Safari Club International and hunters fight criminal poaching of wildlife resources. Anti-hunters do not.
Anti-hunters enable criminal poaching. By being aware of the problem and doing nothing about it, antis are responsible for the criminal slaughter of animals they falsely profess they want to save.
When it comes to saving wildlife in wild places, humans are either part of the problem or part of the solution. Anti-hunters are the problem. SCI and hunters are the solution.
Instead of putting their money where their mouth is and joining the fight against criminal wildlife poaching or pouring millions of dollars into meaningful conservation which actually helps save wildlife, anti-hunting elements within the eco-tourism industry attack SCI and hunting as they scurry to manufacture fake news surrounding a recent lion hunt in Africa.
Filled with fantasies and falsehoods, an article by Judy Malone published recently in the e-newspaper Daily Maverick lays bare efforts by the eco-colonialists within the eco-tourism industry to attack hunting, proclaiming it adversely affects the tourism that fills their coffers with cash.
Entitled “Driving nails into the coffin of Safari Club International,” the article attempts to justify its attack merely by terming hunting “morally wrong.”
Then, by focusing on reports of a recent lion hunt in Africa, the article leads to what obviously was the main reason for writing it in the first place – to further eco-tourism at the expense of hunting. It’s greed, pure and simple.
“The reality is that wildlife watching has the lion’s share of total tourism revenue in Africa and everywhere else,” the article stated. “So it is not only wildlife populations threatened by the killing of the biggest and best, but tourist numbers as well. Many are repelled and angered by the grisly details of hunts circulating in mainstream and social media.”
Yes, it is the perceived loss of revenue that drives this attack – an attack steeped in the parlance of traditional anti-hunting rhetoric. Bluntly, they don’t like hunting because they think it gets in the way of their making more money. Why are they not using their money to finance anti-poaching efforts and true conservation projects?
In the attack on SCI, the author assumes that the lion taken on a recent hunt is a particular male with a name – Skye. This assumption also has been echoed by mainline anti-hunting groups like Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society of the United State and Humane Society International. Reports from Umbabat Private Nature Reserve (UPNR) indicate that this is simply not true.
The very premise of CBD, HSUS, HIS and the Daily Maverick article is false. According to the Umbabat Private Nature Reserve (UPNR), the lion allegedly taken was not known as “Skye,” was not “the leader of the well-known western lion pride,’ and was not “declared a “High Value Pride Male.” This lion, as documented by the June 12, 2018 statement from the UPNR, was “well past his prime – as per the hunting protocol,” “was not a pride lion,” “had worn down and broken teeth, a protruding spine (all signs of advanced age).”
Information about the specifics of the hunt are still coming in, which is far from surprising, considering that the hunt occurred fewer than 30 days ago. CBD, HSUS, HSI and TATH wish to capitalize on the typical difficulties of obtaining information quickly about hunts in Africa and would like to fill the information vacuum with unsubstantiated allegations, innuendos and a media frenzy similar to the one that erroneously accused a U.S. hunter of illegally taking a now well-known lion in Zimbabwe. Those false accusations and the turmoil that followed, through the damage done to sustainable use-hunting, have already done great harm to African wildlife conservation.
SCI and SCI Foundation, working with our members and chapter network, as well as our partners in other like-minded groups, have invested tens of millions of dollars into anti-poaching and conservation efforts around the world. Our unwavering dedication to protecting wildlife and habitat also extends into many levels of support for local people, expanding their economic opportunities.
Tragically, while the anti-hunters spend their time and money attacking hunting, criminal poachers are devastating entire wildlife populations. SCI and SCI Foundation have put planes in the air, trucks on the road and boots on the ground to stem the tide of the all-out assault on natural resources by criminal poachers. Anti-hunters have done none of this. They talk their talk. We walk our walk.
Working with universities, researchers and local experts, SCI and SCI Foundation empower those most negatively affected by poaching by providing viable alternatives for them to feed their families and improve their communities. Hunting works far beyond the hunt itself.
Compare the humanitarian and conservation successes of hunters with the political and economic greed of the organization represented by the author of the article in the Daily Maverick. About the author, the article states: “Judy Malone writes on behalf of Tourists Against Trophy Hunting.”
In the article, TATH is described: “Tourists Against Trophy Hunting (TATH) is an international lobbying coalition. We are conservationists, journalists, photographers, activists, tourism operators, and tourists, and through member connections reach a global audience in the millions.”
So, what we have here is a political lobbying operation that includes tourism operators wanting to rack-up profits. They are not actively fighting criminal poachers. SCI and hunters are.
As for driving any nails into the coffin of SCI, we are reminded of a quote by author Mark Twain after rumors of his death circulated while he was still alive: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” he quipped.
So, too, are the fantasies of anti-hunting fake news items “exaggerated” that suggest SCI, as well as hunting, are dead. Dream on.