Friday, January 26, 2018

Is Trophy Hunting Bad for Endangered Species?

Trophy hunting, the sport of hunting for the biggest and most prized animals, has been a part of history anywhere from far and in between of kings, presidents, and wealthy sportsmen and women. The thrill of the dangerous encounters with these wild animals is what these adrenaline-seeking citizens are all about. These men and women pay big bucks to go to Africa to hunt some of the most exotic game in the world. They are often given hate because the public thinks they are inhumanly killing these animals. Hunters are very ethical with their kills and usually have the most upright respect for the animals they take.

Everyone remembers the outrage of the infamous Cecil the lion being killed by a Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer in 2015. This sparked a huge conservationist issue because Cecil was living in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, Africa, a non-hunting National Park where hundreds of lions are raised and watched closely by numerous scientist. A border that marked the ending of the park was a railroad; on just the other side of the railroad was legal hunting grounds. Conservationists and true were furious when they were told Cecil was lured out of his safe national park, across the train tracks, and onto the hunting grounds where he would be shot with a compound bow, then hours later finished off by a gun. 

This event upset true-hearted hunters as well. Hunters who hunt out in admiration for these animals strive to take game ethically by: making proper shot placement with a bow or riffle, respecting endangered populations, and respecting legal and non-legal hunting grounds. Walter Palmer was not a true hunter or trophy hunter. Palmer crossed the line as a hunter as nothing of his hunt was ethical by any means. 

Africa has a long list of endangered species, for example: leopards, multiple species of rhinos and elephants, Reed Frog, cheetah, African Wild Dog, and lions are placed as vulnerable but not yet endangered. People who want to end trophy hunting haven’t done their research. What the public doesn’t see is that the main reasons of decrease in these beautiful animals is in fact decline in habitat, and conflict with poaching and some endangerment in local villages.

Poaching has been a serious problem for decades now. “Hunters” set up traps often made of barbed wire or other forms of sharp wire for snares to kill big game animals so they can sell their fur, hides, and ivory. Poaching has made the African game population decline substantially over the years, and that is why we need to enforce systems to end poaching instead of trophy hunting.

It is evident that trophy hunting has to be respected, managed, and preserved in order to maintain a steady balance of African game. Many places in Africa have stabilized systems that regulate hunting. These will not be perfect, but this has been working well for them and there is no need to change anything that’s not broken.

Trophy Hunting is beneficial for many reasons. Hunters come from all over the world to hunt these magnificent creatures. The owners of these lands keep the land and habitats well maintained to produce high success rates for hunters coming to bag trophies. If these hunters didn’t use the land then nobody would, and poachers would soon infest them killing off the population. These hunters pay thousands of dollars for these hunts. That money often goes to sustaining a flourishing habitat that helps wildlife and it goes to local villages to support life and benefit their local needs. These remote areas don’t leave many options for revenue and the public (outside of these villages) doesn’t understand that these remotes areas only option of producing a revenue is Trophy Hunting. With steady and strict guidelines set from these countries with multiple areas for steady paced trophy hunting will be safe for the endangered animals. They will have the best chance to flourish on the reserves at which they are being hunted.


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