Now here is a topic I have been prolonging for way too long. It is time to shed some light on a topic that has caused massive amounts of threats and hatred towards hunters that have visited South Africa to hunt any species of animals.
First off, the largest wildlife reserve in South Africa is the Kruger National Park, located to the Northeast of Johannesburg next to the Limpopo province and boarders the country of Mozambique. This is the richest game reserve in the country. Hundreds of thousands of animals call this place home. It is also one of the best destinations for hunters to travel too if they wish to hunt the Dangerous 6. The dangerous 6 is all of the big 5 animals plus hippo, which cause more deaths in Africa than any other animal.
Now many anti-hunting and animal rights organizations have gotten in an uproar over pictures of hunters harvesting lion and leopard in particular, next animals that I have noticed caused such an uproar are elephants, giraffe and zebra. But how are these animals fairing in South Africa?
Well first off. NONE AND with the exception of specific Rhino’s ARE ENDANGERED. THIS IS A FALSE STATEMENT AND TO MAKE SUCH A STATEMENT IS YOU REFUSING TO DO YOUR RESEARCH ON THE TOPIC.
In South Africa animals are identified in schedules. Now this info is taken DIRECTLY out of South African Environmental Management Act. (There’s no schedule 1)
Schedule 2 animals are listed as Specially Protected Wild Animals, which means the government gives out a extremely small amount of hunting permits per year to hunt these animals. On this list which have cause debates are Elephants, and the Black and White Rhino.
Schedule 3 animals are Protected wild Animals. It is just as difficult to get permits for these animals for hunters, but more common to obtain depending on how many the wildlife agency has determined may be released. Animals listed here which have caused debate are Lion, leopard, hippo, and giraffe.
Now the government and the South African environmental agency each year sit down and determine how many permits can be purchased for each species of animals listed under these schedules. For example 50 leopards may be hunted in the country for the year 2015. This is the case for every animal. Minus schedule 4 animals which are labeled as Wild Game. These animals can be hunted without the government regulating how many can be hunted on private ranches or wildlife reserves.
Now I have noticed a rant with the uneducated. This rant is titled. “Canned Hunts” people have this illusion that when a hunter goes into a safari that they are hunting them in an acre of land. This is absolutely absurd. One property in which we visited while I was there was 200 acres large, but was completely open to the country of Botswana, meaning lion, leopard, hippo, elephant could come and go as they please. And lets be honest, do you think a fence could stop a elephant or hippo if it wanted to get through? Think about that.
Also this includes the cats. They are cats, which means they are incredible jumpers. Leopards come and go as they please in South African ranches and safaris. I noticed this as one evening we passed the fence which had freshly been wiped clean by the rain, the next morning a leopards prints were freshly imprinted in the dirt. He or she, hopped the fence without the assistance of a tree.
One other thing I have heard was that those who hunt elephants do it strictly for the ivory, and that it is the same case for Rhino. Well in many places in the country you cannot kill a Rhino. Green hunts are offered where they are darted with a tranquilizer and patched up if injured and research is done by a group of biologist, it is then given a antidote and in less than 5 minutes it is on its way like nothing happened.
But on the topic of ivory.
You may hunt an elephant but it is against the law to export the ivory. The Convention for the International Trade of Endangered Species or (CITES) a international group of bureaucrats that regulate as a whole what may or may not be exported out of the country by hunters. Elephants may not be exported unless for educational or research purposes. Cites also gives out lets say 15 permits for leopard a year to safaris so that if a hunter gets to hunt a leopard on this persons land they may export it as a trophy.
Cites goes for all animals with the exception of those listed in the wild game schedule 4.
Now how could someone just kill and elephant that they paid upwards to $30,000 for? Why not?
The money not only goes to the safari as it would any business here, but the taxes that the safari pays to the government that goes back into the economy is vast every year.
Plus I do not hear you anti-hunting animal rights freaks freaking out when Kruger National Park held there annual culling of Elephants. Yes every year the park rangers and trackers would go out and kill elephants in massive numbers to control them to make sure they did not destroy the local ecosystem, which has begun to happen since the culling’s ended. A government sanctioned event which then distributed meat to the local communities at a cheap and affordable price ended because greenie organizations have their influence in politics.
Wildlife numbers in South Africa continue to grow, some species at a slower rate, and others at a fast and dangerous rate. Lions have prospered in South Africa, regardless of how many that are hunted a year, there are still thousands in the country thriving. Leopards have grown 150% in the last 10 years. Meanwhile, countries such as Botswana, Kenya are seeing numbers drop in there wildlife because government is not regulating is as much as they would if hunting was sanctioned. Most of Kenyan wildlife has dropped over 50% this information I obtained from a Kenyan Biologist who released an article about how hunting should be allowed. (link below)
Hunting is a tradition, not only here in North America. But worldwide. To have an abrupt end to hunting would mean the certain death to several hundred species worldwide. This undoubtedly has a ripple affect. Hunters worldwide need to stand strong with one another regardless for the purpose of why you do it.
My blue wildebeest, two impala, warthog, and jackal fed not only everybody working for the safari in which I was staying. But fed several dozen of locals people. That is just from me, with all the animals from my group we fed a vast amount of the families there with enough meat to last them a minimum of 2 months.
I will always take the time to answer any question people may have on this topic. I am a certified South African Professional Hunter. All my information on topics presented were from wildlife park officers, the Environmental Management Act, biologists and statements of my own opinion on certain rants.
Has this blog been informative? Please leave a comment on what you have learned that you did not know before reading.