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Nearly a year ago, the world erupted in outrage when an American hunter killed “Cecil the Lion” in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Hunters were demonized, a man’s livelihood was destroyed and major corporations changed their policies to keep people from enjoying legal hunting. Baffled conservationists in African countries warned that pressuring hunters to stay out of Africa would harm wildlife. The gibbering gibbons of the anti-gun and anti-hunting movements continued their persecution of hunters. Now the same park in Zimbabwe where Cecil met his end may need to slaughter 200 lions due to the drought of wealthy hunters. From the National Post . . .

Bubye Valley Conservancy has more than 500 lions, the largest number in Zimbabwe’s diminishing wildlife areas. It has warned that its lion population has become unsustainable and that it may even have to cull around 200 as a result of what is being called “the Cecil effect.” …

Conservationists estimate about half of Zimbabwe’s wildlife has disappeared since President Robert Mugabe’s seizure of white-owned land began in 2000, but Bubye has held on by attracting wealthy hunters whose fees support its wildlife work. But last year’s shooting of Cecil, in a conservancy bordering Hwange National Park, sparked a huge backlash against big-game hunting, and bolstered a U.S. plan to ban trophy hunting imports.

The astronomical fees foreign hunters paid to shoot animals in Africa directly supported the continent’s conservation efforts. It was a mutually beneficial, self-sustaining system. Now that the hunters are gone, there isn’t enough money to support Hwange National Park‘s operation and the ecosystem is out-of-whack. Lions will be killed, anyway, without any of hunting’s enormous economic benefits. 

When pro-hunting advocacy groups argue that hunting does more for the conservation of wildlife than all the PETA-esque charities combined, theanti-hunting crowd scoffs and dismisses hunters’ logic as self-serving rationalization. Hunting opponents are wrong, and no amount of self-righteous snobbery will change the facts on the ground.

“Killing animals can’t possibly be the best solution!” If it sounds familiar, that’s because it is. It’s the same bilge spouted by civilian disarmers when they state that “more guns isn’t the solution to gun violence.” In both cases their conclusion is based on emotion and only the most superficial understanding of the situation. When opinions like these go unchecked the result is often tragic, like the impending slaughter of 200 lions whose lives could have paid for the comfort and safety of countless other animals.

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88 Responses to Hwange National Park to Slaughter African Lions Due to Lack of Hunters

      • This seems to be indicative of 99.9% of what the feel good idiots wreak upon the world. I’m more and more convinced that the OWO morons want economies destroyed, this leads to more disease and more deaths. For them it’s a good thing. Human Life is cheap for them.

        • I have an easier time believing that the world is full of feel-good morons than full of intelligent, malicious saboteurs, though they do produce the same outcomes.

    • reports said that Cecil was lured out of a protected area so he’d be fair-game and then this collar was destroyed when it was discovered he was tagged. it’s shady shit like this that pissed me off about Cecil. I think tagged animals should be off limits for reasons of science and conservation

      i’m all for legit hunting and supporting conservation but anything that smells like poaching makes me wanna pull out the pitch-fork and torch.

      there of plenty of honorable hunters out there that are constructive not destructive!

      • However who are these conservationists to tell any Country how to control or survive! The so called “do gooders” caused a 3 fold problem here. The people where Cecil was shot were not upset. So why on earth did people that this in no way effect have any right to do such a thing that has now caused huge problems⁉️ It is sad and WAY out of control‼️

      • Reports also showed everyone in America knew about it before any one in Africa, and reports also say government officials said the hunter did nothing wrong

        • Not exactly true since his both his guides were charged in court and fined. I did not hear as to whether they got jail sentences also. Therefore technically the Dentist Hunter was an accomplice and common sense would have told him he was breaking the law. The court deliberated for quite a few days as they were at one time trying to decide as to whether to charge him as well. The Dentist was also caught in American killing illegally a black bear. Lets face fact the Dentist was scum and gave all hunters a bad name.

  1. 200 lions…
    Tags usually run $25,000.00 for a decent male.
    Females run around $10,000.00.
    So that’s between 2 million and 5 million in lost revenue and employment, not to mention anti-poacher patrols.

    (Pay no attention to the fact that Mugabe likes to eat baby elephant on his birthday)

    Hwange is a beautiful park. I got to tent camp there a couple years ago. Trying to sleep while the cacophony of lions, baboons, hyenas, hippos, jackals and other critters wake up is a bit unnerving… ?

      • Where are all of the ‘protesters’ now? Where are all of the outraged people that wanted that dentist’s scalp? Where is PETA, the National Humane Society, etc., that raise millions of dollars for animal protection, now that the park that “Cecil” came from is crying for money? NO WHERE TO BE FOUND…typical of liberal organizations…big mouths that keep all the $ for themselves,. and spend virtually zero on the causes they espouse. I give nothing to national/international charities, as I consider them all rip-offs. Keep your money local to Volunteer Fire depts., Ambulance corps., animal shelters, etc. Plenty of needs close to home without sending your hard-earned dollars to Wash. DC based orgs.

    • I’d be just fine with enjoying that bit of unnerving with a Sako 85 in .375 H&H or a beautiful custom safari rifle within arm’s reach.

    • And let’s not forget that there’s a body count involved here. Lions are predators who have NO problems adding human to the menu, and it’s not always possible to determine why someone went missing. There’s also the people who lost livestock that might actually be the difference between living and dying.

      • Ian Carter admitted this week on “Carters War” that the Lion population is down 50 per cent do to local people poisoning them because they were killing their very expensive cattle. Now lets face facts if your livelihood was threatened what would you really do in such a situation. The hunters get all the blame but it is local people and professional poachers who wipe out the worlds big game.

  2. “I’m a typical liberal internet activist. Everybody else is yelling about something, therefore I will jump on this bandwagon without any logical research or critical thinking. Animulz r cute and furry so hunting iz bad.”

  3. Life’s rough. And then you die-I ain’t lion…maybe they should call some uber-lefty with big bucks so Cecil’s son isn’t slaughtered…ya’ think THIS will be widely reported???

  4. When I have these arguments with people, I usually ask them why they “hate animals and black people so much?”

        • Same conundrum jwm…..who’s going to pay for your extremely expensive solution? Folks starve to death every day in Zim. There is no money. The huge piles of currency necessary to support and sustain the wildlife was provided by hunting license/trophy fees. Period. That source of funding has been rejected. The anti’s sentiments are “feeling” based, as opposed to “fact” based. Always have been…always will be. Before you ask….yes….I have been there, and witnessed the “down the drain” trajectory of Zimbabwe (in terms of both people and wildlife) first hand.

  5. Look at it this way, the money stays in the United States benefiting our economy. Remember, outflows of currency is considered an import affecting the current account.

    • The head of Zimbabwe also said they should get rid of all white farmers and then their economy collapsed as a result. I agree keep that money in the US.

  6. Ridiculous! Inconceivable! Perhaps we should just import them and let them loose in the gun-free dystopias on both coasts. That should make everyone happy, right?

  7. No, you don’t get it. Watching animal planet for 3 seconds when flipping through channels is TOTALLY better for conservation than going out in the wilderness and appreciating the beauty and majesty of nature first-hand.

    The animal planet channel flippers have a much bigger vested interest in maintaining biodiversity.

    • Not to mention understanding where exactly you rank on the food chain without that expensive bang stick by your side and a bunch of professional guides.

  8. Anti-hunters can often be quoted as saying “Well, okay you can cull them to reduce overpopulation… as long as none of the shooters enjoys it.” I kid you not.

  9. I think I know why liberal/progressives are so delusional and in denial. And why they loath themselves, subconsciously. Everything a liberal/progressive does to “help” , makes the situation worse.

    Everything.

  10. Considering that park only culls about 50 lions a year via Hunters. It seems outlandish that suddenly they need to kill 200…. Something doesn’t smell right about this information.

    It’s not a matter of funds they don’t receive, they have always earned more in tourism anyways from the reports I’ve read. Also, they made huge bank from the whole Cecil thing with every animal lover pretty much opening their wallet and a few animal charities throwing money their way.

    • Let me spell it out for you so next time you can maybe think for yourself. 50 lions extra in 2015 make babies and a year later 200 extra lions are eating all the food i.e. Other animals.
      Furthermore, how long have people been killing lions in Africa? Answer before we were even homosapians i.e.modern humans. We are a part of that ecosystem, just now money and guns come into play

  11. Private hunters killing lions and paying hunting fees bad. Government paid employees killing lions good. Government good. Private citizens bad.
    I realize Rhodesia was perhaps not an ideal state, but it was a magnitude or order better than Mugabe and Zimbabwe.

  12. The whole system has been set up corruptly. Why not build the funds for conservation with the promotion and availability of eco-tourism? With the right advertisements and media outreach, Hwange National Park could earn more than enough year round via tourists who shoot with cameras rather than guns.

      • Don’t get me wrong, I support hunting.. but you want some facts:

        A fully maned male Lion, according to Lee Durrell (1986) in State of the Ark, is worth $500,000 as a tourist attraction, whereas a Lion shot for sport or trophy is worth between $3,500 and $8,500, and its skin about $1,000. (This all depends wildly on where you are actually shooting it and numbers are not adjusted for inflation)

        The difference being is; shooting a lion is a one time thing but over the life of an animal it can make much more money in tourism dollars. Further more hunting can only be done during a hunting season well tourism happens all year round.

        Lions do however need to be culled at times because they are dangerous animals, so I understand that hunters are also something that needs to be in the mix.

        What is needed is a balance, not a knee jerk reaction one way or another… Also look for ways to help fix Africa’s governments… Who have been known to take ‘the lion’s share’ of most of those hunting taxes.

        • “Also look for ways to help fix Africa’s governments…”

          What could *possibly* go wrong with that tactic?

          Interfering with foreign governments.

          Ever heard of the expression ‘The road to Hell is paved with good intentions’?

        • Hunting and the tourism are not mutually exclusive. Unless you make it so. And what are the consequences, then? People like to make one-sided arguments and just ignore the fact that there’s a legitimate other side.

        • You’re making the common, yet mistaken, assumption that the size of an animal population is reduced by responsible hunting. There will be as many lions as there is prey to support them, as long as hunting is kept within the constraints of what is “responsible.” You kill one, his death makes room for another to take his place.

          Furthermore, with just general “tourism”, there is no way to accurately determine the exact amount of money “earned” by each lion from each tourist, the way it is with hunting. Instead, it’s all diffused. And diffused, means noone has much incentive to go out of their way to keep any specific lion alive. Meaning they won’t be kept alive.

          While some dude with a $100/year annual income, who has the potential to make $1000 if only the client he is waiting for from Texas gets to shoot one of the lions in his territory, will do his outmost to keep as many of those alive as possible. And then, by prancing around with his newfound wealth, he will encourage others to go into the same line of work, instead of being tempted to make chump change as a poacher.

    • They tried this in Kenya in the ’70’s. Tourism only and they banned hunting. Now due to poaching, most of the wildlife is gone, and surprise! So are the tourists because there are hardly any animals to take pictures of.
      South Africa did the opposite. Game breeding is replacing cattle farms, tourism is way up due to photo safaris and hunting safaris.

    • Not to mention, the glaring fact that you don’t have go all the way to Africa to see African Safari animals.

      Local zoos have all kinds of animals.

      However, hunting those animals at the zoo is generally frowned upon.

  13. If they were not charging such outrageous prices they could then draw more hunters. Less money is better than paying government hunters to kill off the excess but of course lowering the prices never would cross their mind.

    • The traditionally high prices, have driven operators to compete on amenities. Until their operations, while expensive, have become not necessarily high margin. If your cost has become $20K per hunt, you’re better off temporarily mothballing, than taking some schlub out for $19K.

      If the obtainable prices become lower on a permanent basis, eventually the whole structure of the industry will change, and prices will drop. But it’s not that easy for Ferrari to sell a Miata competitor overnight, even if the market for high priced sports cars soften a bit.

      • Your response makes no sense whatsoever. Paying people to kill off the excess animals in never cheaper than charging hunters to do it for you.

        • A local African dude, may happily slaughter every lion in Africa for 10 bucks.

          While a Texas oilman, won’t spend a night in the open without 10 porters, a 1000 sq ft tent, and a troupe of 50 bellydancers entertaining him when he’s not hunting. Which costs an operator $20K to provide. And, because of oil prices being low, the most the Texan can afford is 19. And cutting back to 8 porters and 40 bellydancers won’t work, either, since then the other Texans, who are OK with paying $25K, will start to grumble…..It’s a conundrum not unrelated to why stores and food manufacturers throw away food, despite there obviously being someone, somewhere willing to pay something for it.

        • Again your talking complete nonsense. Lowering the price and conducting even no frills budget hunts would tap into a group of hunters who previously would have considered Africa beyond their budget. Most “real hunters” come to hunt not go to bed with women and get drunk at wild parties, they can to that in any town right at home.

  14. Reminds me of the time a bunch of “animal lovers” got a judge to delay a planned herd-thinning so they could “humanely” trap and relocate the surplus deer ( they wanted to ban the hunt, but the judge “split the baby” and delayed it instead). They managed to trap a few animals, one of which suffered a broken leg IIRC, and the delay caused the hunt to be less than successful, resulting in a miserable death by starvation of who knows how many deer. Between the dumb-ass “animal rights activists” and the dumb-ass judge, they managed to completely and totally screw up the whole situation, to the advantage of no one and to the particular detriment of the deer.

  15. “…whose lives could have paid for the comfort and safety of countless other animals.”

    Something tells me life for ANY animal on the African savannah isn’t safe or comfortable, whether they’re on a game preserve or not… That’s some brutal shit out there.

  16. Big game hunters are mentally ill. Obv they just enjoy killing god’s beautiful creatures for the blood lust. They could care less about the conservation aspect of it, that’s just something they say to justify their sickness. Ive seen the videos where they wake an elephant from laying down and just blast away so it’s legal. It’s karma when these hunters get mawled to death.

    • I used to be s hunting guide, And when what I call “pay for veiw” hunters were finished with their hunts n all the handshakes smiles and congratulations were over. Me n the boss thought what a bunch of idiots. But hey we got your money. So the next time you guys think the hunting guides are all over how great you are, nah its your money.

    • And I bet most liions, Cecil included, don’t/didn’t really care much about the “keep the prey herd healthy” effect of their/his hunting. But they helped keep their prey healthy, nonetheless.

      That’s how the nature God created works.

  17. 200 lions in Africa will be killed at no profit to anyone. This is as designed. Capitalism is evil, and the Communists have a better plan for conservancy. Da, is good plan, will be released just after all lions are extinct, and will cost fortune.

    • Of course. Only government stooges should be allowed to have guns anyway, so of course they are the only ones “qualified” to shoot lions.

  18. This shows the type of damage unethical scumbags can do. What sort of asshole decides it’s a good idea to bow hunt a lion? Yeah, surely nothing’s going to go wrong there… It also makes one wonder what the chances are he didn’t see it was collared while he and his shady “guides” were luring the lion off protected land. Palmer’s a freakshow who did massive damage to the public image of hunters.

    • The “public image” of hunters would be, as things should be, 100% irrelevant, were it not for run amuck government nosing into things none of their business. A hunt is between the hunter, the prey and the guide. It is in no way the business of all manners of busybody, meddling idiots and scumbags, without a life of their own to live. Just like every other aspect of life, from carrying machine guns to killing ones unborn, or born for that matter, children. Once decent people fail in their duty to keep the busybodies from getting powerful enough to intervene, they will intervene everywhere, as that is their nature. And then we end up in a dystopia like this one. Where the only realistic hope, is that “we” get conquered by a bunch of semi crazed Mujaheddin fighters, who aren’t necessarily the nicest guys i the world, themselves. But only appear to be, as they are contrasted with the always and everywhere infinitely less nice government.

      • First let me state that I have been a hunter all my life but the Dentist was a real asshole first class. He would have seen the tracking collar and due to the fact that he was practically standing on top of a nature reserve would have set off all the alarms, bells and whistles. He and his corrupt guides lured the Lion out of the preserve with bait to kill the Lion. The Dentist was also convicted of illegally killing a Black Bear in the U.S. and then bragged about it later. He was first class scum all the way. I am all for legal hunting but not what this scum bag did.

        • He may well have been, but the real problem at hand, is that there exists an avenue by which an asshole can negatively effect the lives of those of us who aren’t. And that avenue, as always, is government. There will always be assholes born. Not much anyone can do about that. But governments can be curtailed/eliminated, as they have been in many places throughout history. And absent government, the “asshole problem”, is both pretty insignificant, and straight forward to deal with.

        • I am shocked and appalled anyone would post such nonsense. Without government you have anarchy and lynch mobs. Without Government you have no game laws and if you pass game laws no one to enforce such laws within the letter of the law and without discrimination and also without privileges to various upper classes at the expense of the bulk of the population.

          More Government within reason helps protect the disadvantaged from even more abuse by the upper politically powerful, privileged, wealthy classes, who will, if left to their own greed and power, will always exploit the worker. History has proven it time and time again. That is what led to revolutions, strong unions to protect the worker, and Socialism to protect all the people from the greed monger rich classes who have always been the “real parasites of society”.

          America today is a sad example of what happens when the greed monger rich control the courts, the laws, and the political process which has ceased to be a true democracy, and the bulk of the wealth leaving virtually none for the working classes. No one who lived in the “previous generations” has to be told the American dream is now and has for some time been deader than a door nail.

          The rich in America today are richer than at any time in America’s history while the working classes are barely able to survive. Wal-Mart has shamefully become the No. 1 employer in an America that is as corrupt as the last days of the Roman Empire with the rich blaming scapegoats like immigrants for everything from lack of high paying jobs to increased crime and drugs when it is actually the indigenous under-employed that have now been forced to live a life with no hope for their future or their children’s. Many work 2 and even 3 jobs and still qualify for welfare while the greed monger Republicans say we should not pay a livable wage so they can continue to rape the American worker. The working classes, (not the Rich) then have their taxes raised to pay welfare payments to the “working poor” to keep them from starving to death or freezing to death in the icy cold of winter while the filthy Rich laugh all the way to the bank and pay no taxes what-so-ever.

  19. Is there nothing they can do with the culled animals? I am certain they can’t reap the full hunting price, but surely they can recoup something.

    Not to be portrayed as anti-hunting, though. The situation is still vexing to no end.

  20. “Now the same park in Zimbabwe where Cecil met his end may need to slaughter 200 lions…”

    Actually Hwange and Bubye Valley are two different areas in completely different parts of the country.

  21. US Hunters provide more viable protein to local food shelters in the US than any other provider. So the smart thing to do would be banning guns for everyone.

    • That’s not actually true at all. Hunters donate between 2.5 and 3 million pounds of meat nationwide per year (source: NSSF). Grocery stores donate way, way more than that. For instance, the Houston Food Bank picks up almost 300,000 pounds of meat alone through its Retail Pickup Program A MONTH. In meat alone, that amounts to 3.6 million pounds a year, so Houston-area grocery stores have already surpassed national hunter donation amounts, and that’s just one food bank in one city in one state, and it also doesn’t count all the eggs and dairy that grocery stores donate (206,000 a month to the Houston Food Bank). When you extrapolate that to similar programs across the country, it becomes clear that hunter meat donations are a drop in the bucket compared to grocery store donations

  22. The attitudes exemplified by this article and the commenters are part of the problem. It’s all so quick to mock anyone who was disgusted by Cecil’s killing. Revulsion and anger was a natural and understandable emotional response. Conservation authorities have a responsibility to make non-emotional decisions that are the best for wildlife, so if stopping this trophy hunting of lions is not the best decision for the wildlife, that’s on the conservation authorities, not the public for their sincere reaction to an actual crime. Frankly, if “thetruthaboutguns.com” were for responsible and ethical sporting, they should be the first ones to be horrified about this incident, should be acknowledging that one bad apple can spoil things for everyone and urging hunters to take responsibility for knowing and practicing ethics and conservation, even when they are clients on professionally guided hunts. Did anyone notice how the article moaned about a man losing his livelihood (I’m assuming it’s talking about Palmer’s dental practice being shut down due to the backlash against him), but didn’t mention Palmer by name, nor did it mention he had already been convicted of illegally shooting a bear and lying about it, so he had a track record of illegal and irresponsible hunting? This article should have been using this news as a reminder to hunters that it is their responsibility to safeguard their sport by always practicing legal and responsible hunting practices, but no, Leghorn and his acolites had to use it only to rail against the “anti-hunting crowd” and “disarmers”.

    And I guess it’s too much to ask for this article to be anything but an unanalytical cheerleader for trophy hunting vs culling by wildlife biologists, but a few things this article failed to mention:

    1. When wildlife biologists do they culling, they kill old, ill, weak individuals, and they make their kills proportionate to the healthiest sex ratio the population should have. Trophy hunters almost exclusively target the strongest, fittest, largest, and males, in the prime of life. This ends up negatively affecting population genetics. The article said they have 500 lions, and they need to reduce that by 200. That means the preserve has a lion carrying capacity of 300? That’s a really small population to be pulling even one of the fittest animals out of every year or so. Even one animal is a significant change to allele frequency in a population of 300. From a biological standpoint, it makes very little sense to me, even though I understand the economic sense.

    2. There is a lot of evidence that legal trophy hunting of endangered species only serves to increase black market demand.

    3. All this “money” that the hunters bring into the local economy isn’t necessarily a good thing to the locals. A guy who is paying $25,000 to shoot a lion is going to expect more than rustic accomodations and local food, he’s going to want luxury. Even taking hunting out of it, the tourism aspect, study after study has found that high end luxury tourism in developing countries increases the demand for expensive imported goods, displacing more affordable local goods, and actually lowers the relative standard of living of most of the people in the area.

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