The conservation through hunting model has led to many, sometimes heated, debates. Personally, I cannot understand why a person should kill an animal when the animal isn’t an immediate threat to that person or isn’t an indispensable part of that person’s diet. But when the conservation value is proven I am prepared to adopt the model in my thoughts.
When you search the internet you can find many articles that address the model and the accompanying debate, but some interesting thoughts I came across in a recently published article entitled ‘Big game hunters: We’re the answer to preventing extinction’ made me aware of how twisted some of the reasoning is. Therefore, I comment on a few of those that stood out to me.
“It’s about a value on wildlife, and the proof that it works is the fact that we are sitting here in this building [of the annual Dallas Safari Club Convention & Sporting Expo], and all these people are marketing and supporting wildlife, and so there is a value on it beyond its value of meat,” according a big game hunter.
Well, this means that if you are able to bring together a lot of people, no matter what their intention or how sick their mind is, that support your goal – your goal is good and to be respected. I believe this is not the way democracy works.
“We have taken a conscious decision to sustainably harvest some of the older wildlife, some of the post mature bulls that are basically fighting with the young ones, sometimes killing the young ones or females,” said the deputy director of Wildlife and National Parks with Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
This is a total misconception of how nature and evolution works. If you decide to kill old or mature wildlife that still outcompete younger specimens you could take away a relevant force needed for the species to evolve and stay resilient. You could help survive an unfit animal.
“Every single one of (these animals) is going to die,” Knowlton said. “But if you have the power to put a value on it, and supply those communities that are very poor with money … I believe it’s a very good symbiotic relationship,” says the hunter.
Yes, this is absolutely true, every animal will die eventually, but putting a value on these animals could mean that the communities the hunter talks about could become blinded by the easy money the animals can deliver – when dead, bagged and on the wall of the hunter – until the point of no return.
The enormous figures trophy hunters are willing to pay for killing big game is another thing that amazes me. The same hunter that justifies the killing just because these animals are going to die anyway, has successfully bid US$ 350,000 at an auction, in 2014, to hunt and kill a black rhinoceros in Namibia. He also says “I care about all of wildlife in wild places, and I want it to be around for our future generations.” So, why kill it I ask myself. Why don’t you just give the money to the people in the countries where this wildlife exists, to help them and enable them to take meaningful conservation measures, without you killing a precious animal. So, how sick must you be to pay so much money to do something so utterly useless, killing for the fun of it.
Is this why all those trophy hunters are smiling when they pose with the animal they have just shot. Is this because they have just satisfied their urge to kill an animal, a specimen of a threatened species, or the thought of how good this animal’s head will look on their wall at home.
And if the need to kill an animal is driving them, where does it end. How can that be sustainable? For mankind or for wildlife …
In other words, the conservation through hunting model is not a concept I value greatly.