“The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.”
“Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to living creatures cannot be a good man.”
German philosopher (1788 – 1860)
Cecil the Lion’s death has brought the world more awareness to the animal hunt game and people around the world got very emotional about it, and protesters have been really loud about it after the death of Cecil, the lion. But seems like in Africa, this “game” is a very expensive, lucrative and legal business.
People have been killing animals and hanging their heads on their walls or having them as a trophy and souvenirs for years. We’ve seen it in movies and even cartoons.
Trophy hunting is legal in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania, Botswana and Zambia, and it is a money making source in their economies. Trophy hunting has been practiced in Africa and is still a practiced conservation policy in many African countries and revenue generated by hunting tourism in seven SADC (Southern African Development Community) countries in 2008 is approximately US$190million.
According to the African Wildlife Conservation Fund, several characteristics of trophy hunting enable the industry to play a key role in conservation. Offtake rates are typically only 2–5% of male populations, so trophy hunting is sustainable and low risk if well managed. Trophy hunting can play a role in endangered species conservation and in the rehabilitation of wildlife areas, permitting income generation without jeopardizing wildlife population growth . For example, hunting revenues played a key role in the recovery of white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) populations in South Africa (Leader-Williams & Hutton 2005) and are facilitating the rehabilitation of the Coutada hunting areas in Mozambique.
Trophy hunting generates more income per client than tourism (Baker 1997) and has potentially lower environmental impact through disturbance, fossil fuel use, and habitat conversion. Hunting operations do not rely on the costly infrastructure required for ecotourism and can generate revenues where ecotourism may not be viable, such as remote areas (e.g., northern Mozambique), degraded areas with low wildlife densities (e.g., ranches during early stages of game ranching), areas where people and livestock are present (e.g., Zambian game management areas), and in politically unstable areas (e.g., Central African Republic). Trophy hunting thus creates economic justification for wildlife as a land use in areas that might otherwise be used for livestock or agriculture. Hunting revenues are generated across a diversity of land tenures, including state, private, and communal land. For example, in Tanzania trophy hunting generates 92% of revenues for the 48,000 km2 Selous Game Reserve. In southern Africa revenues from trophy hunting were largely responsible for the development of the game-ranching industry. On communal land trophy hunting creates 90–95% of campfire revenues in Zimbabwe, and has provided incentives for the creation of approximately 70,000 km2 of community conservancies in Namibia.
The North American dentist Palmer is being accused of luring a favorite lion, Cecil, from the Zimbabwean national park outside of the Hwange National Park. “Walter James Palmer shot Cecil with a bow and arrow but this shot didn’t kill him. They tracked him down and found him 40 hours later when they shot him with a gun. They found that he was fitted with a GPS collar because he was being studied by the Hwange Lion Research, funded by Oxford University so they tried to destroy the collar but failed because it was found.”
The ZCTF – Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force states that “Cecil, who was known all over the world would have earned millions of dollars just from sightseeing. There was apparently no quota or licence for a lion to be killed in this area.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the biggest threats to lions are habitat loss, loss of available prey and retaliation from humans for killing livestock. They were considering a petition from several animal rights groups to place the African lion on the list of endangered species. By law, species are to be placed on that list only when the Fish and Wildlife Service determines that they are currently “in danger of extinction.” In an attempt to garner support for the petition, a proponent claimed recently that the lion is “in danger of disappearing in our lifetimes.” According to this National Geographic article.
But now the question is: Are people truly concerned for the well being of wild life and animal’s rights? Are these killings really helping to preserve wild life, or is this just another way that wealthy people get to spend their money to have fun?