Seriously… we’re talking photography here, shooting lifetime images and award winning photos of our animals – not trophy hunting. Do you actually think we need help in diminishing our indigenous species?
The poaching crisis is out of control and while we have many allies in this battle, our combined efforts remain defensive – burning up finances that could have been better spent on improving the lot of those doing the dirty work when it comes to finding, killing and delivering the goods.
We don’t need hunters to kill any more of our animals – endangered or not.
Hunting creates wealth
It is undeniable that hunters pay exorbitant amounts of money to engage in their primitive pleasures but this serves only to line the pockets of the already wealthy. The camp staff and trackers at a hunting establishment earn no more than their peers working at photographic safari camps, and less than 3% of the profits go towards conservancies in certain countries – so where does this money go?
There is no evidence to suggest that much of this “tainted” moolla is pumped back into conservation as the pro-hunting lobby so fervently suggests. Social media is filled with unforgettable images of hunters next to their latest victim, yet somehow no one has mastered the art of publicising these massive donations.
Hunters claim only to remove aged animals from the population, but these senior members of the species are the mentors of their kind, and their eradication throws the natural order into disarray. It is doubtful whether the truly old and decrepit make handsome ornaments.
Hunting is conservation
Killing and conservation can never be seen as synonymous.
Do you think anyone enjoys watching the unskilled attempts of hunters to gun down our helpless creatures with several shots, leaving their bodies to rot while the hunter carries off their heads to a foreign country – claiming bragging rights to something they could never own?
Even when the meat is donated to the starving masses, that animal is gone forever and cannot generate any further income. How many sustainable survival practices could that kill-fee have paid for in the form of education, boreholes, seeds or livestock?
Countries such as Botswana that have put strict regulations in place with regard to hunting, have not been overrun with wild animals. Conservationists long ago mastered the art of restricting our animal populations when necessary without any killing, thanks to contraceptives and other non-violent methods.
If you want to help conservation – book yourself a safari, donate to a reputable organisation or load up your camera and get out there, armed with something that can really help our wildlife.
Photographic safaris do much to highlight the stunning landscapes, animals, birds and people of Africa, and share our beautiful story all over the world. Hunting does nothing but bring diminished resources to the host country and heartache to its people.
Hunting and humanity
There are too many instances of hunters missing the kill shot and traipsing around after a wounded animal, firing shot after shot into its broken body until the agony ends – and too many images of maimed corpses, instead of these gorgeous vital creatures taken against the stunning backdrops of their motherland.
All of society is becoming immune to these gory scenes – small wonder that violence is seen as the norm nowadays.
So pause for a bit while you imagine the glistening eye of your target in focus and absorb the bigger picture – this year’s wall hanging could have been next year’s parent or pride leader.
If your friends are easily impressed by these gory trappings, do yourself a favour, and get new friends.
In Africa we welcome you to take as many shots as you like at our wildlife, but unless you are packing a Canon – please don’t darken our door.