Thursday, July 30, 2015

Some Facts on Cecil the Lion Hunt

I found this on the popular site  It adds facts, texture and nuance to the emotion floating about out there.  Remember that Zimbabwe is one of the most corrupt regimes in the world.  From Zimbabwe Wildlife Conservation:

We have been following these threads with great interest. we emphasize we are advocates of "sustainable utilization " as a conservation tool , some Basic facts that have been verified by several reliable and credible sources :-

The operator / professional hunters in question had a valid TR2 form stamped by the Zimbabwe parks & wildlife authority. This form once stamped allows a hunt to take place."authority to hunt"

Each and every property or hunting concession to be hunted by the registered operator/client / professional hunter during the course of conducting the hunt must be recorded on this TR2 form

All hunting Quota's are issued by Zimbabwe parks Authority, and ARE AREA SPECIFIC!!! The property in question where the lion was hunted is "Antonette", which incidentally was legally owned by Peter Johnston /Rosslyn Safaris, and was taken without compensation during the land grab. This could get

Any off take of animals be it for cropping,management or trophy hunting purposes has to be applied for and approved. The land owner is then issued with a "quota" which is valid from 01/01 -31/12 of each year. Few clients fully understand the different land classifications Zimbabwe has for its hunting industry.

1.government hunting concessions
2.communal areas - campfire or tribal areas generally with human settlement within these areas
3.private land - farms,ranches, conservancies

All these areas have different regulations and rules. There is no one standard set of laws that govern safari hunting across these land classifications. Naturally this is where the foreign client assumes his hunt should or will be legal and be compliant in local laws etc. His link being the professional hunter for everything that happens on the ground during the hunt, and in most cases the "operator" or company he has contracted to hunt through would have done all the paper work for his hunt, TR2 / hunt registration etc

99% of clients will never have had sight of the areas quota, again here he is generally relying on/be guided accordingly by his professional hunter.So client arrives in camp, he has probably not had sight of this TR2, as these are acquired ahead of time, usually before the clients even arrive in Zimbabwe, all necessary information is usually taken from the safari contract form or is forwarded by client / booking agent to operator / professional hunter. He would have his basic list of main species he would be they go soon as you leave camp and have rifles prepared,tracker etc on your vehicle you are deemed to be hunting,have the intent to hunt,look for,track stalk etc

Here is where the problem starts... Even if this client/hunter had shot a bushbuck,hyena, or whatever other animal/bird etc for that matter, that was not on the approved hunting quota for the said property for that current hunting year. They are technically hunting legally in terms of the authority to hunt , the valid TR2 form,but he has just killed an animal without the relevant approved and allocated quota / tag for that specific property. You have just poached that species . The onus is on the professional hunter conducting the safari, and the buck stops with him period!!

1.there is no law gazetted in Zimbabwe that specifically forbids the shooting of collard animals. It's the unwritten rule amongst "professional hunters" should the collar be visible that these animals are off limits.

2.of the 65 or so lions that have been collard in matabeleland north ( hwange, gwaai,Victoria falls,etc) in the past decade or so, 35 have died, with 24 of these being shot by either sport hunters, on problem animal control - cattle killers, man eaters etc . In the event one is killed, it's professional to return the collard to the research organization with date,location etc the animal was killed etc

3.the professional hunter/land owner did themselves no favors by trying to destroy the lions collar. No lion tag/quota , there was mention of "quota transfer ".. This is absolutely diabolical , but unfortunately is has and still happens. That's a lengthy topic which we will go in depth about in a separate post.

4. Did the client actually know the operator / land owner had no lion on quota? We very much doubt it.

5. Did the operator / professional hunter probably take a chance, hell yes!! If the lion had been cleanly killed, would we be in the PR storm we find ourselves in... Most probably not.

6.the operator and the land owner appeared in court today in hwange, and were granted bail.

Unfortunately some operators and professional hunters continue to "manipulate the system", quota transfers between areas, unsustainable quotas,with the blessing of government offices and / or use of influential political partners,moral and/or scientific conservation ethics are sacrificed for financial gain. Until there is a complete and thorough restructuring in the relevant ministry, government departments,and even our local hunting associations to a lesser degre our wildlife heritage will remain at risk.

More Here


Wireless.Phil said...

It was reported he wounded the lion with an arrow, then had to track it with GPS to finish te beast.

18 hours ago:

In Zimbabwe, a hunting guide and a farm owner appeared in court on allegations they helped Palmer kill the lion named Cecil. And the head of Zimbabwe's safari association said the big cat with the black mane was lured into the kill zone and denied "a chance of a fair chase."

The Zimbabwean men were accused of aiding Palmer, who reportedly paid $50,000 to track and kill a lion. Zimbabwe police have said they are looking for Palmer, whose exact whereabouts were unknown.

And of course PETA had their say:

PETA: Cecil the lion hunter should be hanged
Detroit Free Press-18 hours ago

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dean. I posted it to FR. Like I said in my comment at FR, as we have learned a hard lesson but #factsdontmatter seems to be the standard procedure anymore.


Wireless.Phil said...

Just heard on PBS!

White House Petition To Extradite Cecil The Lion's Killer Exceeds 100000 Signatures
ABC News‎ - 53 mins ago
The petition calling for the extradition of Walter Palmer, the Minnesota

Anonymous said...

Does Cecil have dentures or are those real teeth? Not being an African he looks dangerous to me.