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Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Why is it that we can't appreciate God's beautiful creatures when they are alive. Who gets enjoyment of seeing a drab, moth eaten skin on a room wall. It is lack lustre and dull. Any person can shoot an animal using a telescopic sight and a high powered weapon. Let's see how brave these people are if they faced a lion or leopard without a weapon. They would be easy meat. Our wildlife is beautiful and we as individuals have no right to destroy it. A leopard climbing a tree with it's fur glistening in the sunshine, with muscles rippling is a creature of awe and magnificence. If you want to shoot something do it with a camera. Leave it to live in peace as God would have wished for everyone including our children and grand children to enjoy. Rory

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A study conducted by Loveridge and co-authors in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, that is surrounded by hunting blocks, probably gives the best indication to date of the consequences of trophy hunting on lion populations. Between 1999 and 2004, a total of 38 lions within the Park were tagged either with radiocollars or with ear tags, and 24 of those were shot by trophy hunters – baits were used to lure lions out of the protected area and into the hunting concessions. That offtake of 24 lions represented 72% of the adult territorial males tagged within the Park and 60% of the tagged subadult males. Two consequences became immediately apparent: the proportion of adult males/females declined from 1:2.8 to 1:6.3, and the rapid turnover of males resulted in increased infanticide. In terms of male turnover, two lion prides saw a change of males four times during the five years of the study as previous male coalitions were successively removed by hunters. A total of 19 cubs were lost most likely lost due to infanticide (directly observed on five occasions) from four prides. And at times, males removed from a pride were not replaced for considerable periods of time – in one instance no “replacement” males appeared for 16 months. - See more at: http://www.lionaid.org/news/2010/11/the-effects-of-lion-trophy-hunting-on-lion-populations.htm#sthash.0yUVWh3F.dpuf

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I feel that Cecil has become the mascot carrying the banner for our wildlife and illegal hunting. I am not capable of suffering for every horrible situation that I am bombarded with daily.  The migrants' struggle that dominates the news is hard for me to appreciate. It took the picture of a one year old little girl to give me a vision of what these people are going through. She became the mascot in my limited capacity of sympathy and understanding.  I feel no guilt that I adopted Cecil as a token of the holistic wrong of illegal hunting, the suffering of every desperate animal on the SPCA site, the Zimbabwean elephants in China. There is need for so much more than collective sympathy but only so much that can be done by one person.  Cecil has mobilised huge interest and resources. The Judge in Hwange may think twice about a light sentence now. I bet you those guys have done exactly this before and had every intention of carrying on. If Cecil flies the flag of illegal hunting in ZImbabwe for how ever long it lasts then we are better off for having known Cecil. Cecil made a difference and has drawn awareness, the definition of a useful life. The dreaded dentist and Bronkhorst have been directly effected by all of this and without Cecil it would be business as usual. Belinda
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I think Hannes' article on Cecil the Lion is excellent. It is so automatic to think only with one's heart and not one's head. Yet we must not be too harsh on those who have had this emotional outcry, as they have not been educated into the very complex subject of wildlife conservation, and hopefully this article will in some way explain the situation.  It would really be a good idea, I think, if readers forwarded it on to their contacts all over the world, (as I intend to do) and hopefully they will understand the logic of it and not stupidly dismiss it "as an excuse for hunting". We who love all animals so dearly and grieve over the death of each and every one of them have had to accept the hard fact that at times controlled hunting and culling have to take place for the benefit and survival of the rest of the animals.  That is not to say that those legitimate hunters  disobeying the rules and baiting and luring animals out of a Protected Area for hunting should not be severely penalised.  Let the world now learn about the need to protect our animals who die in their thousands at the hands of poachers, in spite of brave and dedicated anti-poaching teams who risk their lives against the often sophisticated weaponry of the poachers; and the corruption and bribery involved at top levels in African countries.  CB

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Good to hear from my erstwhile colleague, Hannes, in Mutare.

 

His points are very telling yet I need to underscore the dodgy point Bronkhorst made on Sky News  that "... if there was no controlled hunting there would be no lions left in the country ! "

... , by quoting from " Great Days " [written by Frank Johnson when his pioneer column finally arrived at Mt.Hampden on the 11th Sept 1890] :

 

         " It was past sunset when we finally pitched camp. In the light which was still dim, I made out the form of a black-maned lion which made off in a gorged condition having taken my valuable horse Domcrag...so I got in one lucky shot  as a souvenir of the last day of the Great Trek " .

 

There were no horses, mules or oxen in the country until the white man rode them in, so they were  "easy meat " for the countless lion and leopards every step of their way  - even Courtney Selous could not shoot enough of them to protect the column's transport.  Jeremy Lewis

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Bottom line-this all happened because of too much money. The dentist has so much that he could pay the legal fee plus pay the guides (Bronkhurst and co) extra in order to kill the biggest and best lion, no matter how much it cost him, and no matter in what cruel way. He got what he wanted-Cecil-the biggest and best. I hope the 3 people involved in this killing, go bankrupt. That way they will be out of hunting for good.

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Very well said, and absolutely accurate.  We need controlled hunting, and as he says there are thousands of animals killed each day by poachers etc.  I just hope the killing of Cecil won’t spoil it for those who genuinely are doing something to preserve the precious wildlife.

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