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A tense situation arising in South Luangwa

lion hunting

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#1 egilio

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 02:45 AM

Zamsato safaris posted the following on their facebook page yesterday: LINK

 

 

 

It's not looking good for the famous lions of the Luangwa Valley. The Hollywood Boys, 2 big males with immaculate black manes, together with 5 lionesses and 3 young males, decided to spent a night at the hunters camp next to Zikomo Safari Lodge. The hunters arrived today and you can be sure that they will do everything to keep the lions around their camp. They got permits and it will be all legal. A trophy fee for a lion is USD10,000.00. Many tourists are coming on safari to South Luangwa NP to see Ginger, Garlic and the Hollywood Boys. It's high time to stop hunting safaris. Please Zambian Government get serious about conservation!

 

I think quite a few people have heard of Ginger, or have heard of the Hollywood pride (name so because they've appeared in a number of documentaries). 


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#2 SafariChick

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 06:25 AM

@egilio oh no! That's very bad news. I really hope the lions leave there quickly and go back to protected areas. Hoping for the best but frustrated that hunting is still allowed  :angry:

 

I went and looked at that link on Facebook and was encouraged by one comment Zamsoto made later to their original post: 

 

Andrew Baldry, a hunter, raised the point that if those lions are pride lions or younger than 6 years they are off limit by law. All 4 lions are pride lions. I confirmed this with Jonothan Merkle, Zambian Carnivore Programme, who is in South Luangwa based and does research on those lions.

 


Edited by SafariChick, 28 September 2016 - 06:32 AM.

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#3 egilio

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 04:40 PM

I don't think pride lions are off limit by law, and the 6 year rule has started this year, so penalties regarding it haven't been implemented yet. There is a definition of a 'huntable male lion', developed by lion scientists, hunters and endorsed by the Dallas Safari Club (but not Safari Club International). This definition states:

"a huntable male lion is at least six years of age and is not known to head a pride or be part of a coalition heading a pride with dependent cubs. The ideal huntable lion is an older individual known to be a transient, that is, no longer in breeding association with any pride." (source)

 

We'll see how ethical these hunters are, and how well they stick to their self inflicted 'rules'.


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#4 Sangeeta

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 07:10 PM

Hello Everyone,

 

Based on the above, I have created the following press release/short article about the impending danger these animals are in as we speak. Please could you share on your FB pages if you agree with the content and encourage the widest possible circulation. I have contacted a long list of news outlets here in the US and India. @twaffle is helping in Australia. Will be asking @Kitsafari to pitch in Singapore. If we could please get the Europeans, East Asians and the Latin Americans on board, that would be wonderful. Please share with your local media outlets and on your social media sites as well. Feel free to add your contact info at the bottom instead of ours. We have a lot of in-house scientific expertise here should any media outlet decide to pick up the story... our own @egilio the most... Also, for the latest on the ground information, we could get Tony Hunstiger & Victoria Wallace at Zamsato involved. They are best positioned to provide the latest info from SLNP.

 

In the US, I have already submitted this to the Huffington Post, ABC, MSNBC, Washington Post, Today Show, Ellen Show and KKTV in Colorado. Internationally to the Times of India, BBC and CNN International....


Edited by Sangeeta, 01 October 2016 - 07:21 PM.

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#5 Sangeeta

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 07:16 PM

PLEASE – NO MORE CECILS.

 

med_gallery_5686_412_684990.jpg

 

A short 15 months after Cecil the Lion was illegally shot and killed in Zimbabwe, a new situation is rapidly developing in neighboring Zambia, which could lead to very-well known Zambian lions being legally hunted in an area immediately adjoining the country’s premier safari destination, South Luangwa National Park.

 

The hunt is being conducted in the Upper Lupande GMA. See map here https://s3-eu-west-1...553/preview.jpg  

 

The number, species and prices of the animals on quota are listed here on this hunting site [warning: graphic images]:

 

http://forums.accuratereloading.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/832100588/m/8031033222

 

At risk are two male coalitions, known affectionately as The Hollywood Boys, and Ginger & Garlic. These are big males in their prime with full, intact manes. They are also habituated to photo tourists – as seen from the photo above, donated to us kindly by a friend who saw them just a few weeks ago.

 

Responsible hunters are ethical hunters. A few years ago, a group of hunters, scientists and an organization representing hunters' interests, The Dallas Safari Club, developed a definition of a huntable male lion as follows: "A huntable male lion is at least six years of age and is not known to head a pride or be part of a coalition heading a pride with dependent cubs". 

 

But both these pairs of lions are ‘pride males’ – i.e. they actively protect and sire cubs in their respective territories. At the time of this writing, they have several litters of dependent cubs. They are also prime age males who can still breed for several years.  If one coalition partner is killed, the survivor will likely lose control of his pride to other coalitions nearby. This will inevitably lead to the killing of the existing pride cubs in the 3 or 4 prides that are currently being protected by this quartet. According to researchers, the death of even 1 active pride male can lead to a ‘cascade’ of other deaths.

 

In addition, Ginger (of the Ginger & Garlic duo) has a condition called 'erythrism', i.e. he doesn't have dark pigments. In him, this translates into an orange tail tip (instead of black), orange back of ears (instead of black), a fully blond mane (not the black mane desired by hunters) and pink toe-pads instead of black ones. There is only one known lion in the whole world with this condition, making him very unique, and he attracts tourists to Luangwa who come here especially to see him. The image of a relaxed Ginger was taken just last week by us in South Luangwa.

 

med_gallery_5686_412_148940.jpg

 

 

We must ensure that Charlton McCallum Safaris, the Zimbabwean hunting outfitters in question, are made aware of the pride status and possible consequences of hunting these pride males. We must also ensure that they abide by their own industry guidelines and adhere to the tagline of their own professional hunting association that says “Ethics is everything”.

 

Please, let’s have no more Cecils. Let’s keep the Hollywood Boys and Ginger & Garlic alive.

For additional details, please feel free to contact Chalo Africa (info@chaloafrica.com) or Sangeeta Prasad at sangeeta@chaloafrica.com. Anything you can do to get the word out would be greatly appreciated.


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#6 twaffle

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 10:07 PM

Thanks for your hard work @Sangeeta, and for not demonising hunting which would be counter productive in this case.

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#7 pault

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Posted 02 October 2016 - 04:52 AM

Yes, good on you for taking action, Sangeeta. Always better than sitting on one's bum and clucking our disapproval. This is one where both pro and anti hunting-as-conservation-tool camps can agree it is not a good idea to shoot these lions but I wonder what kind of reaction you''ll get having made that explicit? If you get traction with this, I'd imagine you'll get some unpleasant messages from bith sides, which is why I am joining twaffle in saying you did the right thing.

Did you submit it to the hunting association you mentioned? That might be the most effective way of all, if they agree this would be a bad idea, which Inassume they would.

Waiting again... for the next time again


#8 Bugs

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 11:32 AM

Is this sort of thing going to happen with every lion given a name that should be in a disney film? 

 

For goodness sake!


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There's none so blind as those who will not see.


#9 inyathi

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 01:51 PM

@Bugs That fact that these lions have names isn’t really the point, the issue is that they are very well known lions living predominantly in a national park and are very popular with tourists. I think anybody who runs a tourist camp/lodge in this area of South Luangwa or works as a safari guide has every right has every right to be angry at the possibility that these lions could be shot. These lions are after all one reason that tourists come to Luangwa. They might receive more attention because they have names but the arguments against allowing them to be shot would be the same if they weren't named. 

 

Inevitably animals that are easily recognisable and popular with tourists like lions or elephants will end up being given names. In Cecil’s case hunters tried to ridicule the fact that he had this name and suggest that this was part of the silly Disneyfication of nature. In fact in his case he was named by scientists for the purposes of their research, and people who thought the name was silly were just displaying their ignorance of Zimbabwean history.

 

Unfortunately I think that in the argument between hunters and animal rights campaigners, the crucial question ‘is lion hunting sustainable?’ tends to get lost or is not taken seriously. The scientific research conducted by Brent Staplekamp who collared Cecil in Hwange suggests that it is not, he clearly stated this in interviews following Cecil’s death. It is not sustainable due to the resulting loss of cubs that @Sangeeta described in her post. It may be possible to avoid the loss of cubs and to hunt lions sustainably but this can certainly only be done if there are very strict controls on when lions can be shot and the rules are rigidly enforced. It may well be the case that the above 6 years old rule is actually too young, Cecil though approaching the end of his life at 13 was still a very fine lion. Cleary he was in his prime for many years after he turned 6 and certainly capable of defending his pride. Raising the age at which lions can be shot is easy ensuring that the rule is properly enforced is another matter particular when in countries like Tanzania where there is a huge problem with corruption. Hunters don’t want to shoot a beaten up moth-eaten old male with broken teeth and a mane that’s falling out. They want to shoot an animal that’s going to look good as a trophy on their wall and unfortunately some hunters will be willing to pay to get around the rules to achieve this.

 

Concern over the prospect that these lions could be shot is entirely legitimate, when there are doubts over whether or not the 'rules' will be adhered to or indeed whether those rules should be changed. Lion hunting is certainly not the greatest threat to lion populations in Africa, on going persecution, loss of prey and habitat destruction are far greater threats, however the growing evidence that it does pose a threat should not be ignored.   


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#10 Kitsafari

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 03:00 PM

@inyathi said everything that needed  to be said rationally and reasonably. 

 

But what @Bugs said is not acceptable - to ridicule a person's sincere effort to do what she or he believes in - whether you agree with it or not - is just rude. we don't ridicule or make fun  of what pro-hunting or pro-rhino horn trade proponents say. shameless emotional tree-hugging crying softie animal lovers we may be, but we are too polite to go down to that level. 


Edited by Kitsafari, 08 October 2016 - 03:00 PM.

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#11 egilio

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 04:05 PM

Lion hunting is certainly not the greatest threat to lion populations in Africa, on going persecution, loss of prey and habitat destruction are far greater threats, however the growing evidence that it does pose a threat should not be ignored.   

 

On the whole that might be true, but research in Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Zambia, in populations which are affected by hunting, it was shown that the hunting had the biggest impact on the population.


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#12 janzin

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 01:18 PM

I just came across this and now I feel I must seriously reconsider my planned trip to Zambia next year! I have not yet paid the deposit! And yes, I know other countries like South Africa allow hunting, and I've visited there...but this area is directly adjacent to the area in which I plan to stay (the Nsfesu sector of South Luangwa.) Will there be lions left to view? Will the lions that are there be terribly skittish and afraid of humans (as perhaps they should be!)  And will I be hearing gunshots while in camp? The camp I am booked at, Tena Tena, is almost on the border of the GMA.

 

Very upsetting to read this!


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#13 egilio

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 02:36 PM

There will be quite a few lions left to view! Right now, after the hunting ban of several years, the number of lions are the highest of the last decade. The number of wild dogs are the highest of the last 30 years. They won't be skittish when viewed from a car, but when encountered on foot during a walking safari they will be (I hope so!). Gunshots from camp? Very unlikely, and since Tena moved some distance upriver a few years ago even less likely. Maybe consider Nsefu camp (same company), but zero chance of hearing gun shots from hunters.   


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#14 janzin

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 07:08 PM

Thanks, I suppose I over-reacted but its still concerning to think that there will be hunting going on just kilometers away from where we are staying and walking. From what I have read, the hunting season is the same as the peak tourist season in the area (July-October.)



#15 ZaminOz

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 02:09 AM

Hunting has taken place in the Game Management Areas surrounding Sough Luangwa national park since the early 1900's. Visitors to the National Park have enjoyed viewing lions in the National Park without incident influenced by hunting in all this time. Hunting is not new, social media is.

You should be fine.


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#16 madaboutcheetah

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 04:13 AM

Having never visited South Luangwa, I was under the impression that the male Lions there had a scruffy coat because of the heat, weather conditions etc etc., Now having seen the images of these Hollywood male Lions - that hot weather thing isn't necessarily true?


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#17 egilio

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 05:23 AM

Having never visited South Luangwa, I was under the impression that the male Lions there had a scruffy coat because of the heat, weather conditions etc etc., Now having seen the images of these Hollywood male Lions - that hot weather thing isn't necessarily true?

 

Do some searching here, it's been discussed several years back. There were few adult male lion in South Luangwa, and many were young. They were known for having small manes. In Kruger only about 10% of males get a full mane covering their shoulders. I have never seen a male like that in Luangwa, and it's probably rarer in Luangwa then in Kruger because of the heat and the scrub. But now, after a few years of no hunting, there are many more males, and on average they're older, and they're having pretty full manes. 


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#18 Kitsafari

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 08:06 AM

@janzin i encourage you to go to SLNP to support the great number of photo-tourism (for want of a better word vs non-hunting) camps which are fantastic in conservation work and community work. They provide a foil to the hunting community, and by supporting their camps, you also support photo-tourism industries and indirectly provide much-needed employment to the population living around the park. 


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#19 wilddog

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 11:30 AM

Totally agree with @Kitsafari we need to support the photo tourism in these National Parks. 

 

One of the benefits of the photo tourism is that these lions and their pride are well known ( and named). It is likely that any hunters will be fully aware of this and any breach of the hunting rules will be looked for and reported.

 

The legal side of hunting in the GMA cannot currently be stopped. Cecil of course was shot illegally and the subsequent worldwide furore has made everyone more watchful, and hopefully, hunters, more law abiding


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#20 janzin

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 12:42 PM

I do agree that boycotting does little good and in fact may be counterproductive; I am not planning to cancel the trip; it is more a question of whether I should change camps from Tena Tena, which is very close to the border of the GMA where this hunting is going on. Will the hunting directly affect the wildlife in the Nsfeu part of the park? I have emailed Robin Pope Safaris and await their comments.








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