A bit of my spew on trophy hunting and how the earth is much better off without the mercenary and vile Melissa Bachman ( above) and her kind.
For every male lion hunted for trophy, it is estimated that 20-30 other lions will die.
This is because when a pride male is killed, the pride system goes into chaos. The pride loses a protector which will fight off nomadic males searching for pride takeovers, protect the pride from hyenas, and protect the pride territory from other prides.
In the take-overs, the cubs are killed by the new pride male, lionesses get injured or killed defending their cubs, and younger members of the pride might be driven off into exile, their survival perilously uncertain due to their inexperience and loss of support from the adult lionesses. The remaining lionesses may lose their bond and rapport and turn on each other and even kill and eat cubs of their own pride members.
Trophy hunters typically target the most robust male lions — for their size, thick magnificent mane and they are easy targets due to their fearlessness. Trophy hunting is thus weeding out good genetics — larger males with thick manes fight better and are better at protecting the pride.
With the loss of a pride, there is loss of knowledge and experience that are passed down through the blood lines. In certain regions for example, there are lion prides which are specialist hunters of certain prey species ( buffaloes, giraffes, elephants) and have the knowledge to hunt and survive certain terrains ( marsh, valleys, thick brush, grass plains). Due to the more frequent loss of pride males from trophy hunting, pride take-overs are becoming more frequent. The devastating effects of trophy hunting for pride males on lion population is thus exponential.
Lions and other big cats are threatened by loss of habitat. Human conflicts increase due to conversion of habitat into farmland; emerging diseases such as Canine Distemper are killing lions in certain places; the gene pool is shrinking, leading to poorer immunity and adaptability. An emerging threat is the demand for lion bones in China for Chinese medicine. Such demand is recent and is drummed up due to the difficulties in obtaining wild tiger bones.
The future for lions is bleak. There are an estimated 25 000 lions left in the wild, a shocking 96% decrease over 50 years. Lions are even extinct in numerous countries in Africa. It is predicted they will be extinct or effectively extinct, as soon as 2020, by film makers and big cat conservationists, Derek and Beverly Joubert.
This is an unspeakable tragedy. Trophy hunting is unsustainable and the epitome of blood lust and greed. Please sign the next petition you see against canned and trophy hunting.