many more..why don't we run an auction to hunt the poachers...hell, I'd be in on that..
1. The rhino population is in RAPID decline, and nowhere is the population large enough or stable enough to justify hunting permits. There is no science behind this that can be argued for either culling of, or the legal hunt of, rhino. The terrain, diminishing range, the gestation period and Asian/Arab the demand for rhino horns are all factors which have caused this dire problem. In no way, can the rhino's case be compared to the white tail deer, who breed prolifically, have relatively few predators, and have a short gestation.
I think that them are fighting words when you refer to this guy as an anti-hunter. How do you know? All we know is that he is an anti Rhino hunter. just like i am pro-hunting, but definitely anti-rhino-hunting, and lion hunting and leopard hunting, for various reasons. By suggesting he is anti-hunting means half of the population gets to dismiss him.
2. The other issue is this -Africa is a poor continent. South Africa, the wealthiest nation in Africa, is still a poor country. With 25-30% unemployment, rampant crime etc, precious resources are being spent on other things. Currently, South African National parks Board (SANPARK) rangers are on strike for higher wages. this means there is noone patrolling the Kruger National Park, the largest National Park we have. How can you tell an unemployed, possibly sick father of 4,5,6, that the rhino needs to be saved when he has no food for his kids. It is an extremely harsh reality. Several years ago, a prominent African President, said "Africa's wildlife needs to pay for itself". This was heavily criticized, but within the African context it makes sense. You can only protect that which you can afford and justify to protect. So, while there is no scientific basis for the auction permit, there is indeed an economic one. Without knowing the story of the hunting license and the auction, I certainly hope that that money will be used to train 10 rangers and keep them clothed, fed and trained. But quite frankly, i'd rather they offer up an elephant to hunt, than a rhino. We have elephants to spare. I don't think anyone is asking, "why issue hunting permits?" They're asking, "Why issue Rhino-hunting permits?"
And hopefully, my native South Africa will instill a "shoot-to-kill" policy on poachers, like Kenya has. Just last month, when i was in South Africa, there was a firefight between poachers and rangers. Several poachers were killed and 1 ranger injured. But they are outnumbered and outgunned, with AK47's easily accessible from Mozambique's extended civil war.
In closing, I hope the intention behind the license sale was as a fundraiser for further conservation efforts, where wildlife has to pay its own way. I hope the guy who bid $120k rots in hell.
And if you're interested, I'm a born and raised 6th generation Southern African. I am also a qualified safari guide and spent 8 yrs guiding all over Southern Africa. thanks for being prepared to learn, and asking questions.
Now now, don't go blaming AK47's for the firefights and war...they are poached/hunted enough here in the States!
Just kidding! Exiting thread now...
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