Viewpoint: Uncomfortable realities of big game hunting


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For those who are so inclined, it is possible to legally hunt virtually any African animal

Trophy hunting has been the subject of much media attention amid the backdrop of declining populations of big game animals in Africa. But is a blanket ban really the answer?

At the end of June 2015, a Zimbabwe lion known as Cecil was wounded by a crossbow bolt shot by American dentist Walter Palmer.

Sometime later Cecil was shot and finally killed.

The media attention that followed made it clear that many people were unaware of the realities of modern-day African hunting.

In fact, if you have enough money and are so inclined, you can legally hunt pretty much any African animal, including lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and hippo.

You’ll need the right permits and it’s subject to quotas and regulations but if you do it by the book, then it’s perfectly legal. And once you’ve killed it you can export the “trophy” home.

‘Moral objection’

Following Cecil’s death, many have called for a blanket ban on trophy hunting. Calls for a ban come from a number of different directions.

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