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About cannedlion

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    Born in Africa

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    Animal Advocacy, wildlife rehab
  1. Interesting article Matt, and John is certainly an interesting subject. I have also spent time with him and his Rhinos, and have huge respect for what he has achieved. I agree with you that he is not in it for the money and that Rhino are his passion. But John is not typical of other Rhino farmers in SA who are most certainly in to Rhino farming for the money. Nor does his Rhino breeding farm bear on the question of whether the trade in Rhino horn should be legalised. Look at CITES Decision 14.69 which prohibits the breeding of Tigers for trade - for very good reasons. Why should those reasons not apply to breeding Rhino for trade? because the experience of Tigers, Lions and Elephants demonstrate clearly that legal trade becomes a stimulus for the illegal trade. Nor does increasing the numbers of Rhinos being farmed in captivity answer more fundamental questions about why the wild habitat is not adequately protected, and what is the point of building up vast numbers of captive animals when the wilderness areas are so toxic they cannot support releasing those animals. (Edited to remove location, Matt)
  2. Some interesting posts about the bushmeat trade, but to get back to trophy hunting, I do not see any conservation value in SA game farms. Chopping land up into little pieces, fencing them off and then stocking them with a few selected huntable species is IMHO a ghastly parody of conservation. We need a new land use paradigm. I would if I were King ban all hunting, buy up and consolidate all game farms, and tear down all the fences. I would use the new land to expand existing wilderness areas, and connect currently fragmented reserves to restart the game migrations. I would refrain from delegating responsibility for wildlife preservation to the private sector. Real conservation is 'the preservation of natural functioning eco-systems.' Trophy and Sport hunting are a major threat to that definition. Government incompetence and corruption is another. Both of them hollow out eco-systems, and unfortunately, the one feeds off the other.
  3. Here is a good read on the trophy hunting debate. First, a piece by Dr John Hanks on why hunting is a tool of conservation. Then, a response by Ian Michler pointing out the flaws in Hank's arguments. For my part, I think Michler's points are far more convincing.
  4. Dikdik to respond to your points: Lion numbers I have are: About 8000 in captivity; 2743 'wild' lions in reserves (DEA figures) and about a thousand lions hunted every year in SA (Prof Potgieter) The mantra that every captive lion shot is a wild lion saved is just rubbish. Wild lion hunts are controlled via scientific input and CITES tags are only issued for a pre-determined offtake limit. That limit has nothing whatever to do with captive lion hunts. Lion farming is distinct from conservation. Cub petting is a curse. It is so lucrative that even facilities who want to avoid it, or stop doing it, are unable to do so.
  5. OK guys some interesting comment. Thanks. Matt there is no legal definition of canned hunting in SA - in fact, lions are not even listed in the TOPS regulations. (they will be when a new amendment is promulgated) So here is my definition: a canned hunt is any hunt where the target animal is unfairly prevented from escaping the hunter, either by physical restraints (fencing) or by mental constraints.(hand reared, habituated to humans) Interestingly, we have Professor Potgieter admitting on camera that all lion hunts in SA are canned, but both his org (SA Predator Breeders Assoc) and PHASA have issued Press Releases that Melissa Bachman's lion kill was not a canned hunt. (I suppose she walked a little way from the vehicle; that is what they mean.)
  7. Lovely photos and fascinating viewing. Thanks for posting.
  8. For those who prefer the less travelled path, I'd suggest you take the gravel road from Kuruman to Kgalagadi, via Van Zyl's Rus and Askham. You can get fuel at both places. And Red Sands Lodge on the Sishen side of Kuruman, is a good place to stay. If you do, give my regards to our old friend Big Jake Kaufman, who owns and runs the place.
  9. Gripping stuff. Separately I'll post a short video showing the rarest of our wildcats, the Black-footed cat. I can't see a way to insert the Video in to this reply.
  10. Hi guys Here is a relevant post taken from a similar thread in Africa Geographic by respected conservationists Beverly and Dereck Joubert: Botswana September 24, 11:39 pm TJ and some others comment on the conservation value of hunting and it would be wrong to demonise the opinion. Sadly, I have spent more time that i needed to defending the anti hunting view and researching the facts. Hunting contributed much less to the economy of Botswana than it reported. In fact it added less that 0.27% to the GDP. The Wildlife Management Association (Hunters) said that it added P60M a year ($6M) but at least 80% of that stayed in US or Swiss bank accounts and the number, when we investigated. was a turnover number not a taxable profit number, so in essence hunting in Botswana earned less than one high end eco tourism camp. It also generated a volume, as an industry, of bums in airline seats at a fraction of the equivalent of one eco tourist lodge, the fraction of jobs, a fraction of curios, local food supplied, drinks etc. In fact one acre of land in prime location under hunting versus under tourism at much more environmental impact generated roughly 1,300% LESS income for government and communities. Less income leads to more poverty and increased poaching. So to answer TJ. poaching is increasing everywhere but hunting has not prevented it, at all. Hunting concessions are only occupied for 5 months a year anyway and even then the gunfire often masked poachers gunshots for anti poaching units. Just research the convictions or arrests out of a hunting area against those in photographic areas and you will find that actually in the history of time in Botswana not one poacher was ever convicted from a hunting area. Convert those to photographic use and you will see a substantial change in the areas, and their wildlife. I know. I have done it myself. We took over the 340,000 acre Selinda concession that made 80% of its revenue from hunting 6 years ago. It was almost a wasteland. Today it is one of Botswana’s finest concessions, with over 7,000 elephants 5,000 buffalo and stable lions and leopard populations. It is now, viable again. under hunting management it would have been worthless. Scientific research is clear, and two papers are relevant. 1) Hunting is bad for lion populations. There is no doubt of that. 2) As species become more threatened even extinct, their value to hunters goes up. Clearly hunters are not conservationists if this basic fact is correct and certainly the research confirms my impression. Now… I am issuing an offer and a challenge. We will take on any hunting area and hire all hunting guides and staff and rehabilitate them or convert them and give them jobs in the passive use industry if they want to. This way there will be no job losses, we have demonstrated there will be no increased poaching as a result and definitely more revenue to the country All that is left is some damaged egos and a slight adjustment to operating methods, exchange your guns for binoculars and some personality to guide interested and influential people into a world of wonder and excitement of a safari without killing and interact with intelligent people who can help change the world. Just not back to the old era of hunting. In Botswana at least, that is over. By Dereck & Beverly Joubert
  11. Why are hunters so emotional every time someone brings animal welfare in to the debate?
  12. Hmnn! Interesting posts. We are assuming all hunting concessions have been closed.... Another assumption is that Botswana is well governed and conservation laws enforced. Well it is many years since I appeared as an Advocate in Botswana High Court, and travelled the wilderness areas but in those days, the only thing saving the wildlife was the blessing of a small human population. In all my travels, even in to the Linyanti swamps, all-but all- the African game rangers were poaching furiously, their camps ringed with biltong drying on wire. The BDF was never deployed to stop the killing by Botswana; it was the Zambian poachers they were after. Never forget that more than 65,000 wild animals were slaughtered by game rangers in the Okavango in an ill-conceived effort to exterminate all wildlife in the name of tsetse fly control, so that some politicos could ranch with cattle in the Delta. Have things improved in Botswana in the last 25 years? I sincerely hope so. PS Sorry to sound so down, but Botswana does that to me. I never had much time for their legal system either!
  13. Everything was much more experimental and unscientific back in George's day. Read his book My Pride and Joy to see how far away he was from modern conservation methods. In short, he was a pioneer.
  14. Do any of the eco-tourism resorts you describe conduct or allow trophy hunting on their land? If so, would you agree with my definition of true conservation: the preservation of natural functioning eco-systems? If so, how can trophy hunting, the opposite of natural selection, possibly be described as 'conservation?'

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