Karongwe is a 22,000-acre private, fenced game reserve in South Africa. It is 250 miles north-east of Johannesburg. A British agency, Global Vision International (GVI), recruits paying volunteers to work at the reserve. The recruits pay more than £1,000 per week to assist in lion conservation by tracking the movement of lions and recording the data. The sales advertising is designed to entice gap year students to work in lion conservation. A noble enterprise and very attractive….
In reality, it is seedy like many businesses dealing in animals. It transpires that a trophy hunter pays a fortune to shoot the lion that has been meticulously tracked. This is relatively easy because an innocent student has carefully compiled information about the lion’s movements within a small area.
Is this a dressed up canned lion hunt? Canned lion hunts are about containing lions in a relatively small area and then charging tourists, who have a fascination in shooting magnificent animals, a small fortune to shoot them. The lions are easy to shoot because the shooters know where they are.
The Karongwe Reserve says that:
“In this case we had an old lion that had to be euthanised. We used a hunter who paid a fee.”
Sirs, this is not euthanasia. This is canned hunting. Shooting an old lion is not euthanasia. Euthanasia is when an animal is humanely (without pain) put to sleep because he/she is terminally ill.
You can’t get away from the inevitable conclusion: wild life in Africa is being decimated by people one way and another. If it is not straight persecution by people it is due to habitat loss, canned hunting and disease and many other human related causes.
Here is a chart that shows the decline of the Lion in Africa from the 1800s to present1:
|Date||Lion Population in Africa|
The population figures are shocking – as bad as for the Bengal tiger in terms of decline. There is a Facebook page: Save the Karongwe Lions. This is surely indicative of the fact that the reserve’s objectives are dubious. The reserve’s management say they have to cull to maintain healthy lion prides and so on but that seems to be a cheap argument.
- National Geographic