Lion Killer to Be Charged in Namibia

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by AfricaHunting.com, May 12, 2010.

  1. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Lion Killer to Be Charged in Namibia

    The trophy hunter who admitted that he shot and killed a protected lion in the Sesfontein Conservancy recently might be in for a surprise when he returns to Namibia next week.

    Criminal charges were laid against Keith Wright on Monday following a high-profile investigation by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism into the killing of the collared lion known as Leonardo.

    The Deputy Director: Parks and Wildlife Management in the ministry, Colgar Sikopo, yesterday confirmed that the Police had opened a case of illegal hunting of a protected species.

    Wright had a permit to shoot a lioness in the Anabeb Conservancy Area but had no authorisation from the Ministry to hunt a lion in the Sesfontein Conservancy Area, Ben Beytell, Director: Parks and Wildlife Management, told The Namibian last week.

    Wright last week admitted that he was "the guy" who had shot Leonardo. According to him, he had "a permit for the area from the people" and that he could not see that the animal was radio-collared because of its thick mane.

    The trophy hunter added that he would be out of the country for two weeks and is thus expected to return next week. Before his departure he claimed that "bad blood by somebody" was responsible for the "rubbish" allegations against him.

    Sikopo added that investigations by the Ministry in conjunction with the Police were continuing.

    On his website, conservationist Flip Stander writes: "Trophy hunting and the shooting of lions by local people is the major cause of mortality amongst adult and sub-adult lions. The indiscriminate selection of male lions for trophy hunting has resulted in an alarming decline in the ratio of adult males to adult females."

    Stander has not been reachable by phone for the past week.

    Leonardo had been collared barely a month before he was killed. The radio collars are reportedly worth N$60 000 each.

    The killing of this protected lion has sparked a public outcry from animal lovers and conservationists alike.


    Source: The Namibian
     
  2. RogerHeintzman

    RogerHeintzman AH Enthusiast

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    Is this Keith Wright from Namibia? Doesn't matter, the book should be thrown at him, jail time, lose of hunting privileges, huge civil penalty etc. He's not a trophy hunter, he's a slob hunter and one to give real ethical hunters a black eye. More fuel for the fire for animal rights and people like Flip Stander.
     
  3. dfrench

    dfrench New Member

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  4. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Hunters' Body Probes Lion Killing

    Hunters' Body Probes Lion Killing
    by Denver Kisting

    In addition to the criminal charges that professional hunter Keith Wright faces after the recent killing of a protected lion, the Namibia Professional Hunters’ Association (NAPHA) has also launched a disciplinary investigation.

    NAPHA disciplinary committee chairperson Rainer Ling yesterday said the disciplinary hearing might take place within a month.

    Wright is a member of the Association, which has more than 500 members.

    According to him, the hunting regulatory body’s policies require that 30 days’ written notice needs to be given to a suspect per registered mail before a hearing can take place.

    At this stage, there is no “punishment catalogue” stipulating what action will be taken in the event of an offence. It could range from a monetary fine to expulsion from NAPHA. The highest penalty do date was a N$26 000 fine, Ling told The Namibian.

    Meanwhile, the Director of Parks and Wildlife Management in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Ben Beytell, has confirmed that the criminal investigation lodged against Wright is still in full swing. According to him, the ministry received a letter from Wright’s lawyer in which it was stated that the Didimala Safaris operator would fight criminal allegations in court.

    Wright yesterday said he did not “know what the ministry’s story is”.

    “I had done nothing wrong. I had a permit [to hunt Leonardo, the lion].”

    A public outcry erupted after the news broke of the killing of the collared lion in the Sesfontein Conservancy Area in the Kunene Region, demanding that Wright should be brought to book.

    Environment Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah also lashed out about the incident.

    Yesterday Wright expressed shock at the subsequent controversy, saying: “This story split out of hand. Facebook (the social utility site) got hold of it and my children were getting death threats.”

    A Facebook page with more than a 1 000 members has been created in which authorities are asked to ban Wright and his family from carrying on with their hunting business in Namibia.

    One participant, Val Hackett, writes: “What is going on here? Trophy hunting? What is wrong with you guys? Disgusting. You should be trophy hunted yourselves. Ugh. Makes me sick.”

    Ling expressed hope that legislation would be introduced compelling hunters to become members of NAPHA. This, he said, would better regulate the industry, in the same way that the medical industry is controlled.


    Source: The Namibian
     
  5. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Here is an email that I received from a reader in regard to this story posted on AH...

    G'day,
    I just did a web search on a close friend of mine, Keith Wright. Serious and incorrect information came up from a forum on your website. The incident involving the lion was very different to what was reported in the Namibian. Keith has been interviewed by the board of NAPHA who are satisfied that he is telling the truth and he is innocent, and they have now decided to throw their weight behind him in any future hearings on the matter.

    Flip Stander (an old friend of Keiths, who has accepted significant financial help from Keith over the years) seems to now be moving away from science and into tourism with his ecotours which rely on sat-tracked lions being accessible to his tour groups. I can only guess that this is his motivation for betraying a friend, Flip is certainly no saint though he may be revered as one to the ignorant enviromasses.

    These articles also told the public that Leonardo was the last desert lion in Namibia. What a load of rubbish!! that was as evidenced by the latest articles on another recent legally shot lion (is this the last?). Flip has collars on over 50 so called research animals in his group.

    Negative comment on Keith will continue to have a negative effect on his business, even though he has not been shown to have done any wrong. It is therefore important to allow him a presumption of innocence, a concept we Australians always believed sacrosanct to you Americans.Others planning a trip will not understand all that has taken place, and will believe the worst when reading irresponsible forum entries. Please consider this and remove all entries on him so that they do not do more un intended harm.

    Regards,
    Ashley
     
  6. Bushbuck

    Bushbuck AH Enthusiast

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    Interesting how there are always 2 sides to a story. It is easy to jump on the bandwagon and destroy a reputation rather quickly. I know nothing of this man or this case, but I hope the truth comes out. It sounds like the non hunter may be the one in the end that hurts the hunting reputation the most with a false charge.
     
  7. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

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    I find it very unfortunate that there are some who are so willing to aid in destroying the reputation and character of someone they do not even know based upon unsubstantiated allegations and claims by others they also do not know.

    Without so much as even attempting to verify any surrounding facts two forum members obviously found it necessary to jump right into the mix for the purpose of attacking and denigrating Wright to the point of near castration. I shook my head then, and I remain shaking my head now.


    This thread began with Jerome’s posting of an article published in a news source called the “The Namibian”. I feel quite certain that Jerome’s motive for posting the article was purely informational. As one can see that article makes various claims and allegations directed at PH Keith Wright regarding the unlawful shooting of a lion in the Sesfontein Conservancy area. In part the article is also quoted as saying;

    “Wright had a permit to shoot a lioness in the Anabeb Conservancy Area but had no authorisation from the Ministry to hunt a lion in the Sesfontein Conservancy Area”.

    In the follow up news article from “The Namibian” Keith Wright makes a clear statement that he had dome nothing wrong and that he did have a permit to hunt the lion. He is also quoted as saying;

    “This story split out of hand. Facebook got hold of it and my children were getting death threats.”

    As with the two posters here on this site it seems there were many others who felt compelled to go on the attack not only against Keith Wright, but against his family as well. To hell with the facts! Just get out there and lynch the bastard and anyone associated with him!!!

    I know Keith Wright on a personal basis and I found the situation to be quite disturbing. I didn’t know what had happened anymore than anyone else because I wasn't there. But I decided to contact Keith and get HIS side of the story, especially before offering an opinion on such a serious matter.

    Upon contacting Keith he assured me that contrary to what was claimed, he did in fact possess a valid permit to hunt a lion in the Sesfontein conservancy. He further assured me that all aspects of the hunt were in fact conducted in both a legal and ethical manner. And, in regard to the animal being collared, Keith stated that the field view he had of the lion offered no indication that it was wearing such a device. He went on to say the lion had a thick and full mane and that it was partially concealed by a bush. According to Keith it was only after he approached the downed lion that the collar was observed buried beneath the mane hair. Keith also said he would keep me posted with all that was going on with the situation.

    Good to his word a month or so ago Keith sent me an email with an attachment letter. The letter is on “Namibia Professional Hunters Association” letterhead and is dated 8 Oct 2010. The subject of the letter is ‘DC DECISION – LION HUNT SESFONTEIN’. The letter closes the NAPHA investigation of the matter and in conclusion exonerates Keith from any wrongdoing. Keith also sent me email attachments of both the front and rear sides of the lion permit which clearly show, contrary to initial reports, that he did in fact possess proper licensing to hunt a lion in the Sesfontein area.

    I don’t know how to post the attachments Keith forwarded to me so I guess you will have to take my word for it that they do exist. I was however able to cut the text portion of the NAPHA letter (sans the letterhead logo and the signature of the author) which reads as follows;


    8 October 2010
    Mr K Wright
    P O Box 9658
    WINDHOEK

    Dear Mr Wright

    DC DECISION – LION HUNT SESFONTEIN

    After the DC hearing on the 27 September 2010 and the evidence presented, it seems that all legal requirements were met to hunt the lion. We regret that such a public outcry was initiated, based on apparent wrong assumptions/evidence.

    The Exco of NAPHA thus has decided to stand by you and support you in your efforts to publicly rectify the apparent wrong doing, i.e. if you so desire we will be present at your indicated press conference.

    Furthermore we would like to point out that all Namibian hunting outfitters should develop an extremely well balanced sense of how their actions may influence themselves, the hunting community, the public at large and the politicians. Any perceived transgression in connection with CITES regulated species are automatically much more sensitive issues domestically as well as internationally. Therefore, the conduct of professional hunting should always stay within the hunting laws as well as our ethical norms. To a very large extent our conduct or misconduct will influence the future destiny of hunting, i.e. we are the architects of our own future. Perceived violations of the law/spirit of CITES regulated species, will not only be opposed by the public at large but on the home front politicians might seriously reconsider their favourable attitude towards the professional hunting sector.

    Kind regards

    D METZGER
    NAPHA PRESIDENT
     
  8. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Big5, Thank you for bringing these facts to light and restoring the good name of PH Keith Wright.
     
  9. Bushbuck

    Bushbuck AH Enthusiast

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    The internet certainly can be a double edge sword. The good news is due to sites like this one there is an oppertunity to post the facts. Donald Trump always said no publicity is bad publicity. I for one would have never known who Keith is, now I am looking forward to meeting him one day.
     
  10. Ole Bally

    Ole Bally AH Enthusiast

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    Jerome, it has become common practice for 'anti hunting groups' to collar trophy sized animals especially Elephant when they are in 'photographic' areas with the purpose of 'protecting them' from trophy hunters.
    Collaring animals for real research does not preclude them from being trophy harvested ( or dying naturally or being poached ). It actually forms part of the research. It has become a sort of tool used to discredit legal activities as is the case here. Would the hue and cry have been as much of it hadn't been collared I wonder?
     
  11. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    I don't think so!
     
  12. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    Interesting how bias the media is "worldwide", actually not interesting, more like frustrating...
     
  13. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

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    35bore . . . as mentioned in my previous post on this subject (1/7/11) I remain even more frustrated by those in our own ranks who will eagerly come forward to comment negatively on a detrimental report of a person or hunting topic without benefit of any supporting facts. In my view that sort of thing is not only useful in undermining our sport it is also shameful.
     
  14. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    Agreed Big5, and I understand what you are saying...
     
  15. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Went through this a couple of weeks ago it seems very easy to asume guilt or that a party is guilty to underhanded dealings, this is absolute bull----!

    I feel for you Keith just wish that there was a way to delete these posts? Every time you get searched this or portions of this could potentially come up on the net, and as mentioned before it creates doubt...... And thats enough.

    Glad that the facts have come to light good lu k in your ventures!
    A blessed Christmas to you and yours!
     

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