Every year, thousands of tourists visit South African private nature reserves to see wild animals. But how many travelers know that some of these self-declared champions of conservation also allow animals to be killed by trophy hunters for ‘sport’?
Author Conservation Action Trust
Slowly, the tiny ball in the wooden crate began to unwind. His scales moved and a pointy nose followed by two black button eyes emerged. Natalie was entranced. The baby pangolin unwrapped his tail, held out his front legs and gazed at her, asking to be picked up. It was love at first sight.
We need to talk about the future of zoos. There are about 1,500 formal and many more informal zoos in the world, holding between three and four million animals, displayed for our curiosity and amusement. It’s fair to ask: to what end?
CITES is a convention ostensibly dedicated to wildlife protection that does nothing other than enable trade on a massive scale with minimal regulation and oversight, resulting in plummeting wildlife populations. They need to rehaul their system or step aside, so a conservation-focused rather than a trade-focused system can be put in place.
Lammie has been alone at the zoo since her partner, Kinkel, died. Despite calls from various organizations to let Lammie live out her days on a reserve with a herd of previously-captive elephants, the zoo won’t budge.
Instead of honoring what should be a core commitment to conservation, South Africa’s DEA is planning to attempt to legalize trade in rhino horn. This is suspiciously timed with the announcement that China will allow trade in farmed rhino horn, and is a blatant prioritization of profit over the interests of rhinos.
Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, China, Thailand and the Philippines, some of the world’s worst countries for elephant poaching and illegal trade in ivory, have been allowed to exit a key international initiative set up to curb the mass slaughter of elephants.
Conservation Action Trust reports on the recent increase in elephant poaching in Botswana. Various media reports have pinned the increase on a reported disarming of Botswana’s Anti-Poaching Unit, but is this the real cause, and how can the poaching be stopped?
The decision to allow leopard hunting is the result of a determination by the Scientific Authority that leopard hunting in certain areas is now sustainable. This has alarmed conservationists, who contend that the DEA has insufficient scientific evidence to make that call.
Are we not essentially confusing education with entertainment? Should we not be more honest in describing the role of such animals and admit they are pure photo props for monetary gain, even if the money is earmarked for the conservation of the species?
A recent South African Parliamentary wildlife colloquium ignored the benefits of non-consumptive wildlife utilisation as ecological sustainability was obscured by the increasing commodification of wildlife resources.
Xanda was shot just outside Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, near the spot his father Cecil was killed by American bow hunting dentist Walter Palmer. His death is mired in confusion, and means that his seven offspring face an unlikely future.