It’s disappointing. Prince William aka the Duke of Cambridge supports the return of elephant hunting in Botswana. He believes that it will help with conservation. Trophy hunting does not contribute to wild species conservation. It is a mistake to think that it does and I am surprised and disappointed that William backs it or at least does not denounce it.
For months he has been supporting conservation in Africa and now this. In his speech opening a conference on illegal wildlife trade William said that he feared that elephants, rhinos, lions and tigers would be extinct by the time his children reached 20.
President Masisi of Botswana lifted the ban on trophy hunting last night. Campaigners are probably aghast at his decision. It cannot be justified. His decision is another nail in the coffin of iconic wild species in Africa.
Trophy hunting justified
The president justified trophy hunting by saying elephants damaged crops and attacked people. He is trying to protect the livelihood of farmers and there is the problem. With a burgeoning increase in human population size in the African continent there is no place for troublesome wildlife.
The Times reports that the duke had ‘indicated that he accepted there could be a conservation case for hunting’. This is not exactly backing hunting but William has left the door open and in doing so he has endorsed the president’s desire to restart trophy hunting.
Duke personally against trophy hunting
A spokesperson for the duke said that he does not personally support trophy hunting but that he is unwilling to criticise trophy hunters who say that it does help with conservation. I’d say that he is lacking the steel to denounce trophy hunting in clear, unambiguous terms. That’s what campaigners want to hear and that is what is required. If you present an ambiguous front to something like sport hunting the unscrupulous hunters march through the hole you have created.
Human population growth
An answer would be to manage human population growth but that is social engineering and taboo. So there will come a time when the only way you’ll see elephants and lions in Africa is in small reserves where the animals are bred – probably inbred – for the amusement of tourists. Africa has the sharpest human population increase of all areas on the planet.
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