Right off the bat, I want to say that I have no interest in hunting big cats. I’ve never done it, and I assume I never will. What I am interested in is the conservation of habitat and animals, and the management techniques that protect both of them.
We had that whole Cecil debacle in July of 2015. Vocal and psychotic anti-hunters caused such a stir they actually accomplished their goal; a bunch of hunters decided not to hunt cats in Zimbabwe. I’m sure many folks were very pleased with their results. And with their “victory” they created a new problem.
What happpens if a habitat can carry 300 lions and all the animals they need to kill, but you have 500 lions living there? If you don’t let trophy hunters pay to hunt them, you have to pay professional hunters to kill them. That’s right, for Zimbabwe they lost somewhere near ten million dollars of revenue and then they have to start paying people to go kill the same lions that were “saved” by the anti-hunters.
Just in case you think I’m too much of a pro-hunter to be objective, why not read up on the subject over on Nat Geo? There is plenty more information if you would like to conduct your own searches. I particularity enjoyed a piece from PETA suggesting that if we just stop hunting it will sort itself out. Look at all the countries in Africa that stopped hunting and they are the poorest of the lot with rampant poaching. Those are the countries leading the way towards extinction of species and destruction of habitat.
I very much look forward to seeing the management practices of South African land owners next summer and learning about how they establish their quotas when mixed herds live in a habitat with a certain potential to grow food.