Zimbabwe park warns it may shoot 200 ‘surplus’ lions now that big game hunters are staying home

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by Aaron Nietfeld, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. Aaron Nietfeld

    Aaron Nietfeld AH Fanatic

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    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news...98surplus+lions+that+game/12233515/story.html

    BUBYE VALLEY CONSERVANCY, Zimbabwe — It is the country where Cecil the lion was killed, sparking international anger against the American dentist who shot him.

    The outcry over Walter Palmer’s killing of Cecil drove other big-game hunters away from Zimbabwe, fearful they too would attract the ire of the public.

    But in what is being described as a side effect of the affair, Zimbabwe’s largest wildlife area says it now finds itself suffering from an overpopulation of lions.

    Bubye Valley Conservancy has more than 500 lions, the largest number in Zimbabwe’s diminishing wildlife areas.

    It has warned that its lion population has become unsustainable and that it may even have to cull around 200 as a result of what is being called “the Cecil effect.”

    Now Bubye is appealing for other institutions or wildlife sanctuaries to take some of its lions.

    Conservationists estimate about half of Zimbabwe’s wildlife has disappeared since President Robert Mugabe’s seizure of white-owned land began in 2000, but Bubye has held on by attracting wealthy hunters whose fees support its wildlife work.

    But last year’s shooting of Cecil, in a conservancy bordering Hwange National Park, sparked a huge backlash against big-game hunting, and bolstered a U.S. plan to ban trophy hunting imports.

    Plummeting oil prices have further led to a drop in the number of visitors from U.S. states such as Texas, from where traditionally large numbers of hunters go to Zimbabwe.

    Bubye’s lions are decimating populations of antelope, along with other animals such as giraffe, cheetah, leopards and wild dogs, after the driest summer on record kept grasses low and made the small game easy targets.

    Blondie Leathem, general manager of Bubye Valley Conservancy, said: “I wish we could give about 200 of our lions away to ease the overpopulation. If anyone knows of a suitable habitat for them where they will not land up in human conflict, or in wildlife areas where they will not be beaten up because of existing prides, please let us know and help us raise the money to move them.”

    In the 1940s, there were thought to be as many as 450,000 lions on Earth, but today they are classed as “vulnerable,” with numbers feared as low as 20,000.

    Conservationists fear that without a concerted push, particularly in high-risk areas of central and west Africa, their numbers could halve again in the next two decades because of human-animal conflict and reduced habitat and food supplies.

    Bubye, along with some game parks in neighbouring countries, has been bucking the trend, according to a recent study, with healthy lion populations in “small, fenced, intensively managed, funded reserves.”

    The conservation area was founded 22 years ago by Charles Davy, the rancher father of Chelsy Davy, Prince Harry’s former girlfriend. It is now majority-owned by Dubai World, the investment fund of the wealthy emirate’s government.

    Millions of dollars were spent fencing 5,000 square kilometres of land previously cleared of wildlife by decades of cattle farming. The fence was then electrified and hundreds of people were hired to protect wildlife imported to the park.

    Bubye also supports schools and clinics in several districts and provides meat every month for people nearby.

    As well as its lion population, Bubye also has the third-largest community of black rhinos in Africa.

    When The Daily Telegraph visited Bubye in early February a matriarch lioness called Matilda, her sisters and her latest litter of cubs were lazing in the shade under mopane trees.

    Matilda — who was fitted with a radio collar by the Oxford University researchers that also collared Cecil — chews through about five kilograms of meat every day.

    Peter Kay, director of Lion Aid, a UK-based charity, said contraception should have been introduced at the conservancy years ago.

    “It’s too late now,” he said. “There is nowhere in Africa which could take so many lions.”

    Paul Bartels, a wildlife scientist from South Africa’s Tshwane University of Technology, said female contraceptive implants used in smaller reserves would be impractical for Matilda’s clan.

    “There are a lot of lions on that (Bubye) conservancy. It would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for contraception to make any real difference,” he said.

    Oxford’s lion research project in Zimbabwe, which monitored Cecil, said that the Bubye conservancy was “a huge success story” in a region blighted by a lack of governmental help for its struggling wildlife sector.

    Leathem insisted he was not a hunter but a conservationist, and had no option but to maintain “sustainable” hunting to safeguard Bubye’s future.



    Does anyone know the number of lions taken every year from Zim before the US ban?
     
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  2. Jon G

    Jon G AH Member

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    Very interesting. But what I can see the price for hunting lion in Zim is still 30000-40000 usd. Why?
     
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  3. tigris115

    tigris115 AH Fanatic

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    I googled and it seems that one could still hunt in the Bubye. Why not just give licenses to DSC or put them up on here for crazy cheap?
     
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  4. BWH

    BWH AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    The problem is they are not "exportable" to many final destinations..... therefore demand plummets, supply goes up... collateral damage (i.e. lost incomes, livestock, plains game, etc). An entire economy can collapse from this issue/topic. So the government steps in to "control" via a cull/slaughter. When if otherwise was managed appropriately. It would have generated & sustained a very stable economy of it's own.
     
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  5. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Agree. If they are going to kill them anyway, why not let hunters go after them at $10-$15000? Makes no sense to me! Where is @spike.t ? He or some of you other experienced African guys usually have an answer!
     
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  6. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I don't disagree with you, but if they substantially lowered the price instead of just culling them, they (IMO) would still get more lion hunters that could never afford $30-$40,000! The lack of being able to export would not nearly be as big an issue.
     

  7. BWH

    BWH AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Sure.... However, there still would not be a long line of hunters wanting to go & pay $10k+ for an non-ex lion. Look at the lion hunts prices & volume of lion hunters now in RSA. WAY DOWN!!!!!
     

  8. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Would someone please copy this to Ricky and his ilk, the cabal of Eco-terrorists.
     
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  9. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Are you suggesting that DSC could auction them off at big discounts enabling ZIM to still acquire some income from the lions?
     

  10. Aaron Nietfeld

    Aaron Nietfeld AH Fanatic

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    I agree. Also, I'm sure there are plenty of hunters from countries other than the US that would jump at the chance for a free range lion hunt at a price point somewhat within the grasp of an average Joe. Half the money is better than none of it right? Unless this is propaganda to force the USFW's hand.
     
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  11. Jon G

    Jon G AH Member

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    Interesting to hear from BWH. You lion prices are going way down. Norway is still importing, do you got any good ideas where I could get an really affordable lion or lioness hunt in RSA guys? Tx
     

  12. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I considered that this may be some type of ploy to produce a certain behavior or outcome, but I'm not smart enough to figure out what!
     

  13. thriller

    thriller AH Fanatic

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    The message seems simple (if the lions don't have a value ($) then they will be gotten rid of)
     
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  14. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Oh man does this, in my opinion, nail it.

    It isn't as simple as hunters would have provided population control for Bubye lions and kept this from happening. I don't think this is the case, especially if only shooting trophy males over six years of age that are no longer with a pride.

    But without hunters the value goes away not only at Bubye, but elsewhere. Anyone ever heard a neighbor say they had too many rats and would someone please take the excess? Nope... who wants vermin? Sadly, without hunters, lions are vermin.

    Bubye should be the model for lion management and perhaps it still will be. Time will tell.
     

  15. thriller

    thriller AH Fanatic

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    This situation reminds me of a comment my PH made in Zimbabwe in 2014. He said in Zimbabwe if an animal does not pay his own way it dies. Its unfortunate that this is the case because wildlife could be in much greater numbers in that country, but his point was that with the shape that the country is in if the animal doesn't represent an income to the local population/villagers it is either a vermin or food or in a lot cases both.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
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  16. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Interesting to see this now.

    About a week ago I asked my African booking agent (who lives in Zimbabwe) to find out if lions could be hunted in Bubye, and if so, what the price would be.

    We can import them to Canada!

    Will let you know what I hear.
     
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  17. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Wonder how many anti hunting organizations let their donors in on this information.......ZERO!
     

  18. MMAL

    MMAL GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I would definitely hunt a lion at a cheaper price even if I could not import it, legally.

    I would just give it to one of the many people coming across the rio grande to bring with them. No one would check them.

    btw, the link does not work anymore and searching the website brings up no hits. I wonder if the newspaper deleted the article afterward? If so, it is amazing the depth of deception that the media will go through to bury the truth.:S Bs Flag:
     

  19. mrpoindexter

    mrpoindexter AH Fanatic

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  20. MMAL

    MMAL GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I know it is in other places just not on their server. I actually like that the reference on Huffingtonpost is actually getting comment supporting hunting.
     

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