August 4th, 2015

The obligatory post about Cecil the lion

I’m a little late here, aren’t I? I’m only dealing with this topic because it’s been such an internet cause célèbre. That’s an interesting phenomenon in itself, illustrating the way that a meme spreads.

And I’ll get this out of the way at the outset, too: I don’t like big-game trophy hunting. It’s one of the last things on earth I’d ever do, probably even somewhat behind skydiving, and that’s saying a lot. But if a certain country has declared it legal, and people follow the laws, it seems to me that it’s okay, and if you’re really against the practice and really incensed about it then lobby and petition that country to change its laws.

But before you do, read Maetenloch at Ace’s on why killing Cecil helps more lions to survive in Africa rather than hurting them. It’s quite convincing.

The case against Palmer the Hemingwayesque dentist who killed the cuddly Cecil the lion in order to mount his head as a trophy turns on whether the legalities were followed, and by whom, and what Palmer knew when it occurred. That is murky at present, but my guess is that the guides on whom Palmer relied knew what they were doing and knew it was probably illegal, but he didn’t, and that the responsibility is theirs.

What interests me most, however, is the public furor over the incident, when Cecil is one of hundreds of lions hunted recently in Zimbabwe without all that much of a fuss, although a fuss is certainly being raised now:

Cecil the Lion’s killing made him a household name, but he was at least the 23rd lion that scientists from Oxford University have been tracking in Zimbabwe recently only to see its life cut short by illegal hunting.

“Cecil was by no means the first lion to leave Hwange National Park and be shot, or to be killed illegally,” says professor David Macdonald, the director of the 20-year-old Oxford science program that is focused around the sprawling park.

The number of lions being killed across broader Zimbabwe is even more dramatic. Between 1999 and 2009, 800 lions were killed in legal hunts in the country, on top of what was likely an even greater number that were killed illegally.

It’s an interesting article. Zimbabwe, a dangerous place for humans, too, doesn’t seem to be uniquely bad for lions compared to several other African countries. In 2000, when the lion population had fallen in Zimbabwe, the country suspended legal lion-hunting for a few years until the numbers came back up. Trophy-hunting brings in fairly big bucks to the country’s economy as well. But in response to Cecil’s death and the resulting furor, the Zimbabwean authorities have suspended legal lion-hunting for now, and have thrown in a ban on hunting leopards and elephants for good measure.

A fact that might surprise most people is that some conservationists support legal trophy hunting (this also ties into Maetenloch’s post):

Supporters say regulated hunts raise much-needed money for conservation and help manage populations, since game officials typically try to make sure hunters target animals that are no longer able to breed or that might inhibit the reproduction of others around them.

Earlier this year, the Dallas Safari Club auctioned off a permit to shoot a black rhino and used the proceeds for conservation. The club did not have anyone available for comment Wednesday but said in a statement: “Lawful, ethical, vigilant hunters play an important role in public acceptance of sustainable hunting as a vital tool for modern wildlife conservation and management.” Club president Ben Carter previously told National Geographic that regulated trophy hunting is a tool that wildlife managers use to keep animal populations healthy and strong. “By removing counterproductive individuals from a herd, [populations] can actually grow,” Carter said.

The counter-arguments go like this:

Other hunters are taking a closer look at a practice that critics say is prone to corruption, fuels demand for black market wildlife products, and can be too hard to enforce on the ground, leaving lions like Cecil to end up as collateral damage.

I would say that just about anything in Zimbabwe is “prone to corruption,” and the demand for illegal lion hunts will probably not diminish all that much if the legal ones are abolished.

My strong suspicion is that if Palmer had killed some unstoried and unnamed lion we wouldn’t be hearing a whisper about it right now. But he killed Cecil, everybody’s favorite and one of the few lions the public had given a name. What was so special about Cecil? It appears that his fame rested on two factors. The first is that he was very very photogenic, with a classic lion “look,” regal and large. The second and not unrelated fact is that he was unafraid of humans and let them get close enough to him to regularly photograph him in all his leonine splendor.

I don’t mean to libel Cecil, especially now that he’s gone, but doesn’t that trait of being unafraid of humans constitute a potential danger, because even photogenic lions are wild and powerful predators after all, and people shouldn’t feel so comfortable with them that they are relaxed enough to come close to them? That’s not really Cecil’s fault, but isn’t it still the case? (Calling all lion experts.)

For example, in this recent incident in which a lioness killed an American tourist in South Africa (and which attracted some internet attention but not as much as Cecil’s death), the focus of attention seemed mostly to be critical of the woman killed and defensive towards the lion. Her mistake appears to have been the prohibited rolling down of her car window in order to take a photo, and her death underscored the fact that the magnificent beasts are inherently dangerous.

And that’s not just to humans, but to other wildlife. It is part of the natural order of things, of course; “nature red in tooth and claw.” And it’s very good to remember this if you have any intention of being around lions, whatever your species:

“Almost any organism around lions might be a potential prey item, and for people to think that they are an exception is folly,” says Luke Dollar, program director for National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative.

“I would imagine that every other primate that co-exists with big cats is acutely aware of the position they hold relative to the top predators of the world.”

Dollar says danger arises when we allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security in the presence of lions or other carnivores.

And therein lies a clue as to why some people like to hunt lions for trophies. Human weaponry gives mankind a leg up, as it were, on the creatures that otherwise dominate all other animals, and give hunters a chance to assert some dominance of their own. Lions hunt, too, but they hunt for food, and humans hunt lions for other reasons than food.

I wrote that lions hunt for food, and mostly they do (that’s generally true of humans who hunt as well, although not when humans hunt lions these days). But it turns out that lions sometimes resemble humans more than one might think even in this regard, because male lions don’t hunt for food (for example, it is routine for rival male lions to kill the cubs of vanquished or dead previous male leaders).

It is female lions that are the hunters for food; male lions such as Cecil are the protectors of territory:

Males defend their territory, be it open woodland or scrub, through urinating to mark the area, roaring to promote fear and literally chasing off any intruders. Their main competition is spotted hyenas that often go for the same prey as lions. These animals will fight and steal each other’s food. This warfare goes beyond food; it is also the problem of territorial boundaries being crossed. Lions can be extremely aggressive and have been seen hunting hyenas, killing them and not eating their prey. They dominate and promote fear in other animals, such as cheetahs and leopards, so that they do not prey the same time that lions do. Males eat the prey first despite the females usually catching it.

The uproar over Cecil ignores all of this, as uproars often do.

44 Responses to “The obligatory post about Cecil the lion”

  1. Oldflyer Says:

    I do not support hunting for trophies alone. I know there are pros and cons; I just do not like the idea. I have no problem whatsoever with hunting to eat the prey; anymore than I have with harvesting calves, lambs, or pigs for food.

    That said, the furor over the lion–which never answered to the name Cecil by the way–is disgusting. A legend has developed that is so fanciful that the denizens of Hollywood might hold their noses if presented as a script. Well, maybe not.

    I see that Jericho, the brother, has supposedly adopted, and is defending, the cubs. As we know there is no loyalty among adult male lions; and Jericho would have been a rival, not a beloved sibling. Jericho may want Cecil’s harem, but I just do not accept that he has familial feelings for the cubs. Except maybe as cheap food.

    As for the Dentist; one thing we know. He spent a lot of money for that hunt. It sort of follows that he expected it to be conducted legally by the people he was paying. Only a fool would intentionally get at cross purposes with the despotic, white hating, government of Zimbabwe. While not particularly admiring him, I find the behavior of those who seek to ruin his life without any factual justification to be downright obscene.

    I would blame Disney, and others of his ilk, for all of this childish fantasy about wild animals; except that most of the people who are so outraged should have grown up enough to differentiate between reality and fantasy.

  2. Lurch Says:

    I steer clear of ANY wildlife that isn’t afraid of me. If they aren’t afraid of me, I’m afraid of them. This is especially true if the critters have sharp teeth.

  3. Cornflour Says:

    I live in an area with lots of bears and bear hunters. Just a few minutes ago, I talked to one (not a bear), and it never crossed my mind to ask what he thought about Cecil’s death. I guess I’m just insensitive. Seriously, I have absolutely no interest in hunting lions, tigers, or bears; but all these people struck with the vapors over it …

    Well, I never claimed to be the most manly man, but what the hell is going on? Is this the great testosterone stagnation?

  4. parker Says:

    Think about living in an environment where top line predators see you as nothing more than the next meal, and then think about how you would feel about lions and other big cats (the ultimate predators that roam our world). I hunt in Wyoming every other year (pronghorns and elk) and mountain lions, found in areas where I hunt elk, are a real threat. Once I was shadowed by one until I fired a shot in its general direction. Scarey indeed. I have no wish to hunt these beautiful, fierce critters, but I don’t see them in a romantic light.

    The tears and hand wringing over this particular lion is merely a distraction from the delicate crushing of babies for harvesting organs for profit.

  5. Ymarsakar Says:

    This isn’t an uproar. This is a tactical diversion used by the Left in order to collapse the front of a military formation, even as the Left’s own front with Planned Profit, is collapsing. They need to motivate their fanatic, true believer, or zombie Leftist troops.

  6. Ymarsakar Says:

    Leftist zombies are increasing. That’s why Planned Profit is ramping up the body part extractions. They need them. And people can guess why. Zombies desire certain things.
    This is why Leftists like male lions like that. It’s just like Planned Parenthood.

    The comments at Book’s thread were more timely for this popular operation. It may interest people who want to sample what people’s reactions were back then.

  7. parker Says:

    Will there be a daily bag limit on leftist zombies, or will it be open season, no limit? I type this in jest; because much like fringe blacks wishing for race war, leftists (Ayers comes to mind) have not the slightest idea of the caca storm they seek.

  8. Ymarsakar Says:

    Ayers is probably still living in his mansion with his psycho wife, raising toasts and champagne to the Fall of Saigon and other human miseries caused by their allies.

    Maybe they’ll raise him up as the next NSA spymaster, so he can directly read our emails and correspondences.

  9. j e Says:

    The Blacklivesmatter morons are not at all pleased that the Empire State Building, which neglected to honor The Gentle Giant (aka St. Michael of Ferguson), recently displayed an image of the world’s most famous deceased lion, whereas a few months ago when Mugabe the Magnificent dined on elephant and various other noble creatures to celebrate the grand occasion of his birthday, the SJWs were not loud in condemnation.

  10. Ymarsakar Says:

    Btw, what happened to Neo Neo’s classic trolls and Leftist sympathizers here? I don’t see them as much, although they were plentiful around 2008 or 2007 or 2005, mocking us about US casualties in Iraq.

    Did Hussein order their posts to be pulled back in in order to protect the DC fort and the IRS’s mails? Or maybe the Wildlife ranger crackdown on US veterans and citizens, required a certain rearrangement of their agent assets?

  11. kaba Says:

    I’ve never understood the desire to hunt big game. If you’re lacking adventure and a sense of challenge in your life walk into any biker bar and spit in the beer of the biggest man there.

  12. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    As we all realize, the uproar by the liberal useful idiots is being fomented and manipulated by the Left as another front in the cultural war against the West. Whether police, military, competitive sport, etc. heaping ridicule upon every traditional masculine endeavor is part of the Left’s modus operandi.

    “An SDS radical once wrote, “The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.” David Horowitz

    “I’ve never understood the desire to hunt big game.” Kaba

    It’s certainly not my cup of tea but I do understand that there is a profound difference between the insecure, wannabe ‘big game hunter’ and the man driven to confront his fears. Tracking a wounded water buffalo into the bush, an animal famous for their turning and stalking the hunter is not for the faint of heart.

  13. Lizzy Says:

    The Cecil outrage reminds me a lot of the #BringBackOurGirls fad a while back. So much concern, and yet no grasp (or an unwillingness to acknowledge) the true nature of the issue. The posers can easily tweet their canned slogans and hashtags, or punch it up a notch and make menacing comments about what should happen to the hunter. They’ll pat themselves on the back for their depth of caring…and then move on.

    This is not only political misdirection, but wicked cheap grace.

    Meanwhile, only some of those Nigerian girls have been recovered, and several of them have likely been used in the many suicide-bombings since the #BringBackOurGirls campaign started. Yet Boko Haram continues to murder and kidnap other Christian men, women, and children.
    You’d never know it from the tweets of the twitter Care mob who has long since moved on to other causes, including Cecil. And they’ll be long gone when the financial impact of the loss of foreign big game hunters hits Zimbabwe. No doubt busy with a showy ice bucket challenge or complaining about NYC subway “manspreading.”

  14. parker Says:


    I consider elk big game in North America. I hunt them for the challenge of tracking them, making a one shot clean kill at long distances, and because elk meat is very tasty. I also enjoy the chance to spend time with a close childhood friend who has lived in Wyoming for more than 30 years. I would also enjoy hunting moose, just haven’t done it yet. But we probably agree about hunting lions, elephants, etc.

    As far as spitting in beer, no thanks. Instead I was sky diving last weekend and will do the same on Friday. 😉

  15. AMartel Says:

    ““An SDS radical once wrote, “The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.” David Horowitz”

    The Two Minutes of Hate has a new flavor today. Gamey. Why? Big game hunting has been going on forever. But of course it’s political:

    1. Divert attention from various collapsing progressive dreams/disasters;

    2. Cover the enemy in poo.
    Hunting=Repulicans, gun nuts, southerners. Bonus: Trump’s sons hunt big game.

    3. Feed The Beast (the mob prog base all relate better to cute animals than to actual human beings).

  16. Frog Says:

    How few understand hunting yet are so very quick to tell us what they think about it (negatively) and why. You’d think they were all Democrats. It is not physical combat, “Death to the weaker critter”. Fairness has nothing to do with it either.

    It is La Chasse. The Hunt. THE HUNT. Not The Killing.

    Nothing Disney or biker bar or quick-draw mcgraw about it.

    It is a combination of the physical and the cerebral. Big game hunting especially. A hunter is one who is immersed in the Hunt.

    I recommend a read of Ortega y Gasset’s “Meditations On Hunting.” Beware. It is a book. By a philosopher.

  17. n.n Says:

    #CecilTheLion just happened to coincide with exposure of Planned Parenthood and #CecileTheAbortionist. The animal equivalence movement was not shamed.

  18. Mark30339 Says:

    Great post Neo, and interesting comments. But I’m not ready to buy the notion that world wide sympathy for Cecil is a clever media plot by PP sympathizers. The Cecil event was a perfect place for the morality mob to focus and affirm a shallow, even delusional conviction that this moment of outrage means they have helped make the world is a better place. It’s classic co-dependency. Cecil is the victim, the hunting party is the persecutor, and participants in the unified outrage boost themselves with notions of being virtuous rescuers.

  19. starlord Says:

    Humans are predators. Hunting a predator seems to be consistent with our evolution. They hunt us too
    In any event I think this was done with a bow and arrow? As a regular hunter in North America, you need to be fairly close and fairly good to take a deer with a bow. Getting that close to a lion, which is a tough, extremely dangerous animal is not without a lot of risk. Also not that easy to get close. The animal needs to bleed to death, or drown in its own blood if hit in the lungs
    The lion would be able to charge and kill both of them before the guide shot his gun if things went wrong. And if he did get a shot off, shooting a charging lion from close range takes some pretty steely nerves. A lion with an arrow in it isn’t going to slow down right away. A deer can run for a mile with a lung shot. Even with a rifle they can drop or run some distance. Wouldn’t want to try it myself with a lion
    Don’t know if he took this with a bow, but that’s a pretty ballsy hunt if you ask me.

  20. Jimmy J. Says:

    A lion is poached in Zimbabwe = A mass protest over the deed and reverence for the lion with the most zealous protestors demanding that the poacher be killed forthright.

    Planned Parenthood sells baby parts and the officers of the organization speak of the limbs, livers, hearts, etc. as tissue = Nothing to see here folks. Move along now.

    The MSM and left are doing business as usual.

  21. Ymarsakar Says:

    Cecil is the victim, the hunting party is the persecutor, and participants in the unified outrage boost themselves with notions of being virtuous rescuers.

    And that proves what?

    If every Leftist operation isn’t unified because they pull on Leftist mind control BS, then what exactly is left?

    They are an alliance because they help each other. They knew Planned Profit needed the help, just like previous unions helped ACORN out and regenerated it when it fell from its tree of sex slave traffickers.

  22. Ymarsakar Says:

    As for people that dislike big game hunting because of X, Y, or Z, don’t worry.

    Come the Zombie Apocalypse, you won’t need to see or hear about big game hunting. Something else will be around to hunt.

  23. Ymarsakar Says:

    Also Big Hunter type ops are better for the world economy and virtue than what Democrats and certain other Westerners like to do for pleasure.

    Check the number of Westerners visiting Cuba now that it is open and what they pay for boys and girls in hotels. See if you can do it.

  24. jack Says:

    Nature is pretty much vicious. The strong survive and the weak die. Lefties can’t understand that fact of nature.

  25. Ymarsakar Says:

    Leftists love that fact of nature, that’s why they worship Gaia.

    They will use their power to smash you, jack. Do you doubt it? Do you think your Leftist friends or associates will resist their authorities and side with you?

  26. Jimmy J. Says:

    A few things I learned about lions when visiting Kenya and Tanzania.

    Their preservation depends on their having enough food around. That means herds of grazing animals such as Wildebeest, Impala, Antelope, Zebra, etc. Both Kenya and Tanzania have large areas of grazing land, which support the big populations of the necessary grazers/prey. Kenya and Tanzania have set aside many favorable grazing areas as protected game parks. Some of the smaller parks (small in Africa is 116 square miles and up) have electrified fences around them to keep the wild animals in so farmers and ranchers can do their thing without worrying about crop and animal losses. The game parks and reserves bring in a large amount of revenue (Tourism is the second largest source of foreign currency) to the countries as tourists come from all over the world to see the animals. Both governments have been smart enough to protect the parks/reserves and the herds of animals. They attract large amounts of hard currency even without the hunting. They allow professional trophy hunting as a means of controlling the populations especially in the fenced in parks.

    If you see lions in the bush, it is usually during the day and they will be lying around almost inert. When you see a pride as the sun begins going down, you will see them start to sniff the air, stretch, and begin slowly warming up for the night’s activities. Unless very hungry, they only hunt at night. The result is you probably won’t see lions on the hunt. The other side of the coin is that as evening approaches you see the grazers moving toward higher ground where there is less grass for cover and the ground has more stones, which make it hard on the lions’ paws when they run. It’s a daily ballet of life and death. When I saw that, it was like being transported back in time to an era when men lived much closer to the workings of nature. It’s a pattern of nature that has been going on for a long, long time, but we don’t see it here in the “civilized” world. Each night some grazers become meals for the lions, hyenas, leopards, and cheetahs. For those who anthropomize animals it is a tragedy. But it’s not a tragedy, it’s the rhythm of nature at work.

    As another part of this tableau, I saw the Masai people driving their animals into their fenced (fences constructed of thorny Acacia bushes) compounds. They knew the lions and hyenas would like to dine on their cattle, goats, and sheep. They wisely depended on their fences and sentries to keep them safe from the night’s predators as they have done for a long time.

    Zimbabwe has in the past been a more agricultural country than either Kenya and Tanzania. Hence they have fewer game parks and reserves. I can well understand how they would welcome trophy hunting there because of the injection of much needed hard currency. Unfortunately, the money will go mostly to help Mugabe maintain control of the country. Zimbabwe is the most Marxist and the most failed of all African nations at this point. And that is quite a feat.

  27. F Says:

    Cecil the Lion, huh? Named after Sir Cecil Rhodes, I presume. Founder of Rhodesia. White founder of Rhodesia.

  28. Ymarsakar Says:

    Zimbabwe is the black African version of the Hussein Regime. Rhodesia was what the colony was originally called, before the black rape gangs and criminal cartels took it over, with the excuse of Jimmy Carter and the UN’s “equality” bs.

    Another country that the US helped sink and never thought twice about in the future. It all comes home, sooner or later.

  29. rickl Says:

    Geoffrey Britain Says:
    August 4th, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    “An SDS radical once wrote, “The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.” David Horowitz

    Interesting. Around the same time, Ayn Rand wrote, “Do not bother to examine a folly. Ask yourself only what it accomplishes.”

    Sounds pretty similar, in a way. Of course, she had the Left’s number.

  30. Ymarsakar Says:

    Ayn Rand specialized in redefining the English language, sort of like liberty’s Chomsky.

    There’s a lot of power in redefining normal terms or making new ones up. It even may counter Leftist propaganda at the root level.

    Cuckservative, SJWs, etc are all signs that people are organizing in insurgency sub cultures.

  31. charles Says:

    Cecil and the uproar (is there a pun there? roar?) is, once again, much ado about nothing.

    How many folks who are trash talking this dentist never even heard of Cecil before?

    How many of the news outlets who are adding fuel to the fire didn’t say/do squat when Benghazi went down? Maybe we should have had a marine named “Cecil” and then they would have cared? We all know the answer is no.

    It only matters because it makes for great press; the evil white hunter murders Simba, the Lion King!

    And that it takes the heat off of Clinton’s missing emails helps with selling the Cecil Murdered! story.

    On a personal note; I was travelling in India a few years back. I was there on business and decided to stay for vacation travel as well.

    A few things I thought I would never do I ended up doing.

    First, was giving money at a temple for an elephant to “bless” me. I felt uncomfortable about it, not because I feared the elephant; but, because I hated seeing the elephant chained up inside a dark temple forced to swing its trunk to tap the head of “pilgrims” for its survival.

    The second was giving money to animal entertainers, namely those who train bears to do tricks along side the road for passing tourists. I did have my driver stop a couple of times, watch the “show” and drop a few rupees. Both times I felt terrible watching a wonderful animal as think bears are being treated in such a manner – chained and forced to do tricks for food. (not unlike the temple elephant)

    The third was to ride an elephant to the top of hill to go to a fort which is now a tourist spot. I would have preferred to walk. Again, I hated to see the elephants used in this manner.

    Lastly, and in my mind the worst, was to take a pedal-powered rickshaw. The idea of anyone, let alone myself, using another human as a beast of burden bothers me. It really bothers me.

    But, in all these cases I “discarded my principles” in favor of supporting the locals who were only trying to make a living.

    My refusing to pay for a blessing from a temple elephant, or refusing to stop and pay for a tamed bear show, or refusing to ride an elephant, or take the rickshaw would not have mattered one darn bit in stopping those practices with which I disagree.

    But, my refusing to stop and give some rupees might mean that someone would go hungry that week. I guess my principles weren’t totally discarded in that I did place the well-being of humans first – no matter what my first-world impulses were.

    Not that I am morally superior; but, I do wish those so willing to condemn hunting, especially all this Cecil uproar would try to see all the facts. We don’t all live in a first-world country were we can afford to “stick to our principles.”

  32. Beverly Says:

    Yes, Cecil was a Kept Lion.

    The argument for allowing controlled lion hunting in Africa is a rational one: it gives the locals an incentive to tolerate the dangers and inconveniences of sharing space with the apex predator. Thereby preserving habitat and the species.

    The woo-woo argument, stemming from our childhood viewing of the movie “Bambi,” etc., that they should never be hunted will lead to their eradication.

    But at least the anti-hunting faction can Feel Good about themselves. So there’s that.

  33. Beverly Says:

    Where was the outrage from the Social Justice Wankers when Robt. Mugabe “ate a zoo’s worth of animals” for his 92nd birthday?

    His guests were fed a young elephant, and two buffaloes, two sables and five impalas were also donated to the president by a local landowner. He also threw in a lion and a crocodile to be stuffed as an extra gift for Mugabe. On top of this, 40 cows were offered to the president by two members of his government. A second elephant is going to be shot and given to the Victoria Falls community.

    But he’s not a Caucasian-American het male, so there’s that. No odds in attacking an African native.

  34. Ymarsakar Says:

    We don’t all live in a first-world country were we can afford to “stick to our principles.”

    They don’t have principles. Watch this video for why.

    The Democrats own them, heart and soul. Demoncrats, rule for and by demons.

  35. Steve57 Says:

    kaba Says:

    “I’ve never understood the desire to hunt big game. If you’re lacking adventure and a sense of challenge in your life walk into any biker bar and spit in the beer of the biggest man there.”

    I agree. You have absolutely no understanding when it comes to the desire to go big game hunting. If you did, you’d know that it has absolutely nothing to do with the juvenile impulses that immediately come to your mind.

    Which, I might add, says nothing about me and everything about you.

    As is the case with all the other amateur psychoanalysis, where apparently sexually insecure individuals project that big game hunters suffer from the same afflictions.

    As Freud said, an umbrella is really just an umbrella. If you look at an umbrella and see a phallus then you’re the one with the problem.

    Not me for carrying it. I’m not “compensating” for anything it’s just in case of rain.

  36. Steve57 Says:

    “The counter-arguments go like this:

    Other hunters are taking a closer look at a practice that critics say is prone to corruption, fuels demand for black market wildlife products, and can be too hard to enforce on the ground, leaving lions like Cecil to end up as collateral damage.”

    This gobbledegook is beyond meaningless. The critics quote themselves when they say “critics say,” trophies from controlled sport hunting never end up on black markets because the hunter never could recoup the $50k or more trophy fee, as opposed to the local villager who doesn’t pay for any license and would sell a lion skin for $10, and…

    Ah, this big ball of nonsense is just too hard to unpack. The argument for hunting is based upon facts, the argument against it is based upon illusion. Do you want to see one practical way the tourist hunter’s fees go to prevent poaching?

    I hunted problem elephants with Charlton McCallum Safaris a few years ago. No trophy, these were just crop raiders who occasionally killed people who tried to protect their corn fields. Or, really, they just killed people when they felt like it and someone was within reach.

    “In 2010 Charlton McCallum Safaris took over the Dande East (’East’) and the Dande Safari Area (‘DSA’) we soon realized that rampant poaching was something that needed to be dealt with much more effectively. The National Parks staff in the DSA were doing a decent job. However the community scouts in the East, with no incentives and seldom getting paid were an ineffective unit.

    The East was considered a depleted area, only good for early season crop raiding elephant bulls from Mozambique. The primary reason for this was that the previous hunting operator only hunted the early season for elephant. Then pulling out for the rest of the year leaving it wide open to uncontrolled poaching.

    In 2009 CMS enlisted the help of Dr. Russell Taylor to carry out a ‘capacity study’ in the East. His theoretical results were amazing and he estimated that the area could safely hold 1000 buffalo, 500 kudu, 500 sable etc.

    With this in mind as soon as our contract started in 2010, we immediately formed the DANDE ANTI POACHING UNIT (DAPU). To date our full time teams in the East have picked up over 5000 snares and have arrested over 60 poachers (in four years). The game has rebounded strongly which is extremely gratifying. In 2013 we took over Dande North (’North’) once again unifying it with the DSA and discovered the same sad story existed with the North. As of 2014 DAPU now supports both the East and North community scouts. The crux of the matter is that DAPU has now out grown our small company and we simply cannot afford to keep up the financial effort. Expenses and incentives paid out keep increasing, but we have to continue with our anti poaching!”

    The safari companies that have their own long term leases hire their own biologists to help them improve the habitat, and they form their own anti-poaching units.

    This is how it’s pretty much always been. It’s one reason most if not all African countries can’t protect their own wildlife. Not even SA, with its relatively advanced economy and a million visitors a year to Kruger National Park.

    In many countries the safari operators were essentially deputized as game rangers, and they took over those responsibilities in their own areas. What else is Charlton McCallum Safaris doing?

    “In 2011 the Dande Safari Area, like the rest of the country, suddenly saw a marked increase in elephant poaching. Our National Parks as keen as they are were under funded, demoralised and often unable to respond to situations due to having only one vehicle, in a deplorable state to patrol the whole area, CMS has taken the burden of:

    1. Helping drop and pick up patrols.

    2. Supplying the Rangers with rations for patrols.

    3. Incentives for successful patrols.

    4. Repairing the National Park vehicle and keeping it on the road.

    5. Donating diesel monthly to keep the National Parks vehicle running.”

    That’s right. They’re keeping the National Parks and Wildlife game scouts operating by doing what the government can’t.

    If you want you can go to the link and learn how to sponsor an anti-poaching game scout.

    The reason the government opened Problem Animal Control hunting to foreign hunters stemmed from pretty much the same cause. The government couldn’t afford to buy their game scouts ammo. Regular ammo in Africa is ungodly expensive. The price of big bore ammo that can deal with large dangerous game like elephant, hippo (yes, they’re fast, strong, and extremely dangerous and if you don’t believe me get between one and the safety of the river some morning when its returning from grazing), cape buffalo, and lion. You might not think you’d use the same rifle on lion as you would on elephant but they are not easy to kill. At least they’re not easy to kill instantly, and that means it can get to you and kill you before it dies from its wounds.

    So while the local game scouts, whether National Parks or government-armed community scouts, might have rifles and a handful of ammo they could never practice with them. So they’d creep into a field at night when the elephants were feeding, shoot in the general direction of the elephant, and run. Thereby making the situation ten times worse.

    I beg to differ with neo-neocon in one regard. A rifle doesn’t give the human hunter an edge over big game, particularly very large shock resistant mega fauna as you find in Africa. At best it evens the odds. And then only if you hit a vital area, which on an elephant are two surprisingly small targets. I won’t go into the details as I doubt most are interested. Suffice to say that if you put a bullet into the rest of the elephant, which is vast in comparison, you will only anger it and generally not injure it fatally.

    Which is what the game scouts were doing. Which is why they opened this up to people like me. I did get my elephant, and he didn’t move from the spot I shot him. And it wasn’t a trophy hunt so I got nothing out of it except pictures and memories. And good memories they are, as the subsistence farmers who these elephants had nearly ruined (the one I shot was in a group of three bulls, and the other two headed for the horizon) got every bit of meat in recompense. So for the next week or so as we drove around sightseeing and just viewing the wildlife, we’d pass through village after village and outside every hut were racks and racks of my elephant, drying into biltong, the African approximation of beef jerky, to preserve it long term. That is, after the locals ate all the fresh meat they could.

    So I fed hundreds of people. And the government took the tusks so the could legally sell it on the ivory market.

    I understand it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, so go to the link and sponsor a game scout if you’re upset over Cecil.

  37. Sopra Says:

    I’d also suggest reading this piece:

    Man who studied Cecil the lion for 9 years talks impact

  38. Frog Says:

    Fascinating. I’ve been wondering who in glorious Zimbabwe first blew the whistle. Aha! I was a white non-Zimbabwean “biologist” who had allegedly been tracking Cecil via radio collar for NINE years.

    We can profile this dude. He is an envirofascist who lives on other people’s money, probably curried favor of Mugabe louts. Track a lion for 9 years and learn what? Give that man a grant!

  39. Frog Says:

    “It” not “I” !

  40. neo-neocon Says:


    I thought perhaps you had led many lives 🙂 .

  41. JuliB Says:

    The violence of the replies on outlets such as FB has been startling, with people calling for the death of the dentist, for him to be extradited back to Zim, etc. People scare me!

    This reminds me what Selco has written in his blog – that we leave with nutcases walking around with pleasant masks.

  42. Ymarsakar Says:

    People scare me!

    Why do they scare you. The fanatics and true believers on humanity’s side are every bit as ruthless as the zombies killing humanity. You just don’t hear about them because they haven’t gone active like the Left has.

  43. Sopra Says:

    Frog: Try reading the article, if you can stop admiring your own clever-sounding ignorance long enough.

  44. Steve57 Says:

    I hope everyone appreciates irony:

    -WildCRU’s research is partially funded by the conservation group Panthera and the Dallas Safari Club

    Oxford University researchers studying Cecil the lion before he was shot illegally were being funded by pro-hunting companies, it emerged yesterday.

    The university’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) had been tracking the famous lion’s movements by satellite since 2008.

    Its founder, Professor David Macdonald, said he was ‘horrified’ after Cecil was shot dead in Zimbabwe on July 1.

    But WildCRU’s research is partially funded by the conservation group Panthera and the Dallas Safari Club, which support sustainable trophy hunting.

    …Dr Luke Hunter, executive vice president of Panthera, claimed that while ‘far too many lions are being shot for sport’, hunting can ‘benefit lions’.

    In a blog this year, he said: ‘In Africa, sport hunting is the main revenue earner for huge tracts of wilderness outside national parks. Many such areas are too remote, undeveloped or disease-ridden for the average tourist.

    ‘Hunting survives because hunters are usually more tolerant of hardship, and they pay extraordinary sums to shoot a male lion. The business requires only a handful of rifle-toting visitors to prosper which, in principle, helps protect those areas.

    A spokesman for the Dallas Safari Club said it ‘absolutely’ supported sustainable trophy hunting.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    I’m sure everyone one is shocked the Dallas Safari Club supports sustainable trophy hunting. then there is this.

    But Chris Macsween, a trustee of the conservation charity LionAid, said: ‘LionAid does not believe that there is any such thing as ‘sustainable trophy hunting’ of vulnerable and endangered species.

    And Macsween and LionAid will never let any amount of facts separate them from their religious beliefs.

    Anyway, I thought everyone would enjoy animal rightist and liberal heads exploding across the globe.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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