Saturday, October 26, 2013

Big Game Hunting In Namibia: Thanks for P*ssing Me Off

 I just spent 9 days in Tanzania the purpose of which was a photographic safari.  We wanted to see cheetah, lion, rhino, elephant, leopard and miles and miles of zebra, wildebeest, and water buffalo.  We saw all of this.  The high lights were the sightings of two cheetah and we were lucky enough to see 6 leopard.  My first safari was in Kenya in 1983.  Even then we wanted to see leopard.  We did not.  On my second trip, we did see 2 and on our third, none.  There are anywhere from 400,000-700,000 leopards in Sub Saharan Africa.  The exact number is not known because the leopard is so reclusive therefore difficult to count.   So seeing 6 on one trip is amazing.  We were ecstatic, euphoric, and high fiving.  Fast forward to my return trip from Johannesburg, South Africa.  I'm standing in line waiting to go through the final piece of security.  There is an American couple in front of me.  I started up a chat.  Where are you from, where did you go in Africa, what did you do...and this is where I was dumbfounded, flummoxed for words, and almost beside myself.  So much so, I almost, involuntarily, spit my water on them.  Well, maybe not so involuntarily.  They calmly told me that they had gone to Namibia to hunt.  "And what were you hunting," I queried.?  "Leopard",  they responded.  I asked, "and were you successful?"  "Yes, we were," the husband says.  And added, "my wife killed all kinds of animals."  I said, "really. I didn't realize that hunting leopard was that easily available."  The wife chirps in, "Oh they're a menace to the farmers."  I then realized that I was among people who liked to kill animals for the pure pleasure of killing.    I don't care if they are from my home state.  Killing animals for the sheer thrill of it makes me want to knock them upside the head.  So I said to them, "do you mind if we don't discuss this any further?"  The husband says, "no, I understand."  The wife huffs off and proceeds to tell her husband, rather loudly,  that apparently "there are more of THEM than she thinks."  I guess she means those of us that don't believe in killing an animal for the thrill of it.  I hope you're happy back in your cozy house telling all of your friends about how you got the leopard in your sights and there he is, stuffed, for all to see.  You're standing by it proudly for all to take your picture.  This encounter clouded my entire trip home.  This got me to thinking about all of the people that I know that hunt.  One friend went on a deer hunting trip to Montana and came back empty handed.  Why?  Not because there wasn't anything to shoot.  It was because what they kill, they eat.  And the deer they saw would not amount to a plate full.  So, they killed nothing.  Some people detest hunting, period.  But the meat, chicken, fish we get in the store was once alive.  And they died somehow.  I've seen the "somehow" and trust me, you don't want to see that.      Read more...

So, out of curiosity, I went online to see how much this dufus paid for his "pleasure".  It ain't cheap.  The government of Namibia knows that there are those willing to pay a "pleasure" tax.  So I calculate that this guy and his wife probably paid close to $10,000 just for the privilege of shooting those animals and having, whatever, stuffed and shipped back to the states. I've been home about 4 days and I'm still p*ssed at these people and the government of Namibia.  The thing that gets me is that the parks in Namibia are FENCED.  FENCED!  Therefore, the animals have nowhere to go and nowhere to hide.  Doesn't sound like a sporting chance to me...Update 1/22/14...The Dallas Safari Club auctioned off a license to kill a Rhino in Namibia.  It went for $350,000.  They tried to justify the kill by saying the animal was old, no longer breeding and was keeping the younger male Rhinos from the females.  As one animal rights activist said:  Shooting a Rhino is like shooting at a bus...

Here is a list of the costs associated with big game hunting in Namibia.  I'm not just picking on Namibia because there are other countries in Africa that also allow big game hunting.  But since I have come into contact with "those" that wish to kill for pleasure and they did so in Namibia, you get the bulk of the blame:

PRICE LIST for 2013 Season

Hunter 1:1  $ 350.00
Hunters 2:1  $ 280.00
Non Hunters / Observers (per person) $ 150.00
Rest days/ Travelling days $ 150.00
  Transfer Fee to and from Airport per vehicle$ 400
  Hunting License Fee Plains game$ 30
Hunting License Fee Cheetah/ Leopard$ 800
  Rifle rent$ 45 per day plus ammo
Baboon (Free, if not exported) $ 100.00
Bird Hunting (per day fee)  $ 150.00
Blesbuck  $ 600.00
Blesbuck (white)  $ 800.00
Caracal (Opportunity)  $ 1000.00
Cheetah (Opportunity)  $ 3800.00
Damara Dik-Dik (Available on request)  $ 1700.00
Duiker (Grey)  $ 300.00
Eland (Cape)  $ 2000.00
Gemsbuck/ Oryx  $ 600.00
Giraffe  $ 2500.00
Impala (blackfaced)  $ 2500.00
Impala (common)  $ 600.00
Jackal (Free, if not exported) $ 100.00
Klipspringer $ 1100.00
Kudu  $ 1500.00
Leopard $ 4000.00
Ostrich  $ 400.00
Red Hartebeest  $ 600.00
Springbuck  $ 450.00
Springbuck (black)  $ 1100.00
Springbuck (white)  $ 1300.00
Steenbuck  $ 300.00
Tsessebe  $ 3500.00
Warthog  $ 400.00
Waterbuck  $ 2500.00
Wildebeest (black)  $ 1300.00
Wildebeest (blue)   $ 1100.00
Zebra (Burchell)  $ 1200.00
Zebra (Hartmann’s)  $ 1200.00

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