Are you angry about the American woman who hunted and shot a lion in South Africa? The story is big news. The woman is an American TV presenter of a game hunting show Winchester’s Deadly Passion. On the television show she hunts bears and deer etc.. Her name is Melissa Bachman. She shares her passion for shooting wild animals with other Americans such as Sarah Palin and Eva Longoria, an actress.
She proudly declared on her Twitter feed:
“Incredible day in South Africa! Stalked inside 60 yards on this beautiful male lion…what a hunt!”
So, she got within 60 yards of a male, African lion in the Maroi Conservancy in South Africa and shot him dead. She is clearly very proud of that.
View Maroi Conservancy and Farming in a larger map
Melissa did nothing illegal. The South African government allows regulated lion hunting. Canned lion hunts are also allowed. These are lions in captivity bred to be shot. At one time it was banned but now reinstated. Canned lion hunting is an ego trip for hunters with pots of money and poor eyesight.
Melissa forgets that the lion is considered Vulnerable by the Red List and its population has declined from about 400,000 in the 1950s to around 30,000 in Africa in 1996. The decline is due to increased human activity destroying habitat. The lion’s habitat is 25% of what it was.
Set against the miserable background of the gradual, inexorable extinction of the lion in the wild, it seems to me to be rather selfish of Melissa to pay big bucks for the visceral pleasure of shooting such a magnificent and precious animal, one of the world’s most popular. I guess the rarer they become the keener hunters are to shoot one.
Melissa also does not recognise the fact that 4,062 lions have been shot by sport hunters between 2005 and 2011 in Africa. I cannot see how sport hunting of lions is allowed in these quantities under these circumstances.
Melissa has been described as a “heartless trophy hunter”. She can take the lion carcass home if she wishes and have it stuffed. She probably will.
A while ago, I complained that online petitions were ineffective. However, I may be proved wrong or things are changing. The internet carries more weight nowadays. There is a petition on change.org for Melissa to be banned from South Africa. Her selfish, thoughtless behavior in shooting this magnificent creature is described as an “absolute contradiction” to the South African culture of conservation.
I would not be so sure that South Africa is that concerned with conservation if they authorise sport hunting of one of their most precious wildlife assets. This is more about money than conservation and money always overrules conservation and don’t be fooled into thinking that shooting lions helps in conservation.