The poaching of rhino in South Africa has made global news and this includes a recent story of a KwaZulu Natal person who bid R960 000 at a game farm auction for the right to legally kill one. But it’s not only rhino that are killed by trophy hunters and i just stumbled across this image over at The Sun of a smiling family posing next to a giraffe killed in Southern Africa.
As sad and sickening as that picture may be..hunting giraffe in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe is still legal and hunting safaris bring in huge amounts of money for game farms who offer expeditions.
Now here’s the thing.
I had a very long chat to a well known environmentalist about the outrage surrounding that person who bought the rights in KZN to shoot a rhino for nearly a million Rand and he flat out said to me “the reality is, that without money brought in from hunting to be used in conservation there would be far less rhino left than there are right now”. He went on to say that the same goes for all the other big animals that are hunted for sport and used the example of elephant conservation in SA verses that in Kenya where hunting is banned. He mentioned that the hunting industry in SA brings in money and jobs on game farms and poaching is lowered because people in those areas see it as an employment opportunity while those in Kenya see no benefit from having the elephants around apart from poaching them.
He continued and asked me whether if i had the money would i pay R1 million to save that rhino sold at auction. I immediately said yes, if had that kind of money to spend. And he thought for a second and told me that there are thousands of people who DO have that kind of money and won’t.
So who’s worse he said…the hunter willing to pay R1 million knowing that the majority of the money will be used in conservation or the millionaires who have the money and do nothing?
[pic and story via The Sun]