Quote from the article "Hunting - South Africa's shame
"Annihilation of wildlife in Zimbabwe
Lawless Zimbabwe provides an even more terrifying example of what can happen without adequate regulation, ... Here, poaching in connection with farm occupations is totally out of control. Johnny Rodrigues, chairperson of the Zimbabwean Conservation Task Force has detailed the problem: "Nobody knows how many animals we have left since the onset of the land reform program. I estimate we have lost between 90 and 100 per cent of game on game ranches, over 60 per cent in the conservancies and maybe 40 per cent in our national parks. The new settlers don't bother with quotas.
According to Rodrigues, South African hunters are taking advantage of the chaos to run illegal safari hunting operations. Out of Africa Safaris are amongst the worst offenders. They bring American tourists to the shoot in Zimbabwe via their US agent Richard Putman in Seminole, Alabama. The outfit is based in Alldays in South Africa, just over the border from Zimbabwe. (47)
Rodrigues explained: "..........The resident war vet charged the hunters $50,000 and told them they could kill as much game as they could carry. An eyewitness told me it was like a slaughterhouse. There were dead animals lying everywhere, buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard, kudu, eland, you name it. He said there were impala hanging from the trees which they were using as bait to catch the leopards."
This is indeed horrendous and it is not hunting - it is slaughtering. It is evident that the situation is as a direct result of the already condemned land reform program in Zimbabwe. People who did not have long term conservation at heart are now the owners of game farms. There is a critical food shortage in Zimbabwe and nobody can blame the poachers. Butchers and poachers alike are participating in this annihilation.
Why then blame the South African hunter for this. It is all illegal and I am sure that 99% of hunters in South Africa will never participate in such an exercise. To blame this on "hunters"Â� is totally unfounded. This is illegal indiscriminate killing and poaching of wildlife and it is not and will never be hunting.
The Out of Africa Safari's was contacted for comments but they have not responded as yet.
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