When UK finally bans imports of wildlife trophies, so must the US


“When the hunter is overwhelmed with joy after the murder and shares that emotion on Facebook, surely it must be the joy of a sick mind.”

– Jane Goodall

“The children of nature do not reveal their intimate ways to the animated human noisemaker, and one who seeks to know something about their interesting daily activities must first acquire the faculty of observing without being observed, and of hearing without being. understood.” So wrote Cherry Kearton in 1903 in “Wild Nature’s Ways”. But there are those in the good old days and even today when nearly 70 percent of the planet’s wildlife populations were lost, who would triumph and rejoice over a carcass of leopard, lion, elephant or even wolf and boast of killing them. The smiles of victory trophy hunters over their fallen victims should make us all shudder. That trophy hunters take thousands of animals each year is hardly considered a second. Wild mammals are mutilated every year for fun. Amusing. Cherry would have been appalled at the idea.

He would have been mortified to know that 600 trophy hunters put animals on their bucket list every year. The annual lion hunting quota puts the species at risk. When I was a teenager in Kenya in 1975, there were maybe 200 to 300,000 lions. The king of the beasts is walking towards extinction. Today, they may not be more than 15,000. It is the opposite development, and it is appalling. That a semblance of nature is still moving is a miracle. If the vilified Cherry practice does not cease, nature will soon be no more.

Most people haven’t heard of Cherry and Richard Keaton, the first British photographers of the natural world in the 1890s who ventured where few had gone before. They took the first photo of a bird, a song thrush nest with eggs. Completely new at the time. When Cherry moved to Mombasa in 1909, he became mystified by East Africa. Praised by Theodore Roosevelt, Cherry’s work was direct, honest, and unmanipulated. It was the first filmed sequence of African big game. Just as the rest of the world learns of their groundbreaking work, Britain’s bill to make trophy imports illegal is fought tooth and nail by those who would justify the fox, lion and elephant hunts and countless other species. that the armed imperialists would have as their victims. Cherry was authentic, without the artificial “look” of exotic animals in trendy poses that have become the norm for wildlife photographers lately. And he hated shooting safaris. If it gets what it wants, the UK can honor what it stood for and someday make the practice of killing innocent people a demented practice of the past. He has filmed hundreds of animals, but never one for fun or for vanity. He knew that you only shoot at an animal for self-defense. In contrast to his pioneering spirit of love for animals, we have the killers, the trophy hunters who have sacrificed countless individuals, endangering entire populations, now threatened all over the world.

Over the decades, 7,000 animal species have been targeted. Each year, until recently, 8,000 captive-bred lions were bred for murder in Africa. Fortunately, this practice is coming to an end. Killing threatened and endangered species nearby has been deemed good for conservation by its practitioners. But the places of death prove the contrary; trophy hunting has often left entire areas empty of life. The conservation argument will soon be outdated. Soon, these targeted species will be prevented from being imported thanks to two years of efforts by animal rights legislation.

Photo credit: Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson

UK Environment Secretary George Eustice has said the new bill will be tough and target those who break the bill. It is not yet a law and many conservationists fear that any delay could lead to hundreds of animal trophies in the months to come, before the bill becomes law. The campaign to ban trophy hunting was founded by Eduardo Gonçalves who is disappointed that the bill is slow to be passed. The Bill, from what we have seen, appears to be in fairly good shape, but it has been two years since it was originally announced in the Queen’s Speech, and many animals have been cruelly and needlessly killed during this period, “he said. “So it is really imperative that the government gets the bill to parliament as quickly as possible.”

Gonçalves points out: “There is sometimes a misconception that trophy hunting is what Americans do. The reality is that British trophy hunters are [among] the world’s most notorious elephant hunters’ among many other animals. We must not forget that the great American West, where more than 30 million buffaloes once roamed, have been slaughtered for recreation, pleasure, amusement, target shooting. The large herds have been totally wiped out. Manifest Destiny, the West has been “won” with the simultaneous elimination of big game. Murder, the slaughter of innocent wild animals, the murder of millions of Native Americans in tandem with slavery, this is the house that America has built.

American hunters are the biggest importers of African leopards. The United States was responsible for half of the global leopard trade between 2014 and 2018. Part of the responsibility for the plight of these big cats lies with the United States, Fish and Wildlife, which did not mandate more Great protection under the Endangered Species Act for Africa’s biggest cats. . Changing the leopard from threatened to endangered would have helped. As Teresa Telecky of The Humane Society says, “The leopard path to extinction is littered with leopard trophies.” And it’s littered with inefficient, lazy bureaucrats who fail to see the incredible urgency to save what remains of wild animals from the bloodlust that is the mind of the trophy hunter.

One of the most proficient elephant hunters in the world were the Waliangulu people of Kenya who faced elephants with nothing more than their bows to feed their families generations ago. They have put a curse on those who needlessly killed elephants. Essentially, they see the modern world as taking the spirit of nature between what trophy hunters and poachers have done to African wildlife. The fight to stop the slaughter of wildlife begins to bounce back on the human species. We inherit a confusing empty world compared to that of our grandparents. Ironically, the anger manifests itself in the form of more gun violence. About ourselves and the quadrupeds. The murder of the other for the so-called sport is a virus for which we have no cure yet. He continues to kill polar bears, rhinos, elephants, nilgai, axis deer, blackbucks, and extremely rare Pakistani mountain goats for which a trophy hunter paid $ 110,000. About 98% of the tigers are gone because of hunters and illegal hunters called poachers. Surprisingly, even baboons and zebras have been targeted.

Entire ecosystems are suffering. Killing the most exquisite, the rarest and the biggest individuals is not the reason our species was put on this planet. Often this has altered the gene pool. Bringing out the biggest lion irrevocably damages the population. There may not be more than 3,000 male lions in all of Africa.

The fight for what remains of the American wilderness continues with those who would stop the heinous practice of trapping and slaughtering wolves and the attempt to write off grizzly bears in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Native Americans called the grizzly a grandfather, the being who protects the forest. Let’s not forget the killing contests where hunters target black bear, moose, caribou, deer, sheep, coyote and puma. What remains of the American Wilderness could be affected by what happens in the UK. If the UK bill were to pass as early as next summer, something unique will have been passed on the moral proving ground for conservation. Someday, trophy hunters across the great American West may decide for the sake of their children to resort to cameras just as hundreds of thousands of tourists wait impatiently at the gates of Yellowstone in the hopes of triumphantly glimpse a herd of wolves, grizzly bears, bison or elk. Totally free beings in a way our species can no longer imagine. Sacrificing wildlife and by extension nature for mistaken notions of proving one’s virility, does not serve conservation.

We look forward to adopting these resolutions that could save what is left of nature. We should be ashamed of the fact that the debate is still raging in the halls of Parliament in London. The action began with the shooting of a totally innocent lion called Cecil at the hands of an American dentist just a few years ago. When the ban is finally implemented, the spirit of Cecil and another lion called Mopane, slain by bow and arrows, and the 125,000 animals killed each year will have entered a new chapter in the cannibalizing passage of man on Earth. Even the majestic sentinel of the plains, the giraffe, is today only 100,000 people. They have suffered a drastic 40 percent drop over the past two generations. Surprisingly, 40,000 giraffe parts and trophies have been imported to the United States in the past ten years. May we find the will and the legal measures to finally become the savior of the species instead of its slayers. That day cannot come soon enough.

Learn more about the work of Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson on their website.

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