According to an article published May 15, 2015 by the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, the government of Zambia has just lifted its two year ban on the hunting of lions and other big cats. The announcement was made by Zambia’s Minister of Tourism, Jean Kapata at a press conference in Lusaka. Ms. Kapata explained that leopard hunting will resume during the 2015/2016 season with “cautionary quotas.” Lion hunting will resume the following year, in the 2016/2017 season.
Zambia has not permitted the hunting of lions and other big cats since January of 2013. Since that time, SCI and the SCI Foundation have worked with Zambia to end the hunting ban. In February of 2013, SCI and the SCI Foundation invited Zambia’s Minister of Tourism and Arts to attend SCI’s annual convention and to address SCI’s Board of Directors. In the fall of 2013, the SCI Foundation held its annual African Wildlife Consultative Forum in Zambia, during which Zambia’s lion and other wildlife conservation and management concerns were a major topic of discussion between the attending representatives of African governments, professional hunting organizations and conservation organizations.
SCI commends Zambia for this important development in its approach to lion and big cat conservation and its recognition that hunting plays a valuable role in the sustainable management and conservation of these species. SCI looks forward to continuing to work with Zambia and the Zambian Wildlife Authority to make certain that scientifically supported lion and big cat hunting remain open. SCI will continue to provide updates as they become available.