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The Value of Hunting for African People

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Hunting in Africa

Hunting, one of the most controversial topics that any person can bring up. Many people in this world do not endorse hunting, especially in Africa. This is because some people feel that the killing of animals for sport is inconsequential, cruel, and has an adverse effect on the ecosystem. Hunting in Africa is a regular activity that a large number of people participate in. It has become the primary source of income for many safari outfitters. They attract clients from all over the world to come to Africa and to hunt various species of animals. For example, an American client would fly into Tanzania, and stay with their preferred outfitter for around 21 days.

During their stay, the client could hunt about 10-15 smaller animals, such as impala, blue wildebeest, Burchell’s zebra, and lesser kudu. The client will also hunt around 3-4 animals which are regarded as “big game”. This includes lion, buffalo, elephant, hippopotamus and leopard. The average price of a safari (including accommodation and hunting permits) that is similar to what I have given is about $75 000 (“Hunting In Tanzania With Rungwa Game Safaris Ltd. Classical Hunting Safaris: Home”). By attracting people to come and hunt in Africa gives the countries that the hunt is taking place in, an incentive to preserve the land and to ensure the wildlife species numbers are maintained. This also forces the government to prevent the illegal poaching of these animals.

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After a hunter has shot the desired animal, they will customarily give the carcass to the local community, as the hunter will have no need for most of the meat. This provides the local communities around the hunting reserves a relatively stable food supply. Which also incentivises the local people to preserve the surrounding animals and bushveld. The only way in getting hunting outfitters to preserve the land and animals is if they are given a specific area in which they can operate in over a protracted period of time. This also incentivises the outfitter to maintain the populations of the animal species. Because if in one year they hunt out all their animals then the following year they will not be able to host hunters as they will have no animals left to hunt.

Some parts of Africa are currently facing an animal overpopulation dilemma, which has caused the annihilation of vegetation. For example, since Botswana stopped hunting, in 2014, to rather focus on photographic safaris. Their 300 000 elephants have since dramatically increased and have caused momentous deforestation problems. Which is causing the number of tourists going to do photographic safaris, to decrease which is causing the local people to lose their jobs. Kenya has an annual cull of about 30 000 – 50 000 Burchills zebra. This is done to reduce competition for the other animal species, such as the blue wildebeest, as they graze similar types of grass. This will aid the blue wildebeests’ population in Kenya to remain constant. (Lara K. Engendorf, Greenhaven press, 2005)

However, hunting too many animals of a particular species may have a negative impact on their population. For example, the lion, when the alfa male of a pride gets killed whether it be from people, other lions or natural causes. The new alfa male will kill all of the cubs, as they are offspring from the preceding alfa male. This is done to reduce the competition for the new alfa male, and to propagate their own genes. But governments have made the prices for lion permits extremely high. So there are not many people that can afford to hunt lions. This keeps the lion population healthy and stable.

In conclusion, I feel that people should not demise, but instead support hunting, especially in Africa. As there is much money to be made, it helps support local communities, and it aids in nature conservation. If it weren’t for the hunters there would be very little wildlife left in this world, for the current and future generations to admire.

Work cited:

  1. Holmes, Bob. “Hunting Provides an Economic Motive for Maintaining Wildlife Habitats.” Hunting, edited by Dawn Laney, Greenhaven Press, 2008. http://www.rungwasafaris.com/about/index.html. Accessed 1 Oct 2018.
  2. Plessis, Jens du. “Controlled Hunting Will Help Preserve Africa’s Wildlife.” Africa, edited by Laura K. Egendorf, Greenhaven Press, 2005. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010216258/

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