South African sentenced after illegal import of Leopard to Alabama

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by AfricaHunting.com, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A 42-year-old South African national was sentenced to "time served" and ordered to pay $30,000 in fines after illegally importing a hunted leopard to the United States. The trophy was bound for a hunter in Alabama.

    U.S. Attorney Leaura Canary's office confirmed the sentence.

    Dawie Groenewald was also ordered to pay $7,500 in restitution to the hunter who unknowingly paid for, and participated in an illegal safari in South Africa. Canary's office said the hunter cooperated with investigators.

    Groenewald owns a guiding and outfitting business in Limpopo Province, South Africa called "Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris". He pleaded guilty to a violation of the Lacey Act, a federal wildlife law that makes it illegal to import to the United States wildlife that was illegally taken under the laws of another country. The violation is a felony.

    Investigators say Groenewald was arrested in late January at the Montgomery Airport after visiting his brother. He was indicted in February, spent eight days in jail and nearly two and a half months under house arrest at his brother's home before this week's sentencing.

    An investigation shows that Groenewald sold the hunting safari to the sportsman in 2006, knowing that he was breaking the law. He then waited nearly two years before applying for a permit to export the trophy to the United States, saying the animal had been killed in 2008.

    The leopard never made it to Alabama. It was intercepted by Service wildlife inspectors at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

    Leopards are protected under both the U.S. Endangered Species Act and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, a global treaty upheld by more than 175 countries.


    Source: WSFA12 News
  2. Bicholui

    Bicholui AH Member

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    USA Hunting : USA: South African sentenced after illegal import of leopard to Alabama

    Personaly, I did not know about this prohibition. Meaning it´s allowed to hunt it does not means it´s allowed to export. It´s mandatory to get a professional and true advise before going to Africa.
  3. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    This is correct Bicholui, a species can be legally hunted in some African country however it does not mean that it can be legally imported into your country of residence. To give you an example, an American citizen can legally hunt a Black-Faced Impala in Namibia, you will be able to obtain an exported permit for your trophy, however the U.S. will not allow the importation of the Black-Faced Impala. Also a certain species may be able to be exported from one African country and not another.
  4. Bicholui

    Bicholui AH Member

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    Jerome!!

    You edit my posting!!

    I wasn´t offending or any wrong doing. I was showing the source of the information wich I think it´s the correct way to do it.

    Why you did that??

    Now I don´t know if I could trust in your forum anymore
  5. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Bicholui, I merged your post into this thread as the link to the news that you just posted was already posted yesterday by me as you can see. I left your post as it was, just removed the link to the news article as it is redundant.
  6. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Bicholui................Jerome is of course, absolutely correct. One thing you should realize though, is that the US is well known for not allowing the import of legally taken trophies that most other countries will allow you to import. Examples are the cheetah, the black-faced impala Jerome mentioned, the wood bison, and more recently (again) the polar bear. All of these animals can be legally killed by hunters and exported from the country of origin, CITES allows for it, but the USFWS still prohibits the importation into the US.

    Best thing to do is check with the authorities in your home country. Typically a country that is a member of CITES will allow import if CITES has approved it from the country you are going to be hunting in. The US is an anomaly in this regard.

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