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The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Efforts needed to stop hunting

Source: Pinterest
Source: Pinterest

Millions of dollars have been spent on hunting exotic and endangered wildlife in Africa, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of thousands of animals perish in order to become an Instagram post or a decoration in someone’s home.

The truth of trophy-hunting is scary. Jimmy John’s owner Jimmy John Liautaud is no stranger to the “sport” of trophy-hunting. Recent photos emerged on multiple social media outlets, including Instagram and Facebook, depicting Liautaud with his thumbs up in a symbol of success while standing over large, deceased, endangered animals that died in cold blood.

But Liautaud is only a small piece in a much larger and dangerous system.

For him and the other 15,000 Ameri- can trophy-hunters who travel across the Atlantic each year, imperiling Africa’s wildlife never looked so good.

Safari Club International is an organization of around 55,000 hunters, according to their website, who travel glob- ally, slaughtering large animals as sport. They have dozens of different competitions in which there are rewards for the hunters who bring in the most impressive kills.

SCI claims they live by two missions: “Protecting hunters’ rights and promoting wildlife conservation.”

Since 2000, the organization has spent over $140 million toward their hunters and their practices, according to their website.

However, it is the innocent animals they slaughter who pay the real price. According to a study by the British organization, League Against Cruel Sports, the U.S. imported 1.26 million wildlife trophies of over 1,200 different types of animals between 2005 and 2014. The trophies were either sold to be home decor or symbols of ignorant dominance by the murderer of the animal.

32,500 of the trophies came from Africa’s big five animals: African lions, African leopards, southern white rhinos, African elephants and African buffalo.

South Africa, where Liautaud achieved the majority of his kills, accounts for 85 percent of Africa’s trophies, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

Somehow, despite the numbers, Liautaud, SCI and many other wildlife trophy-hunters claim to be conservationists. They argue the money they spend on their hunts funds con- servation programs and their practice has decreased poaching.

League Against Cruel Sports reported that trophy-hunting funds less than 2 percent of the conservation efforts in South Africa.

“Trophy hunting can, in some cases — rather than providing economic benefits for conservation — have a detrimental effect for nature conservation,” says a report from Traffic, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

“International trade monitoring and stakeholder cooperation remains crucial to safeguard the future of rare species.”

The local governments who monitor hunting in countries such as South Africa, however, avidly support the hunting of large African creatures, making the claim that poaching and illegal hunting decreases as a result of organized trophy hunting.

This claim, in many cases, is false. The conservation officials put in place are in favor of the hunting industry and do not play an unbiased role.

On top of everything, many trophy-hunters engage in canned hunting, where animals are fenced in a caged area and shot by the cowardly hunters.

There are other ways of generating revenue for wildlife conservation that do not include putting bullets in endangered species.

A suitable alternative to trophy-hunters’ ever-so-valuable funding has been ecotourism.

Ecotourism is directed toward exotic, often threatened, natural environments, especially to support conservation efforts and observe wildlife. It generates 15 times more income than the hunting safaris in South Africa. Ecotourism safaris’ rate of employment is 14 times more than that of hunting safaris.

Liautaud as well as thousands of trophy-hunters have attempted to justify their inhumane practice, but the facts show that their “leisure” activity carries too high a price to pay for the satisfaction of only a small few.

Stronger efforts need to be made in order to protect the innocent lives of rare and exotic African wildlife, starting by abolishing this calamitous practice.

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About the Contributor
Daequan Fitzgerald
Daequan Fitzgerald, Editor-in-Chief
Senior sport management major, and creative writing minor. Current defensive back for the Guilford Quakers football team.  This is his sixth semester with The Guilfordian and first serving as the Editor-in-Chief with the goal of highlighting the exciting and lively world that is the Guilford community.

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