A rich American sport hunter travelled to Africa to shoot the most glamorous lion he could find. He used people in Africa to organise things and make it happen. He did not mind if the rules were bent and he had plenty of money to get his way – it allegedly cost $80,000. He just had to shot a big, grand lion which he did on 7th June.
His name is Jared Whitworth and he is the Vice President of Whitworth Tool Inc., Hardinsburg, Kentucky. There is uproar. The reaction online from people who detest sport hunting has been fierce and viral. Jared’s phone number and email address has been bandied around social media accompanied by threats.
Actually, his contact details are online as I write this; on the website of his workplace. Here they are:
- Jared Whitworth: 270-668-3375
If you want to express your disgust be my guest but be as polite as you can. Don’t expect a response because Jared is in hiding. On the Whitworth Tool Inc. employee list page the contents have been removed. His photograph was probably on that page. I have searched high and low for a decent quality photo of him without success.
The important thing about this lion shooting is that it may have been illegal because (1) the lion was allegedly a pride leader, Skye, who was under six-years-of age and (2) he was baited to leave Kruger NP to be shot in the Umbabat Private Nature Reserve (UPNR) which is adjacent to Kruger NP. This is a violation of the terms of the 2007 Threatened or Protected Species (TOPS) legislation. The organisers are saying the Jared shot a tired old skinny lion who was dying anyway. They would say that wouldn’t they?
It has been impossible to verify the lion killed because they (the guys who organised the hunt and Jared) have kept the lion’s skin and head as trophies. The hunt was organised by Graham Sales, a South African professional hunter. He offers clients a choice of weapons with which to kill: shotguns or bows and arrows.
Skye has not been seen since the hunt. A sad spin-off of his alleged killing is that his cubs have been killed by incoming males. This is what happens. Once the leader of the pride dies incoming males kill his offspring and mate with the females to produce their own offspring. And a number of Skye’s lionesses have been attacked by male lions.
As mentioned, the hunt organises say the lion killed was not Skye but a journalist on the Daily Maverick, Don Pinnock, writes:
“It’s not definite it was the pride male until the carcass has been checked by an independent viewer, but evidence is stacking in that direction.”
Whitworth Tool Inc.
Whitworth Tool Inc. has a good reputation in Hardinsburg, Kentucky. The business was started by Kenny Whitworth in 1998 who I believe is Jared Whitworth’s father. They are a hunting family. Jared is relatively wealthy and a member of and sponsor of the Safari Club, a wealthy organisation which promotes and organises hunting trips including to Africa. It is big business. Between 2005 and 2014 trophy hunters from America killed 5,552 African lions! Can you believe that? All for fun.
Well Jared has just followed in the footsteps of the infamous trophy hunting dentist from Minnesota, Walter Palmer and shot a lion from the Kruger National Park. There is a lot of covering up going on.
Similar to Cecil’s killing
Jared is trying his damnest to avoid the crippling publicity dished out to Palmer. Palmer had to hide for an age until things subsided. Jared Whitworth’s killing of Skye (if it is Skye) very much echos the killing of Cecil by Palmer. Cecil was lured from the Hwange NP in Zimbabwe in a similar fashion.
Pressure from America trophy hunters
There is huge pressure from wealthy America sport hunters on South Africa hunt organisers to find lions and anything on four legs to kill. There’s thousands of rich Americans who dream of travelling to Africa for trophies. It is of no concern to them that the lion is endangered. They’ll claim shooting lions is good for conservation. Yawn. How can killing a dominant male lion and the loss of his cubs be good for anything?